5 Writer’s Tips For Renovating, Flipping And Reintroducing Written Realities

 

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As writers we create reality. If you don’t believe me, then welcome to the wonderful world of writing. I don’t have enough time in this post to break out the science, but let’s sum it up so we can move on. Perception is reality. Reality is literally made up by the building blocks of your own imagination and the raw data that your senses feed your brain.

Reality is relative—or I should say, relatively based off of our perception of it. And our perception of reality is formed by what our senses tell us is real; the education we’re brought up with, our passions (both love and hate), all the data we receive, and how we process it into the space around us. These are the most valuable tools we as writers have. Understanding how to use these perception molding tools will make us better storytellers; the worlds we create becoming truly real in the minds of those experiencing it.

We give people what they want and need the most—outside of love, food, and companionship; although, the companionship part is up for up for debate. What we give people are new realities to experience. We give them vacations, adventures, and moments. Best of all, we give them a safe place to escape into—even if the place they desire to escape to is a world of horror, dark science fiction, mystery, or fantasy.

Dreaming up a story idea is only a fraction of the craft of creating a story. Molding the idea you dreamed up, into a believable literary work—a living, breathing, magical portal into another world—is a process to be taken seriously. We are, after all, literary architects.

Here’s 5 Tips For Renovating, Flipping And Reintroducing Written Realities

1 Discover What Moves You

I’ve mentioned this many times, but for different reasons. This time I mean it quite literally. What moves you to feel joy, peace, excitement, fear, hate, embarrassment, longing, desire, emptiness, loneliness, hopelessness, love or lust?

Think about each of these and write down the sounds, aromas, food and drinks, textures, places, and objects that stir up each of these emotions.

Example:

Here’s a few from my own list of emotions and things that stir them.

Emotion Word Associated Reason
Fear Broken Locks / Lack of security.
Peace Coffee / Books / Silence / Harmonies Just things that have always brought me peace. Warm silence, like in summer or in winter under a blanket with a book and coffee.
Loneliness Grey / Maze / Silence Maze: Always walking and never finding a way out.
Joy Laughter / Melons / Frozen Grapes Eating watermelon with my Dad when I was young. Frozen grapes and melon chunks on hot summer days.
Embarrassment Naked / Forgetting Shorts coming off in pool and lake and others seeing me naked.
Disgust Food Grease / Aroma of Body Odor Seeing cook at fast food put gross stuff in peoples hamburgers. Scraping thick grease from oven, range hood, deep fryer.
Anger Tomatoes / Children w/snotty faces I was punished as a boy by being made to eat tomatoes. Parents neglecting their own children.
Freedom Ocean / Blue / Sushi / Short stories & Poetry I grew up around the ocean. She is like a mother to me; and mother that I could always count on being there. Blue reminds me of the ocean water, and also the ocean sky.
Claustrophobic Crowds / White / Disorder / Dirty I can’t think when things are dirty; when there’s trash piles, and also when I’m blind in the day and can see that there’s no foreseeable boundaries. When there’s so many people I can’t see what’s happening about me.

2 Landscaping

Your character’s yard tells a lot about them. You think I’m kidding, but you’d be surprised by how the details of a well kept or under kept yard can help solidify the reality you’re trying make authentic. I like to look sites like this landscaping site I found, check out the innovative and creative ways people invest into their yards. Of course, there are also many character types that could not afford great yard maintenance, and other who do not care about the state of their yard of what anyone else thinks, either.

3 Ideas From Painting Projects

Sometimes your work is really good, but when you read it, you get the feeling that something isn’t quite right. What is it exactly? You’re not sure. Something about it just doesn’t feel quite authentic enough to believe—like those crappy films you paid to see recently.

Maybe your world doesn’t need a complete overhaul; maybe your world needs a paint job. Sound silly? Try it. See how different colors can change your emotional connections; get ideas from places like http://airdriepaintanddecor.com and Lowes. Look at photos of trending in-house paint projects, especially before and after photos. Now figure out what locations in the world around you makes you feel as those certain colors do.

Examples:

  • Are happy moments (reuniting lovers, marriage proposals, birthday celebrations etc.,) happening in places that are either too dark.
  • Are dark moments, or terrifying events taking place at times when those kind of events never happen?
  • Is your psychological thriller trying to give birth to its climactic scene in the middle of the day, at a busy park, or in some place that doesn’t inspire any kind of suspense? Well it can work, you’re just making it really hard on yourself.

Red, yellow, gold, silver, green, blue, pink, purple, white, gray, black, brown, teal, maroon, periwinkle. How do these colors make you feel? Use them in your world, associating them with the emotions that they stir up.

4 Born Again Basements

Sometimes the scene doesn’t connect because the room doesn’t make any sense. Think about where your character is (if it’s not there own place) and who or what normally occupies the space. I’m a writer so I require an office, a desk, computer, research tools—things that make sense for me to have.

Maybe you need to do a bit more than painting. Maybe adding furniture, getting rid of furniture; adding items: dry bar, cigar humidor, book shelves, flat screen TV, pool table, medieval torture antiques collection, etc. It’s about making a place reflect the character of the one who occupies it. Sometimes it only takes a little cosmetic changes like I found in some of the basement renovations at http://empirerenos.ca ; other times it’s bigger things that need to be better thought through.

  • Is your junkie living in a multi-million dollar home or driving a Porsche? He shouldn’t be.
  • Is protagonist whose suffering OCD unable to find her car keys when the intruder breaks into her house? She’s OCD—she’s that last person who’d misplace anything; especially when it’s that important.
  • Your gadget geek doesn’t have a big screen—or better yet, his wifi doesn’t work? Really? Do you even know any gadget geeks? They may run out of enough groceries to cook a full meal, but they’d starve before they’d allow their wifi connection to break down.

5 Look At Flipped Houses

Have you ever got in one of those home-makeover-nonstop-Hulu binges? Yes you have—it’s just me here—you can be honest. I consider myself quite a manly-man, and I have even been sucked-in by its mysterious tractor beam. Why? Why—if you’re like me and don’t even like thinking about home renovations—do we get so fascinated with those shows? I think part of it has to do with amazing transformations that occur.

Shows like ‘Flip This House,’ ‘House Hunters,’ and ‘Fixer Upper,’ show us the magic that can be re-discovered upon an already existing foundation and framework. Buildings that almost no one would be interested in are stripped out and turned into dream homes.

Sometimes your story’s framework (or the bones) are completely useable; however, the problem is that there’s cracks in the walls, the plumbing or electricity doesn’t work, the house is dated or not up to code. It’d be safer if no one ever entered your story—with all the problems it has—if you had you never written it. But you are a writer, or aspiring to be one, and that means you must write.

Instead of tossing your story, why not flip it.

  • Break it down completely, back to its original idea or concept.
  • Brain storm with your original idea
  • Ask a lot of new “What If” & “Why” questions.
  • Make sure everything makes sense.
  • Remember that your final story is a product of many re-writes.

Make Them Believers

If you are going to write a story, do it right. If you put all the elements in the right places and ask yourself along the way, “Does this make sense?” you’ll find capture a greater audience. If you read it aloud when you finish each chapter to make certain that it flows off your lips smoothly it’ll be easier to read. And if your characters, places, interactions, occupations, timings, and seasons are written well and connected with the right associated emotions in mind, you’ll discover a new world of literary breath that will breathe the life needed to set your realities free and make your stories come to life.

There are lessons all around us, in everyday life, that can teach us a lot about become better writers, if we can make ourselves stop pay attention to what is really occupying the space around us.

Cheers to you, writers!

Keep writing and submitting.

-SamtheWriter

www.SamTheWriter.com

@SamuelWConnelly

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5 Ways To Create Even More Traffic To Your Blog or Website

 

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When you make money through your posts, have a syndicated blog, offer services, are selling a book–all of the above–or have any other reason to need to draw people to your website, you want to use as many avenues for creating traffic back to your site as possible.

5 Ways to Create Traffic to Your Blog or Website.

1. SEO

It’s not as hard and complicated as it may seem. There are a ton of businesses and individuals out there that are spending a pretty penny for someone else to writing SEO content for their sites. Most of them even know what they want to say, and how they want to say it—they’re just intimidated by all the technical talk about SEO. Without all the jargon and tech talk here’s the things you need to know to publish an article or post using SEO:

  1. You need a Key WORD or up to 5 words ( I like to stay with 3 Key words): What is your article about?

  2. Make sure that you can fit most of your Keywords into a compelling title or headline

  3. Break your longer articles up with subtitles or sub headers and use the keywords in those sub headers.

  4. Try to incorporate your Keywords into the content of your article at least 5 times per word.

  5. If you have pictures or videos, tag them with your keywords. If you’re able to, apply tags on your article, like when tagging in WordPress or Blogger.

EXAMPLE

Subject or Client: Umm, let’s say… http://AndroidTvBoxesCanada.com/

Key Words: AndroidTVBoxes, Canada Business, Google TV,

Title: AndriodTVBoxes: The Canada Business Rocking Google TV.

Sub-Headers: (a) AndroidTVBoxes: Why the Rage? (b) The Canada Business Blowing Up AndroidTVBoxes. (c) Doing Google TV…Like a Canadian.  

Tags / HashTags: #GoogleTV #AndroidTvBoxes #CanadaBusiness #Android

2. Invite Guest Bloggers

Both being a guest blogger for another site and inviting guest bloggers to your site are a great way to connect with new groups of people that will find your website interesting and possibly just what they were looking for.

3. Domain Masks

I enjoy the use of Masks, there’s just so much you can do with them. So you have a website: SamTheWriter.com and you have a few other business or writing interests like (we’ll stick with me for the example): Short Fiction, Poetry, Writer’s Helps, Seminars…

With a mask, I can purchase domains names like: ‘Amazing Poetry.com’ , ‘Really Freakin Awesome Short Stories.com’ , ‘International Writers Seminars.com’ , or ‘The Internets Best Help for Writers.com.’ This way when someone search Google with any of these search phrases they get my website…which is actually all leading back to SamTheWriter.com). Although I haven’t actually done this on my site.

Here’s an actual example:

Clay’s Lawn & Snow INC. is the main site. However when the winter hits and you need snow removed quickly you can make that happen by contacting Clay at http://snowremovalfast.ca/. Then when the winter is over and you need sod installed, Clay is the man again at http://bluegrasssodinstalled.ca but when you follow either link you’ll noticed that the sites are branded: Clay’s Lawn & Snow INC. Clay figured out that it was easier for people to find him if he made searching for him easier…like specific in-season sites.

4. Create Lists

By turning your blog, newsletter, highlights, etc., into a list of 5 or 10 (sometimes more, depending on your reliable content and the popularity of the list), you can draw a lot more traffic to your site. Look around online, in magazines, even newspapers—people like lists. fast content, organized content, laid out in numerical order.

EXAMPLE:

5 Tips For Traveling to Paris for Free

10 People who Became Accidental Billionaires

10 Companies You really Want To Give Your Money To

5 Movies That Screwed The Whole World Up

5 Companies That’ll Pay $50., For Your Recorded Farts, For New iPad Apps

5 Links ABOVE That You Know You Tried to Look Up — ha ha ha whatever you know you did.

5. Internal Linking

As you put more content on your website or blogs, link what you can internally. It not only makes it easier for search engines to find and point searchers in your direction, but it shows readers that you are a real resource, with real content, and possibly an expert in your area of interest.   

If you have any great tips, ideas, or have a great site or blog you’d like me to share please email me at Sam@SamTheWriter.com

Cheers to you Writers!

-Sam

SamTheWriter.com

@SamuelWConnelly

10 Writing Tips to Help You Kick Off Your 2015, w/ Advise from Bradbury & Baker

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“I make my films because I have to! I have stories I have to tell and I won’t be satisfied until my movie is done, and out.”  

– Kelley Baker

“...writing is survival. Any art, and good work, of course, is that. Not to write, for many of us, is to die.” – Ray Bradbury

Ok so we’re already seven days into 2015 and between your routines of trying to lose 25 pounds, attempting to stay warm, creating a new habit of writing ‘2015’ on your checks and homework (because you really didn’t even get use to writing ‘2014’), and already making amendments to your ‘new year resolution daily planner’, you’re a writer and you’ve determined to be that. So I want to offer you a few tips to help kick your new year into full gear.

Let’s face it, the beginning of the year is one of the best times to kick yourself into gear and start training yourself to cultivate new and better habits. Why? Because our minds are already in this ‘new year, new me, new life, new choices’ kinda thinking. Why not use the time to examine ourselves: get rid of old habits that are not working and start some new ones that just might.

With ‘new year habits’ in mind, I’m going to break this list into 10 habits: 1 – 5 are HABITS TO STOP and  6 -10 are HABITS TO START, maintain or re-cultivate.

I enlisted two amazing experts to help with these 10 Tips: The legendary Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing’, and The Angry Filmmaker, Mr. Kelley Baker,The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide, Part 1: Making The Extreme No-Budget Film.’

This is a longer post than usual so lets jump right in…

Tip 1: NO EXCUSES

“I never waste my time lecturing people who claim they ‘used to write.’ You either write or you don’t”. – Kelley Baker

Truth is truth: To be a writer you have to write. No more excuses for not writing. It takes work to sit down, and writing is not for everyone. It’s for writers. If you’re not a writer and won’t find time to write, then stop telling people that you’re a writer. If you are a writer, then by nature you must write. You have to make it happen. As the old saying goes: ‘Where there’s a will there a way’. Find it.

Tip 2: NO DISTRACTIONS

To be a writer you have to write. You cannot write if you’re allowing yourself to be distracted. Netflix is one of my big distractions. I love having sound in the background as I write so, I turn on some movie to play and before I know it I’m fully enthralled in the show, having wasted all my writing time. I had to realize the problem and put a stop to it. Now I turn on Pandora, the music works to my creative advantage.   

What distracts you? Is it music, friends, your local coffeehouse, social media — do you have to check your Facebook and Twitter feed every hour? Social media can be great but they’ve been the reason many writers never finish their WIP (Work In Progress). Many writers let their ideas waste away in their minds, or leave them locked away in a first draft in some desk drawer or filing cabinet  for years, because they allow distractions to take all their time. It’s time to turn the TV, radio, social notifications and text messaging OFF. And WRITE.

Tip 3: NO FIRST DRAFT EDITS

This is a really hard rule to follow, but it’s important. Allowing yourself to look at the screen and see the red underlining from autocorrect will not only slow you down but it becomes a serious distraction that’ll pull you out of your creative flow; this is the most important element to capture in your first draft. Creative flow: Passion, and firestorms, and literary hurricanes. The first draft is for explosions.

Ray puts it like this:

“Tomorrow, pour cold critical water upon the simmering coals. Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today–explode –fly apart– disintegrate! the other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, reading your story, will catch fire too?”

Tip 4: DON’T WRITE WITH PUBLICATION IN MIND

To be a writer you have to write. Putting this limitation on yourself is a sure fire way to extinguish the creative passion-flames that your Muse desires to help you consume those blank white pages with. The biggest ball and chain we writers weigh ourselves down with is writing for publication alone. Not only is it impossible to stay on top of what sells today, but writing for publication alone keeps you from exploring what’s in you, what you have gathered over your life; trading it for a short-lived space on the ‘Today’s Trending Reads’ shelf. Which is nearly impossible to get on anyways. Don’t sell yourself short by writing only to sell.

“Do not, for money, turn away from all the stuff you have collected in a lifetime. Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are — the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore indispensable to others.” – Ray Bradbury

“I don’t believe you write something because you know that it has been tested and it will appeal to a certain group. I know, I am in the minority here. But if you’re going to go to all the trouble to create a story, write it, and rewrite it, again and again, then you should be passionate about it! Don’t do it because of a marketing survey!” – Kelley Baker

I don’t know about you, but if being in the minority puts me in the company of guys like Ray and Kelley, the minority sounds like a pretty freakin awesome place to be. Count me in!

Tip 5: TALKING ABOUT IT ISN’T WRITING

To be a writer you have to write. It’s way too easy to get caught in a coffeehouse or Barnes & Noble sipping on coffee with your laptop or ipad in front of you with the best ‘intentions’, but lets be honest: how many times do you end up hooking up with friends and telling them about what you’re gonna write, and by the time you leave the place, you had a great chat with your friend and not a paragraph to show for it?

I’ve been caught in this situation too many times and, I just about fell out of my chair when Kelley basically called me out — from his book — while in my favorite coffeehouse trying to write, read, and chat it up. Multitasking has NO PLACE at the writer’s first draft desk. Here’s the words the Angry Filmmaker used to pimp-smack me straight out of his book;  

“Talking about your great script idea is not going to get it written. You can sit in all the coffee shops and cafes you want and tell everyone about your movie, but until you sit down and write it, your idea doesn’t mean squat. You’re a poser.”

Tip 6: READ TONS

If you hate to read you’ll never be an effective writer. We learn our craft, learn about ourselves, learn writing styles, and learn the meaning of literary flow, or as I call it ‘read-ability’, as we glean from those who have paved the literary pathways before us with the yellow-brick-road of a billion stories, upon which we travel.

“Books! that’s what I’m afraid you’re going to have to start reading. that’s right, books. They’re not evil, and they won’t bite. They can actually teach you something. Like storytelling. Storytelling, what a concept…I just don’t get people who don’t like to read.”  – Kelley Baker

Tip 7: WRITE DAILY

To be a writer you have to write. Let’s go back to the Angry Filmmaker, Kelley Baker, for this point because he ‘gets’ it. He not only understands the importance of creating the daily habit as an exercise as Bradbury mentions in the quote below, Baker also shares the simple, practical and effective side of writing daily. Even if that means sitting in front of the computer screen for an hour or writing one page and calling it success.

A screenplay doesn’t write itself. You need to sit down, clear your desk and your mind. Then start writing. It takes commitment. Personally, I make myself sit down every day to write. I psych myself out. I only have to write a single page, then I can stop. And why not? If I just write a page a day, then in less than four months, I have a screenplay. How easy is that? …”

And Baker’s money quote…

“Sitting down to write is not rocket science. If it’s a habit, and you set up the same time every day or every other day to do it, then you feel bad when you don’t. So you do it. Simple, right? Make writing a habit!”

Bradbury reminds us of how important this daily habit is as well,

“The smallest effort to win means, at the end of each day, a sort of victory. Remember that pianist who said that if he did not practice every day he would notice, if he did not practice for two days, the critics would would, after three days, his audience would know.”

Tip 8: WRITE FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, YOUR SANITY

I’ll let Ray take this one…

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you…The horrors are not to be denied. In my own circle , an aunt, and uncle, and a cousin, as well as six friends, have been destroyed by the car. The list is endless and crushing if we do not creatively oppose it. Which means writing as cure. Not completely, of course. You never get over your parents in the hospital or your best love in the grave. I won’t won’t use the word “therapy,” it’s too clean, too sterile a word. I only say when death slows others, you must leap to set up your diving board and dive head first into your typewriter.”  

Tip 9: The Angry Filmmaker’s ‘3-Easy-Steps for Writing a Screenplay’

I hate giving away too much, but I believe that the Angry Filmmaker wouldn’t mind me sharing his  ‘3-Easy-Steps for Writing a Screenplay’ and they are brilliant. Perfect for ALL writers of ALL experience levels.

Step 1. Put Your Butt In The Chair!

Step 2. Put Your Butt In The Chair!

Step 3. Put Your Butt In The Chair!

[ NOTE: These 3-Steps are from ‘The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Chapter 2 ‘Scripting, Scripting, and more Scripting’. This is one of the highest recommended reads I could ever encourage any writer to eat up. It’s a 6-course steak dinner. Get it, read it, devour it, read it again. Then repeat the process until it’s apart of you.]   

Tip 10: WRITE BECAUSE YOU MUST

To be a writer you have to write.

“I make my films because I have to! I have stories I have to tell and I won’t be satisfied until my movie is done, and out.”  – Kelley Baker

“…writing is survival. Any art, and good work, of course, is that. Not to write, for many of us, is to die.” – Ray Bradbury

Final Thought:

I plan to go for the Gusto in 2015. Hold nothing back. Give my best. Write more than ever before. Get to know myself better. Write never before ‘as a man on fire’. I want to encourage you to do the same. If you’re a writer, WRITE! Examine yourself and discover those habits that hold you back as well as those habits you want to maintain and cultivate. Begin new habits. Find time to be productive, to cultivate YOU the Writer!

-Cheers

SamTheWriter

Featured Quotes:

This post’s featured quotes come from books by Ray Bradbury and Kelley Baker. Both books mentioned below I highly recommend. If I had the money I would honestly buy a copy for anyone seeking to be a better writer. There’s thousands of books out there that are marketed as ‘Writer Help Resources’ that end up being a watered down writer’s devotional, but no meat, no practical application advice.

Bradbury’s ‘Zen in the Art of Writing’ is full of amazing essays that truly get you into the mind of one of the greatest writers to ever live. Get a copy at Amazon.

Baker’s ‘The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guides Parts 1 & 2‘ are exactly what they’re branded: survival guides. In my opinion these guides are ‘The Survival Guides’ and could honestly replace almost every ‘Writer’s Help’ book in my library — had I known when they were first published I would have saved hundreds of dollars.

Get your copies NOW at the AngryFilmmaker.com. Let him know that SamTheWriter recommended you.

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