Superhero Hotline is here!

“Lumi, what is Superhero Hotline? I’m sure it’s great, but… it wasn’t in your Writing Goals for 2017 post.”

That’s a great question. Well, for starters, for those who don’t know me, I can be very impulsive. In this past month, I’m sure some of you may remember seeing a post that Shattered Sky was now available to be read. Then I took it down shortly after.

To put it simply, I am a rather impulsive person when it comes to writing. When a great idea comes along, I can’t help but be fixated by it. But sometimes, that idea may not be as great as I originally imagined it to be, which explains what happened to Shattered Sky.

“Then why are you sharing this Superhero Hotline with us? What if it goes away, too?”

Another great question. That’s the thing with writing. Sometimes, you just have to jump in and take a risk to find out if it was worth it. The only things you regret are the things you didn’t do when you had the chance. I’m feeling somewhat confident about this story, too.

So, if you want to give it a chance, click on the cover image below. There are five parts posted so far. It is also told in dialogue story format, so it is a quick (and hopefully enjoyable) read, too.

That’s all from me this time. Hope you all have a wonderful day/night!

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My name is…

Look at the title of this blog post.

Cringe.

Why? Because that is exactly how you do not want to start off your first chapter.

Not unless you want all your readers to run away mid-chapter from your book.

“Um, Lumi. This is a writing guide. I feel so attacked right now.”

Welcome to the real world.

Kidding. Kidding.

Back to the original topic, then.

So, how do you even start the first chapter? Well, there is no formula for writing a great first chapter, but here are some tips that can help guide you in the right direction.

1. Start as close to the ending as possible.

If your story is about a girl that gets kidnapped while she is on vacation, do not make the first chapter about her waking up in the morning and doing her routine. No, you want to start closer than that. Maybe, you write about her packing. Or maybe, you write about her already on the vacation. Just some food for thought. Starting off with an action-filled chapter raises the chance that a potential reader will stick around to read more.

2. Do not, and I repeat do not, stuff information down your reader’s throat.

I mean, sometimes, it can’t be avoided. But if you go on for too many paragraphs about things that have nothing to do with the current action, you need to stop. We get it. You created this fantastical world and now, you want to share every single detail about that. It’s great and all, but just shoving all that down at once will not leave a good impression.

Readers like me sniff out info-dumping chapters and run before it gets too long.

It’s recommended (by me, of course) to slip in tiny pieces of your world development over the span of the book (or books) to keep the reader on their toes. You get to share your wonderful world, and the reader gets to read something that isn’t just an encyclopedia about a made-up world. I mean, if you want, you could write an encyclopedia…

Ahem. Moving on.

3. Take your time when writing out your first chapter.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, you’d be surprised at how many people rush through their first chapter just to get to their second or third or… nth chapter. And because they didn’t develop their plot well enough in the first chapter, the mistakes carry over.

And what do you end up with in the end? A sloppy story riddled with plot holes. Try to be patient, if you can. Writing will get much easier once you have a few chapters written. You’ll also want to make sure your motivations are in the right place, too.

When you write because you love it, your words will glow and your writing will shine brilliantly. People can tell whether or not you actually care. It’s hard to explain how, but once you’ve read/written enough books, you can learn to tell the difference.

On that note, if you plan to share your story on Wattpad, I recommend writing a few chapters ahead of time. This way, if you decide you don’t want to continue writing the story, at least you won’t disappoint readers. Plus, you’ll seem more responsible.

This is the strategy I’m taking with my future novels. It also gives you a good buffer room if you forget to write a chapter one week. If you plan to post only once a week, imagine how long 5 chapters would last you. 10 chapters. 20 chapters. Or even 30 chapters.

You’ll be on track to complete the book. And for those who have not yet completed a book, this can be very reassuring and good news. This has gotten way off track, so I’ll start wrapping it up. If anyone wants personal writing advice, don’t be afraid to reach out!

Just leave a comment or contact me through my contact page. I’ll be happy to talk to you about your writing or just to bounce ideas with you. Please note that I won’t actually read/edit/critique your writing because I’m a university student with little free time.

I’ll try to respond back within 48 hours. Farewell for now, then.

Writing for Yourself

So far, you’ve written and shared a few chapters of your current work-in-progress. Things are probably going well for you. Maybe you have one or two loyal readers by now who always comment. You’re proud of all the progress you’ve made in so little time.

But then you hit a wall.

Or, better yet, you’ve completed many books before and you’re nearing the end of yet another book. You have many fans who love your writing, and you feel quite accomplished. Completing your current work-in-progress should be easy enough.

But then, you hit that wall.

All in all, it doesn’t matter where you are in your writing journey. Everyone hits a wall at one point or another. And in this writing guide, I will explain why it happens as well as what you can do to get over the wall. So, get ready to take some notes. This is important.

“Let me stop you right there. This sounds great and all, but… what wall are you talking about?”

It goes without stating that I am not talking about a physical wall here. No, I’m talking about something far worse than a physical wall. I’m talking about a metaphorical wall.

When you first start writing, you have this certain motivation that keeps you going. No matter your writing ability, you just keep writing as much as you can type. And if you can keep writing as you do while improving, you might even be able to bypass the wall.

But for those who hit the wall early on, here’s why.

You start to judge yourself for being new to writing. You nitpick over every single word and question why you can’t be as great as so-and-so. You spend so much time worrying and editing your work that you fail to do the one thing you need to do to improve; write more.

Ask any writer about the first book they wrote and very few of them will be confident about it. And that’s expected. I mean, you can’t make great books as a newbie in the writing field. If you could, there would be a lot more books getting published out there.

So, don’t be afraid if it takes you 5, 10, or even 20 books before you start to see improvement in your ability to effectively write a story that people would want to read.

I mean, you’re already at an advantage. If you’ve been reading my guides, you know a few things more than a random person that decides to take up writing today.

And just to make this super motivational, here’s a great quote I admire:

Moving onto the other side of the spectrum, let’s say you’ve written many novels before, but you still hit that wall and you can’t fathom how it could happen to you. This could apply to anyone and most people experience this at one point or another.

At some point, you’ve either written so much that you’ve burnt yourself out or you’ve drifted away from writing because of other obligations, such as work or school. Now, you barely have time to write plus you lack the motivation or the will to actually write.

If this happens to you, here is the first thing you should do.

Ask yourself if you still love to write.

If you still love writing and you are truly passionate, you will get over this wall. Trust me. I’ve been in this place many, many times, but every time, I make it over that wall and I keep going. My love for writing is stronger than any obstacle that stands in my way.

But quitting is never the answer. Even if your schedule only allows you to write for five minutes a day, make the time for it. Heck, you could write while waiting for breakfast/lunch/dinner to be ready. You could write a few words while on the toilet, even.

Because as long as you make progress day-by-day, you are moving forward. The person that writes 200 words a day every day for a month is better off than the person who writes 1,000 words once a week for that same month. Assuming a month with 30 days, the first person will end up with 6,000 words versus 4,000 from the other person.

As long as you love writing and you are truly passionate, you will find a way to write. It may be hard, but it’ll be worth it. And before you know it, you’ll be over that wall, too. Once you make it over one wall, it’ll get easier to bounce back if you ever get stuck again.

Got any questions? Leave a comment below or contact me through my contact page.

Writing Goals for 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

Since it’s officially 2017 (as of this post), I thought it might be a fun idea to share a few of my planned writing projects for this new year.

Please keep in mind, though, that this is only my goals/plans. I might not even get to some of these projects this year. I do hope on at least starting all of them sometime this year.

Now, without further ado, here they are!

(The covers are most likely going to be adjusted, but feel free to share feedback anyways.)

1. The Last Star: A Lost Constellation

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: Spring/Summer 2017

Summary:

Dearest Aurelia,

I send my deepest condolences for the deaths of all your closest relatives, many of which I am responsible for. Without them, that leaves you as the last member of the Sanctus species, and I’d hate for you to remain ever so lonely. Do not worry, dear. I will send someone to take care of you, too.

Best Wishes,

– Victor Frost

2. Captain Flynn: Space Explorer

Genre: Science-Fiction

Release Date: Late Spring/Early Summer 2017

Summary:

“After years of searching, humans have finally found another planet suitable for supporting life. Immediately following the discovery, at the discretion of the national government, NASA filed away all information pertaining to the planet’s discovery.

However, this all changed one day, when a hacker leaked the files to the public eye. Many were outraged and shocked that their government would hide something so monumental from them for such a long time.

And due to the growing issue of overpopulation, many wished to settle this new planet as soon as possible. Threatened by the people, the government gave into the request but they had to do this the smart way.

Not wanting to risk too many lives, it was decided that a small test group would be sent out as an experiment. If they are able to survive and prove that the planet is livable in the long-term, then preparations would be made for a full-scale settlement.

The first group was selected and the date for take-off was approaching. However, the discovery of a few dangerous secrets prompted Captain Flynn and his crew to steal the ship and leave on their own.

As soon as the government found out, they decided to cut off all communication between the ship and the headquarters. They would still monitor their results in secret but the first group would be 100% on their own as a punishment for leaving too early.

Whether they can survive or not will depend on how well they are able to work as a group. Humanity is counting on them. Good luck, Flynn Morris.”

3. Shattered Sky

Genre: Short Story

Release Date: Fall/Winter 2017

Summary:

“You were my star, but I was not your sky.”