Aesthetic Boards for Writers: A Guest Post by Harley Rae

This is Susannah, jumping in really quick to introduce this guest post by Harley Rae. I have been ridiculously busy in the last several weeks, what with school, musical theater, etc. that I haven’t been able to post for a long time. Thankfully, the amazing human Harley was willing to lighten the burden of this dangerous dilemma by writing up something awesome for this Tuesday to learn from and enjoy!

Aesthetic Boards for Writers - A Guest Post by Harley Rae

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Michael’s Movie Mentions: Storytelling Similarities in Movies and Writing

Did you know that, in many ways, the art of making movies (visual storytelling) is often similar to the art of writing? How the director and director of photography choose to portray a story by way of camera is, believe it or not, comparable to some extent with writing books. And that is what I will be doing in this post: showing the similarities in the psychology of camera storytelling (movies) and storytelling by way of written word (your favorite book, for example). This similarity may stem from the fact that Storytelling is a universal art, developed over the millennia of mankind. Movies and the written word are merely different categories of storytelling, so it makes sense that there would be many similarities between the two. I will show you just a few of them in this post.

Michael's Movie Mentions Storytelling Similarities in Movies and Writing - Tea with Tumnus

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11 Tips for Character Development

Your plot is ready to go. You have a protagonist, an antagonist, a secondary character, an old mentor, a love interest, a traitor, an opposed parent, a jealous sibling, and an intelligent talking horse named Phillip. Hopefully, by the time you sit down to start writing the first chapter of your first draft, you have a general idea of what your cast of characters is like. Well at least you’ll know the gender of your main character. Ideally.

I believe the most important thing that will help you achieve a well developed story is a well developed cast of characters; the story is about those characters, after all. Probably the most crucial question to ask when developing a character is “what are the character’s motives?” The protagonist’s motives alone will drive the plot forward, but when you add the antagonist’s desires, the traitor’s secrets, the mentor’s wishes, along with the protagonist’s motives, the story will automatically become so much more detailed and complex. And complexity is a good thing. Not only will it make the reader think, but it will make each character believable: all their trials, emotions, fails, and triumphs will be real, thus drawing the reader into a deeper level of identifying with each of them. It may be scary at first to think that strangers who happen to be reading your story will connect with your babies if you do a good job, but if your readers don’t connect, what is your story worth? Without a developed cast of characters, it will be hard to connect with them, thus we will feel nothing at their fails, triumphs, or emotions, and thus the message or theme of the story you want to convey through your characters will never be understood by your readers.

11 Tips for Character Development - Tea with Tumnus

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20 Questions to Ask Your Plot and Characters

Writerly tags are, believe it or not, one of the biggest things that make me think about my WIP more in depth. Most of the tags I’ve participated in (the Six Question Character Challenge being my absolute favorite) made me ask questions of my plot and characters that I’d never even thought to ask. For instance, before participating in the aforementioned tag, I had no idea what my MC’s MBTI type was, where my main six characters saw themselves in ten years, or that my villain resembled Anton Yelchin. Getting to know little details about my characters also revealed so much more about my plot, even future book ideas for later in the series! It results in much elation, as you may well understand if you’re a writer. Writing up Six Questions Character Challenge made my week. I love talking about my characters to begin with, but answering questions I didn’t know about them in the first place made the experience so much more enlightening and enjoyable.

20 Questions to Ask Your Plot and Characters - Tea with Tumnus

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8 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Writers

Some of you might be wondering why I’ve decided to write a post for writers on how to stay healthy. I realize that nearly everyone knows basic guidelines for staying healthy (it’s mostly just a matter of ignoring temptation), so why can’t writers just do the same thing? Glad you asked! I am armed and ready with an answer to this question.

If you’re a writer, or know writers, you’ll understand that such a life is very sedentary. We read, write, edit, brainstorm, and do everything else writing related while sitting down and/or hunched over a notebook or screen. This is because everything we do writing related, whether getting inspiration or actually doing the art, either comes from or goes on a piece of paper or a blank document. To sum it up, writing is definitely not an active activity, if you haven’t already noticed.

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January’s WIPjoy: Snippets & a Sneak Peak of Fiction’s Lie

Look up the hashtag #WIPjoy. It was put together by Bethany Jennings, who’s not only a fantasy writer, but also a Christian and homeschool mom, a lovely person who has inspired me in many different ways. (Check out her blog.) Basically, WIPjoy is answering questions about your WIP, one question per day of a designated month, and it happens about three times a year. There was just recently one in January (which I stopped 1/4 of the way through because I would rather answer them all in a blog post) and the one before that was in September.

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Three 2017 Year Goals for the Writer

When I think of “New Year’s Resolutions,” I think of all the people who set new goals as to 1) learn something new, 2) lose weight, 3) eat healtheir, 4) be less stressed, and the list goes on. Those are really good thing to pursue, but this post is not about those types of goals. Plus, “New Year’s Resolutions” is way too cliche (ask all the humans).

I’ve come up with some goals for you as a writer. Any writer. You may write only in your journal or you may be a bestselling author, I don’t care. Every kind of writer should set certain goals that will help them to, in the long run, become a better writer. And it doesn’t even have to start on January 1.

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