Hello Again.

Hello, again, it’s been a while (college was rough these past few months).

What I’ve been up to:

It has been quite a semester so I am happy for summer. I needed to postpone writing on my blog until after Spring semester was over. My classes were all Communication and English writing oriented, meaning a ton of reading and writing. I began writing a new book and also tried writing poetry and short stories. I found I liked the change in pace and style with each form of writing.

Currently:
I plan to blog more frequently now that I have more free time. During the next two months, I am excited to attend two writing conferences, presenting for the first time at one of them.

Now that I have a reprieve from school I have set additional writing goals for myself, including submitting short works, designating times specifically for writing and posting to my blog. Of course, I will also make plans that aren’t writing related.

It’s important to plan and set goals for the summer but also equally important to have carefree time!
Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

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It’s Been Awhile

Hello again. The past few months have been crazy busy with projects, finals, and the holidays. I had very little free time so I decided to put a short hold on my blog posts. During this time, I reflected on why I enjoy writing this blog, a reckless writer.

It has been an amazing experience, because I have learned about writing in a blog setting. Blogging has taught me the value in carving out a set time in my schedule to write, even for just an hour, which I also now apply to the writing of my book and short stories.

During this hiatus from blogging, I also discovered the value of pacing myself when writing. I would delve into writing a story only to find that I needed to change many major aspects of it. Many writers write a certain way and I didn’t follow the process I usually do, which isn’t always a bad thing. However, I didn’t take enough time to get to know my characters and play with the main idea of the story. I have been reworking a new story which I had invested a good fifty pages before I realized that I didn’t spend enough time becoming acquainted with the idea.

I’m happy to be blogging again! I hope these past few months have been amazing you!

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

 

Holiday Writing

Thanksgiving is almost here! There are people to see and things to do. However, time during the holidays can be a great time to write. Your character, the setting, and the story can benefit from the holidays.

Thanksgiving with the character’s family can be a telling experience into the character’s world and mind for the reader. There are many holidays from various religions, countries, traditions and cultures that can be researched and used. Including different holidays and traditions could add significant and enlightening details to your story.

The character’s feelings about the holiday/tradition whether it be the celebrating or the time spent with people during the season could bring up conflict, aid in character development, or character history. Include the holidays/traditions, and research what would best fit with your story, setting, and character.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy writing!

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

Write A Friendship

Writing a friendship feels like it should be easy, but it can be deceivingly tricky. Friendships do not always mean the friend agrees with the main character and vice versa. The friend in the story should be their own person, there are always expectations but for the most part- the reader should be able to tell the difference between the main character and the friend.

People can be friends in the purest way, loyalty. However, that is certainly not every case. People are friends for money, for a specific trait the other person possesses, for popularity, for not liking the same people, and the list could go on… The point is not everyone is a friend for the same reason and sometimes it’s not the right reason.

Friendships fall apart, due to relationships with the opposite gender, due to time and distance, due to people changing. Friends fight, have inside jokes, can be themselves when together, they can be best allies and worst critics. Some friendships don’t last because of being toxic for those involved.

While not all friendships are meant to last forever there are some that do. They withstand time, distance, and the disagreements. If you want your main character to have that type of friendship then be sure to include the reasoning that the friendship has flourished and withstood time. Keep in mind not everyone has a best friend of ten years- some have a group of friends but not a best friend.

Friends – important to our writing!

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is a great way to help put words to a page. I encourage any one who wants to write a book to try out NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit organization that sponsors young writers programs such as NaNoWriMo Camp and Come Write In. They send encouraging messages and enable writers to be buddies with other writers. It is a place to receive pep talks from other writers.

The NaNoWriMo website is easy to follow and navigate. They accept donations to keep the website up and running.

The Young Writers Program enables kids and teens to participate in writing a novel. NaNoWriMo Camp occurs in April and July. You, the writer, can set your own word-count goals even if you are not writing a novel, also a virtual cabin exists for group support from others. Come Write In is a program that provides resources to libraries, community centers and bookstores around the world.

Such a great cause!

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

Unbelievable-Not Cool

Believability is important in fiction writing. If it doesn’t feel real then the magic of reading the story can be dulled for the reader. As a writer it is easy to get caught up writing a story filled with turns and plot twists, it is easy to get caught in the far fetched (I am guilty of this but am mindful and working to control it,haha).

There is a balance between grounded and magical and unbelievable and it takes a few rounds of reading and editing for a writer to find the sweet spot. One way for a scene or character to come off as false is to have the tension of the scene at a level 10 but the situation, such as an argument, not serious or relevant to the plot, or seem out of character to argue the circumstance. Sometimes a scene, a character, or a relationship, feels unbelievable because the backstory hasn’t been told to the reader, important details are missing, or the character flaw is too little or too great. Trying to find a character’s voice or the world can be a struggle. After fleshing the characters, a believable story can be achieved.

There should be harmony between the tone, the scene, the setting and the characters, even if a fight exists among the characters. The story should fit together like a puzzle, in a broad sense, not implying the story has to be cookie cutter form.

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

 

 

Hook the Reader

Grabbing the reader’s attention is vital because the introduction allows the reader to get to know the character, the stakes of the story, and hopefully become invested within the first few pages. Your story can’t talk, and tell the reader, “Hey read on ,because on page 93 Jill dies and Moe finds out he has a half-brother.” The reader isn’t going to want to wait until half way through the story for the action to start, so be sure to create a good back story and set up, relatively early.

When setting up the story there must be a need to keep reading , build tension, give clues, etc. Building tension means leading to a climax in the story, which should not be summarized in two paragraphs and then onto the next plot point in the story. Take the reader on a journey, set the hook, reel them in with detail and suspense, then present the climax, the resolution( which doesn’t always mean a happy ending and everything tied in a nice bow) and the ending.This journey starts with a sentence, a sentence that will hook the reader.

Engaging the reader can mean starting in the middle of a scene and catching the reader up. Rather than starting with the beginning of the character’s day. Opening with a line like: The lie sprang to my mind as if it were divine inspiration given to me to use by fate. And who could say no fate… This will get the reader asking question like what are they lying about and to whom?

Happy Writing!

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

Cheers!

A big part of writing is the people you meet along the way, family, friends, other writers, editors, agents and etc… Be sure to thank and appreciate them. Support is great to have while on a writing journey. Do not take for granted the people who cheer you on.

Praise and Criticism both are wonderful (as weird as that sounds)! Praise can help build confidence while criticism can help with growth and exploration of new and different ideas. Everyone has a different story to tell. Even if ten people wrote about the same topic, the stories would be completely different.

As a writer, meeting and networking with other writers is amazing. Personally, I love talking to other writers about writing. Writing is not only about getting support but giving support.

Be happy and excited for other writers! The world will always want books and stories. So cheers writers!

Kinda right, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

Death by Description: Setting the Scene

Description of setting, characters, and back-story, all while watching tone and language to fit the story, is difficult,especially in the beginning. Although the beginning needs to set up the story be careful not to do an information dump on the reader.

When describing the scene there exists a tendency to either barely include a sentence or elaborate for five paragraphs. A balance must be found in order to grab the reader’s attention while making them feel like they are within the story and know the lay of the land. The perfect amount of description can take several edits to accomplish.

Too little or too much description can result in dire consequences. ‘Setting the scene’ with too much description can lead to filled pages that don’t drive your story forward which will lose the reader’s attention. On the other hand, a vague description to set the scene can leave the reader confused and not invested in the story.

Finding that happy medium means giving the reader adequate details yet leaving out a description for everything – let the reader’s imagination finish the picture because they will feel invested in the characters and the places in your story. Give the readers wings to be transported into your story but let them roam to create their own unique attachment and description.

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird

 

 

 

What’s the weather?

With Fall and pumpkin spice upon us, now is the perfect time to bring up weather and writing. The weather can be utilized in a variety of ways for story and plot purposes. Some examples would be:

  • The sunshine in a character’s eye, blinding them from seeing something or someone important.
  • Snow or ice means bad roads, car accidents,  and school cancellation.
  • The wind blows papers or wind blinding a character with a wall of their own hair in their face.
  • Wind mixed with  snow or wet leaves during the fall can be a dangerous mixture on the roads.

Adding in little details about the weather or incorporating the  weather (depending on your story) helps create a sense of authenticity because readers can relate to being blinded by the sun or their mixed emotions on snow. The feeling of weather doesn’t need a paragraph decimated to it but sprinkled throughout the story can help.

So don’t over look the weather, rain or sun…

Kinda write, kinda wrong, kinda reckless,

-J.R. Baird