KP Interviews – Tosca Lee

Last year at a writer’s conference I had the pleasure of hearing this creative woman give a few talks on the subject of writing. Given that she is a New York Time’s best-selling author I had to get an interview with her. I introduced myself after one of the sessions and through times of procrastination and several emails later here is the fruit of said interview. I found her answers quite interesting, very informative, and humorous. toscaleepinterest

I think I’m going to try her crazy stunt she pulled. 😀

Kingdom Pen: If you could only give one piece of advice on how to go about writing a book, what would it be?

Tosca Lee: Read a lot of good books that YOU like, and take notice of what works in it. And then start writing your own. Don’t go back and redo the beginning over and over—that is death. Write through to the end, even if it’s a shorter novel.

KP: Many authors have at least one embarrassing story to share about their first novels, short stories, or attempts at either. What was your first “big” writing adventure? Do you look back on it as something to be proud of, or is it something you tuck away into dusty corners and try not to talk about very often? [Read more…]

Poetry Contest – Announcing 3rd Place!

We are so excited to finally be revealing to all of you the third place winner! MacKenzie and I had a difficult time narrowing it down as there were thirty entries, but we made the choice and here is the poem that snatched our creative writer’s side.poetrycontest3rdplacepinterest

This poem is perfect for writers as we can all relate to the big bad, evil writer’s block! 

We hope you enjoy reading it just as much as we did!

Congratulations Lauryn Trimmer!! 

The Death of Imagination

A Poem Illustrating Writer’s Block

It was a terrible fate,

My imagination was left out at the gate

And, in the mad criticism of late,

Was swiftly murdered by the hate.

This is still a terrified shore

As we roam the streets he’d roam the more,

All of us shall miss him sore,

And forgetting him will be a chore.

This was wickedly preordained

By the critics whose displeasure rained.

His blood they spilled, his tunic they stained.

Poor Imagination will never be regained.

This is a horrid time,

The melancholy church bells chime

For the master of all sorts of mime,

Of writing, acting, and of rhyme.

This is indeed a ghastly scene,

His grave is blanketed in green,

His tombstone the bleakest I have ever seen,

The sadness of its words is keen.

This is a depressing view,

A group of my characters, although few,

Cried rivers of tears as if on cue

For the imagination we all once knew.

Lauryn_TrimmerLauryn Trimmer lives in California with her parents and two brothers. When Lauryn was three, she began writing her own stories, most of them starring Snow White and Larry the cucumber. Now she enjoys writing poetry and working on her two novels. Her favorite genre is fantasy, but she writes contemporary Christian stories too. When she isn’t writing, Lauryn enjoys singing, playing basketball, and archery. In the future, Lauryn hopes to become a published novelist and an actress.

When You’re Stuck in the Middle of NaNoWriMo

By Elizabeth Dykes

If you’re at all familiar with NaNoWriMo or writing in general, you’re sure to have heard of that maddening and mysterious…sickness. Sickness of the imagination, one might say. Writer’s block.

It strikes sometime between the second and third week of November. Sometimes the symptoms appear as early as the first week. Your initial enthusiasm has worn off, and you’re probably wondering why you ever thought NaNoWriMo was a good idea in the first place. stuck_pinterest

“Your store of inspiration is about as empty as your coffee cup. Any decent plot ideas seem to have gathered somewhere in a forgotten, dusty corner of the proverbial basement.”

Your characters are as uncooperative as your villain’s minion back in chapter four. Your outline (if you have one) looks like it’s gone through a paper shredder. The cursor in your word processor blinks steadily, mocking you.

You are about to break the silence with a frustrated scream when your phone rings. It is your writerly friend from Kingdom Pen, sharing exciting news about their own story and asking about your progress. You shake your head and sigh, lips forming the dreaded words, “I haven’t written today. I have writer’s block.”

Fortunately for you, your characters, and anyone else in close proximity to you during the month of November, writer’s block is a mostly curable disease.

Figure out where you’re going

[Read more…]

When you just don’t “feel it”

As writers, we know that feeling. Fingers standing still over the keys. The cursor blinking on a blank page. Your brain an empty hole of lack of imagination. Writer’s block. We blame the characters, we blame the plotting, we blame the lack of research. Sometimes we forget to blame–dare I say it–our own laziness.

 

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We get tied up and frustrated; the days have been busy–we are tired. We simply don’t “feel it”. We have all been in this situation, and we like to blame it on multiple things and call it writer’s block. The “I don’t feel it” attitude is not wrong. Many of us experience it after having a rough day or being stressed over the project itself. But thankfully, it is something you can fix, with perhaps more ease than the traditional writer’s block requires. With a few simple steps, but definitely hard work, you can push yourself to work beyond the, “I don’t feel it,” attitude.

 

Get Excited!

 

Remember that sweet beautiful feeling you first got when you decided on your protagonists name? Or the time the plot first landed in your head? Remember how glorious it was to dream about your story? Those feelings don’t have to be gone now that the hard work has begun. Get the excitement back and remind yourself why you love this project. Develop characters more: remind yourself of why you love them so much. Research more of your favorite quirks from your story, like that super awesome sword you saw on Pinterest. Engage your imagination once more in what your story can be. Allow it to soar like it did so long ago when the story began, and let the craziest ideas come back for a new revelation to the story.

 

Set goals

 

Setting goals can be a great way to fix the “I’m not feeling it” mood. I like setting weekly goals, it keeps me fresh every week, coming up with new ideas for writing. Start small; maybe commit to writing 400 words a week, then you will accomplish it more easily. Gradually, start challenging yourself with greater goals and step it up to 1,000 words a week. In the past as I set goals, I would find myself having to sacrifice the times that I previously used for watching movies, reading, interent, and even sleep in order to reach my goals. But in the end, I was glad to look back and see what I accomplished because of my commitment.

Which leads me to the next subject.

 

Make a commitment

 

Commit to your story. You must come to the realization that you want to write this and it will happen one way or another. Decide how important this story is to you. Is it worth skipping the movie in order to finish a chapter? Love your characters, love the story. I have had stories where I despised the characters; in turn I never wrote and dragged myself through research for it. Decide to embrace your project; commit to it like it is a dear friend to you. If you leave it alone for too long it would be hurt by your absence. Your project needs you.

 

Don’t make excuses

 

And finally, ignore the voices in your head. Yeah, we all know them. The ones that say, “Go ahead, write tomorrow, you worked all day.” Sometimes it is good to take a break. Days can get tiring, and we all need a little break. But sometimes we start to say it every day; we make excuses for ourselves constantly. Soon, “tomorrow” is just another way of saying “never” because we simply can’t muster enough determination. It reminds me of every time my alarm goes off, right when I think sleep couldn’t get any better. My head screams for me to turn it off and sleep, it begs and comes up with every excuse. But deep down I know I must get up, and so with the craziest amount of strength I can muster at 5:30 A.M., I roll out of bed and say no to sleep.

 

Say no to the voices, set a goal, commit to the project, and love what you do. It’s sounds simple  on paper, but believe me, it is hard. But guess what? We can do it. It is in fact possible.

4 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

By Jessica Greyson

 

Facing writers block can be one of the most difficult things that you face as a writer. It can creep up on us, or blindside us like a brick wall. But no matter how it comes upon you, it leaves you feeling like you’re stranded on a deserted island with only a pile of driftwood to make your escape, so here are some tips and tricks to build a successful escape back into the writing world.

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Ask Questions

 

Take a moment to step back from your writing; maybe go back to the roots of what inspired you to start this project in the first place. Sometimes rekindling the first steps of the “romance” with this story will bring that passion for writing back and you’ll go back to your writing feeling renewed.

 

Ask questions about the scene you are writing.

  • Is it moving the story forward?
  • Does it need to be in there for the story to move forward, or is it a filler scene?
  • Are you enjoying this scene? If you aren’t enjoying it, your reader probably won’t either.
  • Is it from the right POV? Could this possibly better through a different set of eyes? Consider who has the most to lose or gain in the scene. If there isn’t much to lose or gain, your character isn’t going to be as invested, which affects the writer and which will eventually affect your reader.
  • Why? Sometimes those three little letters can be very effective.
  • Interview your character. Taking time out to really deeply analyze your character at this moment can sometimes bring out details you weren’t picking up before.

[Read more…]