Writing Rituals: It’s Not All Hocus Pocus

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The Sanderson sisters from “Hocus Pocus” were expertly hilarious witches. Photo credit: cinemablend.com

Let’s face it, we all wanted to be a Sanderson sister. The hair. The dresses. The magic. I mean, is there really a downside? Other than wanting to steal the lives of children for eternal youth, I mean. But that’s such a minor thing really.

But let me clue you in: we are all Sanderson sisters. Not so much in looks, no, but in other ways. We make magic of our own, bringing to life worlds that didn’t previously exist. We run ‘amuck!’ trying to make sense of the crazy characters and plots that live inside our heads. We have rituals of our own. We are writers.

Wait, back up, writing rituals? Yes, absolutely. And if you think you don’t have a writing ritual, check again. And then, if you really don’t have one, you need one, because you’re seriously missing out.  Continue reading

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Finished First Drafts and What Comes Next

Guys, I just finished the first draft of my novel!

How finishing a first draft feels! Photo credit: cdn.stepfeed.com

And believe me, I’m totally psyched. I actually got super excited as soon as I finished late last night, so my mom and I celebrated by busting out some sparkling grape juice and toasting to both finished novels and the Fourth of July. Wooh!

It’s kind of weird though. I’ve spent many many hours on this draft just trying to get to the end of my outline. Now that I have, I woke up this morning feeling a bit lost. I couldn’t look forward to working on my novel this afternoon because I’d already finished it.

Of course, I knew I had smaller projects I wanted to work on, such as dedicating more time to this blog and my other social media accounts. But it still left the question of what now? What do I do with my first draft now that I’ve finished it? Continue reading

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Stop Making Excuses and Start Writing!

Why making consecutive excuses why you shouldn't write is a bad idea. Photo credit: vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

Why making excuses why you shouldn’t write is a bad idea. Photo credit: vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

Time for some blunt honesty, people. I’ve been on hiatus for months. Not just on here, but with my writing too. In fact, my writing had been in this state of suffering and neglect since before I started The Cozy Quill.

I could say that life got in the way. That I was busy. That I didn’t have time. There are so many ways to say that same excuse. But, newsflash, it’s a trap!

I thought all the excuses I was giving myself were legitimate. I was in the middle of a hectic semester at school. I really thought I didn’t have time. But, I knew deep down that this was a lie. Even 10 minutes is enough downtime to write. I had that, and I knew I did. Yet, I continued making excuses that did nothing except make me feel miserable and guilty that I wasn’t writing. I did nothing about it. The excuses kept coming. Until now. Continue reading

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Mythological Monday: Centaurs

Centaurs are known for their archery skills. Photo credit: deviantart.net

Originating in Greek mythology, the centaur is a seemingly familiar creature. At one point or another, we have all likely encountered this creature in some type of media. They are exceedingly prominent as good guy characters, which may be credited to the centaur Chiron in Greek myth that trained many heroes/demigods. This is somewhat of a misrepresentation because the centaurs of Greek stories were wild, angry beings who did not like humans. Chiron was the exception.

Basic characteristics:

  • Upper half is a man’s torso (chest, arms, and head); lower half is a horse
  • Skilled archers
  • Live in herds

Centaurs are very formulaic in their makeup. They all have the same physical structure of being half-man and half-horse. However, like all characters, they are individuals. Yet they typically work in a herd, in which case one might have to factor in mob mentality. There are a lot of different directions to take this group dynamic and make it your own within your story. Continue reading

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Plots & Thoughts Thursday: Essence

Essence by Mandi Lynn. Photo credit: goodreads.com

Essence by Mandi Lynn tells the story of a teenage girl who moves to a new town and finds herself strangely drawn to the forest behind her house. Through mysterious events surrounding the woods, the main character, Emma, discovers a secret about her birth. When she is captured by her fate, she must learn how to survive in her new life. But leaving her old life behind may be more difficult.

This is a different type of read for me. I picked up this book for Kindle because the author is a young woman my age that does writing advise videos on her YouTube channel. I originally watched many of her videos and then learned she had self-published her first novel recently at the time. By then, I had grown to love her writing videos and was genuinely interested in supporting her and seeing how the book was. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: November’s Over, Now What?

November is over; let’s sleep. Photo credit: fanpop.com

November has come and gone, which means another NaNoWriMo has ended. Now, it is the Christmas season, and we are moving on from our fast-paced writing sessions of trying to reach the daily word count.

But, hold on. If November’s over, then now what? Well, the most important thing that you recognize is that regardless of whether you hit your writing goal or not, you are still a winner. If you wrote anything toward your novel, you are a winner because you have more than you did at the beginning of the month. Any work accomplished toward your novel is progress, which means you’re one step closer to having it finished. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: Week 4 – Approaching the Finish Line

That’s right. You. Got. This. Photo credit: studiomothers.com

November has just flown by. I have no idea what I’ve spent all month doing really except trying to catch up on sleep. I’m guessing most of us feel that way though.

Now, it’s the final week of NaNoWriMo. For some of us, this means juggling both Thanksgiving and the final days of NaNo. Depending on how hectic your Turkey Day schedule looks, you may be feeling wary about how this week will pan out. But never fear! Thanksgiving is the best opportunity for last-minute word sprints to the finish line. 

Why? Because it’s crunch-time. The deadline of November 30 is fast-approaching. If you are determined to finish, you will make the time around all the relatives, meals, and sleeping from an overdose of yummy turkey. Continue reading

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Mythological Monday: Banshees

Banshees are known for their piercing screams. Photo credit: underworldtales.com

Often underrated and lumped in with the ghost category is the loud and frightening banshee of Irish mythology. They are not seen as a mainstream creature, but are a particularly terrifying creature when examined.

Several distinct and defining characteristics: 

  • supernatural spirit
  • beautiful woman OR hideous hag; always female
  • predicts death in the family they are attached to by mourning the soon-to-be-deceased
  • loud and chilling wails

Seeing as there are not many well-known examples of the banshee in literature or movies, these characteristics are very much the same as those found in Irish mythology. Unlike vampires or werewolves, banshees have not been repeatedly adapted; their makeup is pretty clear cut. Continue reading

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Plots & Thoughts Thursday: Matched

Matched by Ally Condie. Photo credit: crackingthecover.com

Matched by Ally Condie centers on a romance in a dystopian society. At a certain age, all the boys and girls born during a certain time frame will receive their matches. These are, according to the government, the most suitable marriage candidates for each person. There is only one match per person and there is no diversion from your chosen path. That is until Cassia is matched with two boys. They say it’s a glitch, but she starts to think otherwise as she finds herself in the middle of a tug-of-war for her heart. On one hand, she can have her best friend she’s known all her life. But on the other is the mysterious, sensitive bad boy. But, really, Cassia isn’t sure she has a choice in the end.

I read this book a few months ago, back when I was at the very end of my dystopian phase. The theme of a controlling government was starting to burn out on me, so I’ll admit I don’t think I enjoyed this book as much as I could have. However, like any book, it did have its benefits along with its flaws. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: Week 3 – Reaching The Summit

climbing-mountain-2ndskiesforex

Keep writing, you’re almost there! Photo credit: 2ndskiesforex.com

Happy third week of NaNoWriMo! We have just passed the halfway mark, which means you should be hiking up the final stretch of your mountain.

Hang on, ‘final stretch’? Yes, because I mean it’s the final stretch before you reach the climax of your story. By now, you’ve set up your characters, setting, plot, and more in Week 1 and built the rising action in Week 2. Now, it’s Week 3, which calls for the climax. Now is when you take that rising action and put a cherry on top by making it culminate in an event from which there is no turning back.  Continue reading

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