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How to Write Rich and Vivid Settings

The setting of your novel is just as important as character development and dialogue. It needs to accurately reflect the period or define the world-building making it as vibrating and sensory as possible. It’s much more than painting a picture, its a fine art of evoking the five senses to bring the story alive, immersing the reader into the world you’ve created.

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Whilst it’s tempting to fill your pages with purple prose and lengthy descriptions, be mindful that those approaches tend to bog a story down. Foreshadowing is a great tool that allows the writer to drip feed upcoming events; a carefully placed dagger might elude to a murder or a broken lock might reveal how a derelict house is broken into. However, relevance is vital, if that dagger isn’t going to be used to drive the plot forward don’t use it for the sake of embellishing a scene. Aside from the odd red herring to mislead your reader, everything should have a purpose, even if it is only to show how affluent your character is or to reveal aspects of their personality.

To help develop the story and anchor the reader, include details such as the time of day, weather, place, or season. For example: An apple tree in early bloom would hint at spring. Some of the specifics could be done through character description and clothing, but others can be hinted at while your character moves through the setting. Instead show the streetlamps flaring to life as the sun dips below the high-rise buildings. Perhaps car lights reflect off of the slick tarmac to reveal a rainy night.

Another great writing technique is to add symbolism, we see symbols every day and take them for granted: A heart means love. Red signals passion or anger. And even names and places can have a meaning behind them. We can go further using similes, such as, as brave as a lion. Or by using metaphors: Imagine a character returning home to take care of an elderly parent, to find their childhood farm in a run-down dilapidated condition, much like the health of their loved one.

Use the landscape or worldbuilding as an obstacle for your character to overcome. An anxious character might fear large cities full of people. What would happen if he had to travel to a big city to meet with his dream agent? OK, so that’s one of my potential obstacles, but you can start to understand how facing that fear would be a great challenge.

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Lastly, let’s not forget the advantages the five senses play when crafting a novel. They can be used to foreshadow, show the passing of time, reveal landscapes that build plot and play with symbolism. But never underestimate the importance of evoking emotions in your readers, all of which can be done by arousing the five senses as the character’s move through the story.

 

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

What technique do you need to work on? And which is your preferred method of evoking emotions in your reader? Please comment, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.
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How to Create Believable Villians.

Antagonist forces are paramount to a story and while they can sometimes be represented by a theme, such as, prejudice or oppression. Or even an internal struggle, such as, mental health or limiting paradigms , they are usually represented in the form of a person.

So how do we stop this character from becoming a one-dimensional caricature representation?

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The best tip for any writer learning their craft is to read, read a bit more, and then keep reading. Study how these villains have been created; what works, what doesn’t and what you in turn would do. Another great research tool, is to study villains in movies and TV shows. Remember, inspiration comes from many sources. For more tips on finding inspiration why not click the link and check out my previous post?

First of all, remember that every single character in your story believes they are the hero. Yes, even the bad ones.

Just as your protagonist has goals, hopes and dreams, so does the antagonist. To create conflict, the villain and hero will challenge each other, doing anything in their power to stop the other from gaining their goal, because it will usually block their own journey. Play on this, use it to your advantage, imagine the villain and hero are magnetised polar opposites, doing everything in their power to repel the other whilst being constantly bonded together.

Interconnect both of Goal-Conflict-Stakes journey for maximum effect.

Whether a person is good or bad they will have a set of core values. Keep them authentic by sticking to those rules.

Villains need positive traits, just as hero’s need negative traits, it’s what makes them appear human.

Allow readers to empathise with the villain, even if they disagree. Envisage their full story, their journey and ask:

• What or who do they love?
• What are their struggles?
• What happened to them to make them behave in such a way?

Don’t fall into the trap of creating a villain that’s a psychopath or has a borderline personality disorder. This is stereotyping and, in my opinion, does more harm by labelling people struggling with such disorders as evil or somehow less than others.

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Show the reader that your antagonist wasn’t always bad. Perhaps personality faults, environmental circumstances or both drove them into the villain they are today. A three-dimensional villain is never cruel, manipulative and destructive just for effect, there’s a reason behind it, so allow the reader to explore this.

Describe your villain. Not only what their physical features are like, but show any ticks or traits they might have. What manner do they hold themselves in? What do they wear? Again, don’t be tempted to stereotype; not all villains need a scar, a limp, a black cloak or death mask. In real life they’re often undistinguishable, or perhaps even charismatic.

The villain and the hero mirror each other, through similarities but also through contrast. Thus the villain will expose certain truths about the hero, that they didn’t want to admit. And vice versa, whereas the villain won’t overcome this revelation, the hero will grow and evolve into the saviour. Thus being able to conquer all that was set out before them.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Do you have any tips on how to create believable villains? What do think of my very first Infographic?

Please share your thoughts, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.

Three Tips to Harness your Creativity

Today I want to introduce my 3 tips on how to keep your creativity cup full and overflowing.

We all have divine times where our creativity is bursting into life. Where the sun sparkles, the birds chirp and we become our own version of a Disney character. Filled with the joy of a new quest, the pen becomes an extension of our essence and the words simply flow.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When life has dealt us the short-straw, the world around us dulls to greys, and putting one word in front of the other becomes impossible. Some call it writer’s block, I call it writer’s burnout. The stress and strain of life take its toll. Robbing the very thing that we held most dear:

Our passion. Our creativity. Our art.

Writers harness your creativity

Tip One: Silence that inner critique and keep going despite its cruel taunts. Remember that every artist goes through times of self-doubt, the secret to overcoming them is to reach out to those around you for support. I’m a huge champion of this blogging community, they have become a virtual family, offering words of encouragement from a like-minded perspective. I love you all.

Twitters #writingcommunity is another great resource. For more practical advice on conquering this negative beast; read my post on  Overcoming Self-doubt.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

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Tip Two: Allow yourself time to fuel your Inspiration. There is an abundance of beauty in the world, use everything in your disposal to re-boost your creativity. Books, movies, art, nature or even the hustle and bustle of a busy town. Take nothing for granted. Though every story has been told before, it has never been expressed by you. So feast on the stories surrounding you and then retell the tale.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham

Tip Three: Let’s not forget that without darkness it’s hard to admire the light. Many artists, myself included, struggle with mental health issues. In times like these, be kind to yourself and practice the steps that help you into recovery. Though you won’t appreciate it at the time, our art is often made stronger for our empathy and compassion to the burdens of life. It is the silver lining to a thunderous storm.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Thanks for stopping by.

Do you have a tip on harnessing creativity? Why not share it with me?

You know I love hearing from you.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Copywriting and the Benefits for your Blog

Today we’re going to explore copywriting and how the techniques can benefit bloggers. It’s also a vital skill for all entrepreneurs in any line of business. In a previous post we discovered the advantages of persuasive writing, which has many similarities and should be used in tandem when crafting a descriptive content for the purposes of engaging your audience. Don’t forget to check it out.

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You might be asking – what is copywriting and does it apply to me?

Copywritingcopywriters create fresh written content for advertising, marketing and descriptive texts. Copywriters can write more creative text, like ad jingles, taglines, and other creative copy, or more research-based copy, like a job description on a website.

As a writer, copywriting will become paramount in your marketing. From little social media snippets, to writing an introduction about you or your work, and of course blogging. The aim is to coax your audience into engaging with you, your brand, so that they choose to invest in your product. But also to drive traffic to your site by using some of the tips mentioned below.

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Do your research: Like any good writer knows, research is paramount to your success. You may not need to use every piece of information garnered but you 100% need to know what your promoting. Research, research, research.

Use rich SEO content: Define the keywords relevant to your brand and product and insert them throughout your content. This will encourage your blog post to be picked up by search engines and rank you near the top.

USP – Unique Selling Point: What makes you standout from the crowd, why is your work different from your competitors. I’m sure you’re aware of how hard this is, but it’s a necessary skill to master.

Use your words: Colourful prose and strong verbs are essential when crafting each piece, thankfully, we’re writers and have an advantage – use it. Make it interesting and tell your story.

Use a catchy headline: Remember the 4 U’s, Urgent, Unique, Ultra-specific and Useful. Your goal is to catch the reader attention and hold their interest.

 

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Know your audience: Identify your target audience and work to appeal to them. Give them what they want by painting a vivid picture that satisfies their desire. Learn to speak to your ideal customer.

Be clear and concise: It’s easy to play on words, but sometimes that’s not the best way to hook the reader. Make your language easy to understand, don’t bog the reader down with jargon. Everything you write should have a purpose. Equally make your blog easy to read: utilize the white space, use bullet points and short paragraphs. And never forget the advantage of great imagery.

Focus on the benefits: Your readers want to be emotional invested, so highlight the benefits, not the features. Talk about what you, or your product does not is, and demonstrate this. Make the reader feel like they’re getting something, give them instantaneous gratification. Use persuasive writing to ask questions that encourage the reader to agree.

Back up your claims: Build your credibility with the following:

  • Facts and statistics
  • methodologies
  • testimonials
  • case studies
  • success stories

Include a strong call to action: Take advantage of the opportunity to tell your readers what to do. Call, sign up, buy, register – you’ve gathered their support and interest, now make sure they invest. Successful writers and marketers use the power of three at all times. Don’t be subtle or cleaver, drive your audience to use the CTA in three different places.

Lead with your strongest point: Don’t save the best for last, you want to grab the reader’s attention and keep it. Stress the value of what you’re offering. Let your natural writing voice flow, research indicates that most successful blogs employ a relaxed, personal style.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Thanks for stopping by.

Do you have any tips to share? Have you experimented with copywriting by applying these tips to your business?

If so, have you had any positive results? Please share your experience. You know I love hearing from you.

Until next time, Much Love.

 

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Perseverance in your Dream

There comes a time in everyone’s journey to success where the depths seem too deep, the mountain too high and the dream too far.

It’s easy to talk about goals and accomplishments when were in a positive place, the true test of our resilience happens when we’ve sunk below deck, absorbed the inky ocean colours and turned midnight- blue.

During those harrowing times, self-compassion and self-love sound like fairy-tales, told to wayward travellers who can only ponder at the creatures dwelling below the surface.

girl underwater fantasy magic wrting author Lorraine Ambers
photo credit: Women Underwater via photopin (license)

For my fellow drifters, hang tight and wait for your anchor to be called home. And remember you’re not alone in the world, there are artists and dreamers who have been where you are. The glimmering sun is just beyond the surface, sometimes we need to kick, push against the tide and persevere.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
– John Quincy Adams
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I will leave you with a couple of inspirational quotes and links to my popular posts in the hope that they help keep you afloat.


Remember, it isn’t the dreamers who have good lives – it’s the doers. Remember also what I call the three Ps of success: passion, planning, and perseverance.
– Homer Hickam

How’s your WIP coming along? Share with me your tips for perseverance. You know I love hearing from you. Thanks for stopping by.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Top Tips on How to Write Persuasive Content

A writer’s career is more than sipping tea and typing. It also entails running a savvy business where all the job roles become your responsibility; administrations, planning, marketing, graphic designing, etc.

Today were going to look at persuasive writing and how it benefits entrepreneurs in any line of business.

Perhaps you’re asking; what is this and how does it apply to me? Well…

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Persuasive writing is writing where you try to convince the reader to take a particular issue on a point of voice. Persuasive writing may be designed to convince the reader to take your position on that issue or may be designed to convince the reader to take a certain action.

Whether you’re an indie author or traditional author, persuasive writing will become paramount in your marketing. This will include writing about your brand, when creating blog posts, reviews and even through your online presence.

The aim is to coax your audience into engaging with you and your brand, so that they choose to invest in your product, your book or newsletter. We’re all aware that the hard-sell pushes your potential audience away. Whereas, persuasive techniques will entice your reader towards you desired outcome.

book pen artist writer author Lorraine Ambers fantasy romance novel YA

Here are my top tips to help you craft the perfect piece of persuasion.

Know your target audience: This is the most crucial step; once you’ve identified this, you can tailor your advertisements to encourage that particular demographic.

State your reasons why: Nobody likes being told what to do, so give a reason before asking for a call to action. Show what can you do for them. Your audience wants to know – What’s in it for them? What will they benefit from buying this product?

Be consistent: This helps build integrity.

Use repetition: Spice it up a little and get creative to keep your audience interested. On average, your product will have to be seen by the client seven times before they take notice, from there on your building trust to encourage a purchase.

Use social proof: This is where testimonials, reviews and outside referrals become invaluable assets. Psychologically people tend to take comfort in the tried and tested.

YA fantasy romance Author Lorraine Ambers Desk

Comparisons: Metaphors, similes and analogies are a persuasive writer’s friend. Relating your product in a way  that the reader already accepts as true. Then you’re well on your way to convincing the reader to see things your way. Comparing your novels to similar authors has the instant advantage of drawing in your target audience who already enjoy that genre and style of writing.

Agitate and Solve: A useful persuasion theme is to identify a problem that resonates with your audience. Agitate the issue  before offering your solution which will solve the issue. Remember empathy is powerful here; you want to help the audience because you’ve experienced the problem and now have a solution.

Prognosticate:  This is a persuasion theme that provides your reader with a glimpse at the future. It’s a strategy built on credibility, if you can back up your claims with experience, credentials or a clear grasp of the subject, then this persuasive technique is a sure winner.

Unify your audience: This technique offers group inclusion. The power of knowing your target audience allows you to offer things that will appeal to them, making them feel selectively included, part of a group and offers real value. A newsletter is a perfect example of how authors can embrace their readers.

Be aware of objections: Being capable of presenting all of the pros and confidently navigating away any  potential objections that may arise. Then you’re actively solving problems and intelligently persuading your readers to invest.

Perhaps your character is trying to persuade the reader to agree with his point of view, as done in the Netflix series You. We know Joe’s behaviour is wrong, but through his constant  management of our objections and by justifying his point of view, Joe manages to keep the watcher on side. That is the power of persuasion.

Storytelling: This lies at the heart of persuasion. Passionate writing that allows the reader to independently persuade themselves.  By using all of the strategies available, tell a beautiful and engaging story. Colourful prose and strong verbs are essential when crafting each piece. Thankfully, we’re writers and have an advantage – use it.

Practice makes perfect:  Much like novel writing, all writing form’s need revision and editing to make them shine. Don’t slack on the essentials.


Thanks for stopping by.

I love hearing from you, please comment and let me know if you have any tips on persuasive writing? Have you used it in your stories or marketing techniques?

And more importantly, have you watched You yet? ;0

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Benefits to Joining a Writing Group

There are many positives to being a writer. It’s a journey of discovery, evolving creatively and building a solid sense of self. But as every writer knows, there’s a downside. Mine is isolation resulting in poor mental health. It can feel as though we’re plundering through the dark, searching for a switch that will shine a light upon what we hope is a work of literary art.

So, how do we know when we’re good at our craft? Or when our manuscript is ready for submission? When we need to return for yet another round of edits?

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One of those ways is to work with likeminded individuals, offering critique, being a supportive shoulder to lean on and to congratulate when success beckons.

These are the benefits of a writing group.

There are many varying options: I’ve had great support from my online communities where I’ve found fellow betas readers. There are also Facebook groups and online forums where you can share your work and receive an honest critique.

But if it’s a more personnel touch you’re seeking, then a local writing group is what’s needed. Face to face contact has huge benefits, solving loneliness and can eventually lead to long lasting friendships. These groups tend to meet regularly for a couple of hours.

Creative writing groups are another avenue to meeting fellow writers, but maybe you’re wishing to converse with people already on the publishing route.

Creating a Logline for a Novel, The Perfect Pitch

Maybe there’s nothing like that in your local area. Have you ever considered starting a group yourself?

Here are my top tips to consider when starting out.

Keep it small. You’ll want to devote time to each member, which requires reading through their work and offering feedback. This means keeping your group intimate. You don’t want everyone to become overwhelmed with the amount they have to read and equally you want your readers to offer enough of their attention on your work. I’d suggest six members to allow for adequate attention in the two hour slot.

Be honest. The main goal is to learn and grow. That being said, criticism should be an unbiased feedback that doesn’t result in the writer feeling belittled, stupid or attacked. Be kind and don’t forget to tell them what works.

Don’t take criticism personally. Seeing your work through someone else’s eyes can be difficult, but hopefully you’ll nurture a group where everyone appreciates negative criticism delivered in a gentle way. Support and encouragement are just as important.

Meet regularly. Keep momentum alive. This is your dream and only you can make it happen: work for it.

Are you a member of a writing group? Share your experiences, what did you learn from it. You know I love hearing from you. Thanks for stopping by.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Writers: have faith in your dreams.

We all hold a vision of what our success looks like, that shiny dream that’s so incredibly big and bold, that at times seems unattainable. So how do you maintain the faith when life knocks you off track or your self-doubt kicks in? Well today, I’m going to give you a little pep talk for keeping the spirit of your dreams alive.

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Chase your Dreams

“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.” – Tony Robins

Change that negative story to a positive one.

It’s important to have self-belief and crush any negativity by reading my post on how to eliminate that pesky gremlin: self-doubt.

Remember to appreciate your past accomplishments and celebrate the small steps to success. It takes hard work and determination to make it, with a lot of setbacks along the way. You need the good to smooth out the bad. It’s all about balance…. And a little bit of positivity.

I love using daily affermations to boost my self-esteam like:

I am worthy.

I am a published author.

I am capable of anything.

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Follow your dreams to the ends of the earth

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” – J.P Morgan

And you can look back and see how far you’ve come.

Whilst working towards your dreams, its important to hold the vision, make goals and keep them, plus learn from your mistakes. You can read my post on chasing your dreams for inspiration. Don’t forget that life is all about the journey. Take time to enjoy where you are now, because nothing lasts forever, we are constantly evolving, learning and growing as individuals.

“Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they never quit.” –John Willard Marriott

Never fear failure, it shows your trying.
Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have faith in your dreams? If so, please share them with me. You know I love hearing from you.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

6 Powerful Tips to Keep your Writing Motivation

Writers flourish when our muse is alive. When our words build new worlds, ink flowing, filling up our blank canvas to create a novel. So it’s no surprise that the opposite results in dry spells of writer’s block, self-doubt, and even imposter writer syndrome.

SO! How do we keep those negative things at bay? Fear not, today I’ll share my top Six tips to keep your motivation alive.

book pen artist writer author Lorraine Ambers fantasy romance novel YA

Set Goals.

This is a small promise to yourself that your writing matters. That even in the midst of family gatherings, work commitments, and other priorities, you’ll acknowledge that what you’re working towards matters. Whether that be a daily word target, a weekend venture or the spare 10 minutes to make notes between appointments. Set a goal, stick to it and watch the word count rise.

Novel Story Worldbuilding Fantasy

2. Keep the vision.

The most important aspect of reaching your goals is to envisage the final outcome. How will it feel to finally finish your novel? Who will you celebrate with? What will you treat yourself with? It’s your dream, so make it big, bold and beautiful. And anytime you start to flag, or you’ve skipped too many goal targets, and guilt has taken you by the throat. Allow your mind to wonder, to daydream – and then wipe the slate clean and begin again.

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3. Rally the troops.

Except for the characters that follow us everywhere, writing can be an isolating, lonely business. That’s where we need to branch out and connect with the other elusive, secretive creatures. Thankfully, you can find a few at writing conferences, creative writing classes, and on social media. #WritingCommunity on Twitter is a great place to start, and of course, I give a massive hello and welcome to my beloved blogging community. Life would be pretty dull without you all.

Abstract art - Photo by Art by Lønfeldt from Pexels
Photo by Art by Lønfeldt from Pexels

4. Get creative.

You can’t run out of creativity, but you can get stifled. So remember to stretch your creative wings and take flight to another craft. Colouring, flower arranging or even joining in with your kids at Lego time. I love a bit of block building fun.

It doesn’t have to involve starting a new hobby, there’s a wealth of inspiration all around us. Why not check out my other blog post with 5 Top Tips to Fuel Inspiration.

5. Celebrate the small stuff.

Don’t make my mistake of only celebrating the big stuff. Because usually by the time that rolls around, your sights will be set on the next big thing and you’ve bypassed all of your hard work. Have a cuppa after xxx amount of words. Have lunch with your friends knowing that you’ve written this week’s blog post. Binge watch that Netflix show at the end of the day knowing you’ve earned it. Ok, so you get the point… and yes that’s pretty much how I plan my week.

Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back
Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

6. Self-love.

This is such an important part and often overlooked or hidden in the shadows. But positive mental health can bring a wealth of abundance to our work. Whereas the opposite can often result in a collapse of creativity. Not only is it wise to get some fresh air, eat healthy and hydrate. But self-love for me means listening to my body, slowing down when my illness flares, appreciating the small things and allowing things to unfold in their own time. Even my novels.

Thanks for stopping by to read. I appreciate every single one of you. Tell me what your Top Tip for staying motivated is. You know I love to hear from you.

Until next time, Much Love Xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Are you Stuck in the Middle of Writing a Novel?

Hello, my wonderful writing buddies.

With less than two weeks until the end of NaNo, many of you should be halfway through your first draft. And if you’re anything like me, then you’re also stuck in the middle of your WIP. So today I wanted to show support, offer a little guidance and throw in a couple of great quotes to get us all moving again.

desk writing novel author Lorraine Ambers

Whether you write a detailed outline or dive straight into your new WIP, there is going to come a point at which it’s hard to move forward. Trust me, it’s not unusual, and it’s happened with my first two novels and again with my third. I’ve hit the halfway word count; I know where I’m heading, but something is stopping me from progressing. And yes its procrastination, but it’s more than that, it’s the inner monologue that comes with the writer territory. Well, let’s nip that self-doubt/ critical voice in the bud.

As soon as I stopped over-thinking my process, my infernal internal editor shut up, my characters started talking to me again, and my writing improved vastly. Turned out the very thing I thought was helping me be a good writer was holding me back.
K.M. Weiland – Are You Over-Thinking Your First Draft?

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The best we can do in this situation is to apply self-discipline. Sit down at the laptop – typewriter – notepad – napkin or whatever your preferred method is and begin, keep going and don’t stop. Whatever you need to do… Do it! Research, plot, plan or write. Become your own personal cheerleader. You’ll soon be over the hump.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. –  Ernest Hemingway

And for those of you who are struggling because you’re stressed, under the weather, or have too much on your plate with work and family commitments: I want to tell you that it’s ok to have a duvet day. Our creativity can’t bloom under those pressures. The best thing you can do is practise self-love. Your creativity will thank you for it.

If you are willing to do something that might not work, you’re closer to being an artist. –Seth Godin

I hope I’ve inspired you to keep going. What do you do to get over the writing hurdle? Perhaps your advice will help me, plus you know I love hearing from you.

Until next time, Much Love Xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.