Camp NaNo Surprise!

In an attempt to be more regular with my blog posts on here, I have a surprise for you all.

During the month of July, I plan to interview four successful writers from Wattpad about their writing journey. Every Friday in July, you’ll get the chance to read a new interview.

I’m hoping that these interviews will motivate you all to work hard and make July’s Camp NaNo a success. (For those of you who don’t know what Camp NaNo is, click here.)

Depending on how well the interviews go, I might extend it into August with four more writers. So, if you’d like to see more interviews on this blog, please be vocal.

In other news, I made a Twitter account last month. You can find me at @astrolumi.

As of right now, there is barely any content on it, but as soon as I get more comfortable with it, I hope to use it more for sharing quote art and other miscellaneous writing tips.

For those of you follow me on Wattpad, this next bit may be old news, but I have a new story on Wattpad! It’s called The Happiness Project. Here’s the lovely cover that KellyGe designed for me:

A dialogue story about a depressed girl who signs up to have her own life sponsor. The content may be a bit triggering for some, but the story is meant to be light-hearted and inspiring.

As always, the cover above is a clickable cover, so if you’d like to see what happens in the story, just click the cover to read more. As of this post, there are seven parts posted.

Thank you all so much for reading this post! Enjoy the rest of your day/night. 🙂

Length Matters

Did I really just make a sexual innuendo in the title?

Yes, yes, I did.

Anywho, I feel like it’s been ages since my last writing guide. I swear, I must have already written on every major topic in writing, but if you guys think I missed anything, just reach out to me via my contact page. I’m all ears for suggestions, and I consider each and every one of them.

Moving on… if you haven’t guessed already, this writing guide is all about chapter length. How long is long enough and how long is too long? If you’ve ever been curious about what the perfect range for chapters is or even what to focus on in your chapters, keep reading.

As opposed to short stories, chapter novels are split up into many installments called chapters. (Yes, I know this is obvious, but give me a moment. I’m getting somewhere good.) Each chapter builds on top of the other, like a tower. If the foundation is weak, the whole tower will collapse.

But that’s not all.

Each individual chapter should have a purpose, whether it is in furthering the plot or making your characters more developed. Ever heard of the term “filler chapter” before? Well, you’re going to want to avoid those, because in my opinion, it makes your writing weak and ineffective.

Sure, I mean, some people see filler chapters as necessary, but even the most basic of chapters can move the plot forward or develop a character more. Even if we only learn that Bob is afraid of sushi or that Lucy has sex with cats, that’s great for character development!

So, to me, a filler chapter is where nothing happens, but I don’t think it’s possible to write a filler chapter because no matter what you do, something will be revealed. Even characters watching TV tells you something about what genre they like or what their daily routine looks like.

(Side Note: Please note that revealing information pertinent to the plot is most important when it comes to character development. If you go on about TV preferences in a story about surviving in the jungle, that is too much. Not unless you use it as a bridge to talk about reality TV shows the character watched to demonstrate their survival knowledge. So, be careful.)

Let’s think big picture for a second.

Does this following image look familiar to anyone?

That’s the most watered down form of how you should be thinking about novels. However, each piece in that diagram should not be reserved for just one chapter, and not all novels go in that order, but most of them do fit the chart.

If you think of your novel as a puzzle, then each individual chapter is a puzzle piece. You want each puzzle piece to fit into the puzzle so you can form a larger image; your novel. So, what do I recommend to include in every chapter?

Make sure your chapter includes at least one of the following:

1) A plot-defining event. Example: If you are writing about a fugitive outlaw on the run, this could be their great escape or even a fight scene. (Try to limit this to one event, so you can properly describe it, but depending on the event itself, you could have more than one present.)

2) An event that furthers character development. Example: Let’s say you’re writing a teen fiction novel about a boy who is bullied. He’s doing his homework in the school library. The bully shows up. If the boy decides he’s fed up and he fights back for once, this builds up his character.

3) This last one is a bit rare, but an event that foreshadows future conflict. Example: Your characters are practicing wizards. One of them gets hungry for tacos, so they all head out, but they leave their wands at home. You can briefly describe it to tease the readers and hint at possible consequences to come.

So, Lumi, this is great and all, but… how many words should a chapter be?

Well, I don’t really focus on word count when I write a chapter. I focus on the importance of the chapter as a whole. Is it doing at least one or more of the three things listed above?

Once I’ve satisfied that requirement, then…

I make sure that the chapter is between 2k and 3k words long. My weakness in writing is writing descriptive chapters, so having a range like this alongside my above requirement helps me write fuller and more engaging chapters. (If I fall short, I go back and expand my details out more.)

So far, using this method, I haven’t written over my 3k word limit.

2k to 3k words might not be a practical range for everyone, though, because different genres have different demands on the writer. For example, fantasy and science-fiction novels tend to have longer chapters than other genres. (I’m fairly sure this is because of all the worldbuilding.)

If you find 2k to 3k words too high of a target to aim for, it’s okay to lower that range to 1k to 2k words. However, I strongly suggest you to stay within 1k to 3k words for a chapter.

If you go below 1k words, then you might have a problem with not describing enough or making the scenes too short. If you go above 3k words, you risk losing your reader’s attention or the chapter could become so long that you lose focus on what it’s even about.

(That, of course, excludes short or dialogue stories where chapters are short on purpose.)

Protip: If you struggle with summarizing your chapter in one sentence, you probably made it too long.

And… that’s about all I’ve got. Thanks for reading!

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

Free First Chapter Book Reviews

[✓] Open

[] Closed

If this is your first time on my blog, welcome! I am so glad you could join us here. After you read through this post, feel free to explore around. I have a lot of helpful writing guides posted, and I’m sure you’ll be able to learn at least one new thing from me.

And even if this isn’t your first visit here, I welcome you anyways. It’s always nice to see a return visitor even if I don’t know who any of you are. It just makes me glad that someone could find my blog useful enough to revisit time and time again.

So, now, let’s get straight to the point, shall we?

Writing guides are great and all, but they’re not perfect. Nothing beats having a second pair of eyes to skim over your work and let you know what looks off. This post is me offering to be your second (and third pair) of eyes. (Yes, I wear glasses.)

As you can tell by the title of this post, I will be doing this service for free. However, if you find my feedback useful or you simply want to thank me for my time, I encourage you all to look at some of my works displayed on the home page of this blog.

Again, this is not mandatory, because I will be offering reviews for free.

Now without further ado, let’s lay down some ground rules.

Continue reading

Nightmare is back!

“Lumi. Why are you spending so much time on short stories lately? When can we expect to see that fantasy book that you’ve been teasing us about?”

Sshh. Patience. I’ve got a plan. Besides, Nightmare is a fan favorite and it is complete. So, posting it part by part (with some minor edits) will not prevent me from working on other projects, alright?

Also, remember Superhero Hotline? It’s going really well. I’m nearing the halfway point of it, and it’s helping me with the habit of writing daily. (Plus, it’s a nice mental break.)

“That’s a relief. I thought you were going to delete it just like you did to—”

Quiet. We do not speak of that project.

“But—”

No more words. Now, look at this lovely cover that a friend of mine made. It’s also a clickable cover, so if you click it, it’ll take you to the story. As of this blog post, there are six parts up, but I will post a new one every other day. That’s enough of me talking. Go forth and enjoy the ride!

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!