The Benefits of Free-Flow Writing

Benefits of free-flow writing.

Benefits of free-flow writing. Welcome to another blog, where I talk about writing, marriage, marketing, and coaching. Today I’m going to tell you about free-flow writing.

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What is Free-Flow Writing?

What is free-flow writing? Sometimes I talk about writing in the flow through free-flow writing.

You can get into free-flow writing which is to just start writing.

It’s sometimes said that during this process, you’re not thinking. Of course, that’s not really true. Your subconscious mind is always active and it’s guiding you as you do.

Free-flow writing will help with creativity.
Free-flow writing will help with creativity.

Free-flow writing is writing without stressing or worrying about it. Then you do your editing later.

Sometimes this is accomplished by writing as quickly as you can.

Benefits of Free-Flow Writing

Meet Deadlines

If you do free writing in a certain way, it helps you to meet your deadlines. I recommend free-flow writing in conjunction with setting a timer. I

Ideal times are five minutes, six minutes, or 10 minutes. Just start writing and go with the flow.

Utilize a timer.
Utilize a timer.

Of course, it’s best if you have a topic or a word that you use to prompt your writing. Then just go with the flow.

When you’re using a timer and doing, for example, a 5-minute snippet, the time will be your constant and the word count will be the variable.

So start your timer and begin with whatever word you have chosen for your idea and write as quickly as you can. Keep going until the timer goes off.

Then you can either put ellipses (…) there and straighten that out later or you can quickly tie the end together and get ready for the next timed session.

When you do this, you will meet your deadline of getting your rough draft done quickly and easily.

Sparks Creativity

Another benefit of free writing is that it sparks creativity. When you’re doing this free-flow writing, after a while, it’s kind of like you’re priming the pump and things begin to flow easily.

New ideas come and your creativity is sparked.

It’s Your Own Voice

A third benefit of free writing is that your writing is done in your own voice.

Now if you’re writing fiction, of course, a lot of that is going to be done in your own voice.

Free-flow writing allows you to use your own voice.
Free-flow writing allows you to use your own voice.

But when it comes to nonfiction writing, you often will have done a lot of research and you have gotten ideas and steps from other sources.

The free-flow writing will help you to express those ideas in your own voice which is a tremFreeendous benefit to you and to your readers once they’ve gotten to know you.

Helps to Overcome Writer’s Block

The fourth benefit of this free-flow writing is that helps you to overcome writer’s block.

When you have an idea or word that you’re going to start with and a timer you’re getting ready to start, you just take the word and you hit the start button on the timer, and start writing as quickly as you can about that word or that topic.

This can help overcome writer's block.
This can help overcome writer’s block.

Now, sometimes you might wind up writing fluff and it will be things that you will remove during the editing process.

But most of the time, you’ll surprise yourself with how well you are able to express something that you had put off.

Perfectionism

Dealing with perfectionism is a large problem that many, many writers have. We certainly want to have excellent writing, but we can perform that best through the editing process.

If you try to write and edit and make each little paragraph and sentence perfect the first time around, then there will be a lot of stress and you will likely not get through and probably have long days of writing.

It’s Fast!

But if you will do free-flow writing then you will have a rough draft done in just a short amount of time.

Depending on the writing project that you have set up if you are wanting to do a 10-page chapter for a 200-page book that has 20 chapters, then you’ll have 15 five-minute writing projects, which means 75 minutes of writing during a day. Done that way, you will get a chapter a day finished.

You can get your project done quickly.
You can get your project done quickly.

That means that within 20 days, you will have the rough draft of your book!

Then you can go back and edit after that. If you’re a full-time writer, then you may do your free-flow writing first thing in the morning and then you’ll have the rest of the day to go back to your previous free-flow writing projects and polish them for as long and as much as you want.

If you’re like many of us who maybe have full-time jobs or other responsibilities, you may only have a half hour or an hour or an hour and a half a day to write.

In that case, it’s best to get the rough draft done and then have time slots in the days following to perfect the book.

For writing a nonfiction book, it’s a really good idea to write your basic book and after that, turn it into a fabulous book. B

Wrapup

Those are some of the benefits of free-flow writing.

The process helps you meet your deadlines, sparks your creativity, it’s in your own voice, and it helps avoid writer’s block to make writing fun and easy.

I recommend this process to you.

Find it on Amazon.

If you would like more writing tips like these, just click here to find my writing blog.

You can also get my book, “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” over on Amazon.

If you would like to inquire about my speaking at some event, you can go right here and complete the form and I will get back to you.

I hope you’re having a great day, and until next time, I’m Randy Carney reminding you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

5 Steps for Stress-Free Writing

Stress-free writing

Five steps for stress-free writing. Welcome to my blog, where I talk about writing, speaking coaching, marketing and marriage. Today I’m talking about writing once again: Particularly, five steps for stress-free writing.

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Ralph thought he wanted to write a book, but he got really stressed when he started trying to actually do it.

He went about starting the first page but didn’t get very far. He didn’t do very well for a while. He was starting out with fiction. He thought he would try writing nonfiction, but he still had some problems getting started.

Ralph got stressed when he first started writing.
Ralph got stressed when he first started writing.

Then it came to him, “Why get stressed out?” So he figured out some ways to come up with stress-free writing.

Get Something Out There

I once had a job that required that I write a certain number of words a day. I started trying to do those number of words every day, but my problem was, I was trying to make them the perfect words, and it became very difficult.

Then something came back to me that I had learned before, “Just get something out there.”

So I started off each day with the idea of just getting something out there and I would just start writing. I already had a plan in mind: sort of an outline or at least a topic, but I would just take off and I will just write as quickly as I could.

Just write
Just write.

After about an hour and a half or so, I had my word count done for the day and it was wonderful.

Then I could go back and take out words, put in words, do some more research, and add in some more ideas. I was able to do some research for upcoming projects and go back and do some further editing on what I had done in the past.

That was the secret that, for me, became stress-free writing instead of stressful writing.

The Big Picture

First of all, get the big picture in mind.

What is it you’re wanting to write about? What is the big picture? What is the overall, overarching idea of what you want to write about?

Start your writing project with a big picture in mind.
Start your writing project with a big picture in mind.

Try to get the idea of what you’re going to write about down to one sentence. Don’t stress over that though. Just get a sentence or maybe a paragraph down for the general idea. Get the big picture.

Basic Plan

The second thing is to come up with a basic plan.

Once you have the big picture, try to divide that up into parts.

If it is a sequential thing, figure out the steps. Step one, step two, step three, and so on. Then you can hang your ideas on that.

How do you get your basic plan?

Sample mind map.
Sample mind map.

I have talked about mind mapping in the past. You can do a mind map or maybe come up with an outline.

An outline can just be a major point outline, or you might have a couple of sub-points.

Now if you’re really, really detailed and you are a person who writes off of really detailed outlines, go for it if it doesn’t stress you.

If you’re sort of a pantser: somebody who just likes to take off writing as the creative juices flow, the outline or plan doesn’t need to be as detailed.

Either way, just have the overall idea of what you’re writing about and have some major parts of what you’re writing about.

You can use your outline or your mind map for this.

Outline and/or Mind Map

I often find it helpful to do a mind map and then after that do an outline but try not to get too deep into the outline.

Sometimes both a mind map and an outline can be helpful.
Sometimes both a mind map and an outline can be helpful.

Once you’ve done that, you have a basic plan.

Next, you need to write and you want that writing to be stress-free. There are two ways to make the actual writing part stress-free.

Free-Flow Writing

The first one I mentioned earlier-fast writing. I started doing that every day in the job I had as a staff writer.

The idea is to do free-flow writing.

Find your topic, and when you come to the part in your plan where you’re going to write about something in that part, instead of stressing about that, just take off and write. If you don’t know how to start, ask yourself a question about it and then start answering the question.

Free-flow writing can open up your mind.
Free-flow writing can open up your mind.

Another way is to just pick a word and take that word and start writing with that.

Now granted, you may go back and change that first two or three sentences later, but just write.

Some people say don’t think. Of course, your mind actually will think, just don’t think to the point of stressing yourself. Remember you can always come back and change what you’re doing.

That’s one plan.

Talk Your Book

The other way is to record yourself. Talk your project out. You can do an audio or video recording on your phone.

After that, you can go back and you can transcribe the audio yourself or you can use a free transcription service on the internet.

You can speak your book.
You can speak your book.

The internet-based services usually have about 90% accuracy. You won’t be completely done if you do that but you can take it late and turn it into written words from your spoken speech.

You will want to revise it anyway when you’re going through the process.

So those are two ideas.

One is to just write as fast as you can. Just start and don’t worry about it. Just keep on going and know that you can add or subtract later. Just write. Get it down or speak it out. Later, you’ll be able to edit that.

So get the big picture and the basic plan. When you’re doing the actual writing, just do free writing or free speaking.

Scheduled Writing Time

When you have the basic plan, you need to set a schedule. There are two ways of handling your schedule.

You can decide on a time goal for the day.

In the case of writing a big project like a book, you’re going to write a certain amount every day; usually anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes during the day.

Try writing for specific amounts of time.
Try writing for specific amounts of time.

During that time, you can use free-flow writing or speaking.

Even within this method, there are even two ways of doing it. One way makes the time the variable and the number of words the goal. The other way of doing it is to make the number of words the goal and the time will be the variable.

Depending on your personality, one of these should work for you.

Time vs Word Count

If you’re going to utilize the word count method, you will just keep going until you get to the number of words that you have set as your goal. The time it takes you to reach that goal will probably vary from day to day.

I prefer the time constant with the word count being the variable. I have little projects, and many times I will just write for five minutes using free-flow writing. Then I’ll go to the next word or phrase or idea that I want to write about and again just write for five minutes.

If I’m through early I force myself to keep writing, although sometimes those are the things that will be thrown out later. If I don’t get through on time sometimes I just put an ellipsis (…) there so I know I have to finish that section later.

Now that will drive some of you crazy if you want to go with the word count method, but I found this to work very well for me.

So let’s go over the steps:

The first one is to get the big picture.
The second one is to have a basic plan: What are the parts of what you’re talking about?
The third one is to think about free-flow writing or speaking your words.
The fourth one is to write on a schedule. Decide whether you’re going to write three times a week or daily. Most writers like to write daily and then either write for a specified period of time or toward a certain number of words.

Draft of Your Writing

Keep polishing as you go through.
Keep polishing as you go through.

The fifth step after you’ve done all of the above, come up with a draft of your writing. Keep making passes through your writing and change it as you go through.

If you go through it three times, you’ll find that you have gotten it into much better shape and closer to how you want it. Then just keep going over until it is how you want it or until your time deadline arrives.

Those are five steps to stress-free writing.

Well, I hope these tips have been helpful to you.

If you’d like more tips on writing, go to www.randysblogs.com.

If you’re interested in having me come and speak at one of your events, click here and fill out the form and I will gladly reach out to you.

I also have a book that’s called “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. This is Randy Carney reminding you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

How to Write A Book for Kindle

Writing for Kindle

Welcome to another blog post! How to write a book for Kindle is the subject of today. This is where I talk about writing, speaking, coaching, marketing, and marriage. This post another one about writing.

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My Suggestion

If you are a beginning author, you might want to consider writing a book for Kindle e-readers. Even if people don’t have a Kindle device, they can get a free Kindle reader for their phones.

So I suggest writing a book for Kindle when you’re getting your feet wet in the writing process.

Even if you’ve written other books like paperbacks and so forth and you still might want to get into e-books.

Write as Usual

My suggestion for writing a book for Kindle is to write it the way that you would a normal book, except you don’t need to worry about things like different kinds of fonts and formatting when you are initially producing the book.

Write as you normally do.
Write as you normally do.

Without those concerns, you can focus on the content and get the book written the way that you want it to be written. So write it like you usually would.

Word Processing

I often use Microsoft Word, but lately, I have been using a program called Libre Office, It is a free open-source platform for word processing and is very similar to Microsoft Word.

You may be proficient in WordPerfect, and that’s fine, If you’re using a Mac computer you may be familiar with Pages.

Regardless, just use your regular word processing program as you write your book.

Get all your content and get it the way you want it. Get the content edited the way you want it.

How-To

First of all, go to Amazon and set up an account. After you’ve done that, go to Kindle Direct Publishing and set up an account there.

Now you’re ready to begin to write your book for Kindle.

As I said, you write it in a regular way, except you don’t worry as much about fancy fonts or certain types of formatting. When you have your account set up for Kindle, you will have the option to go into their platform and just copy and paste from your word processing document. right into certain sections of the Kindle form

Use whatever word processing program with which you are comfortable.
Use whatever word processing program with which you are comfortable.

I would suggest that before you paste your book into the Kindle platform search online for a template for a Kindle book.

TCK Publishing

In the past, I have used a template for Kindle from TCK Publishing. Just follow his suggestions as to how to paste your document into his template.

He has some other suggestions as to how you can go about doing the different formatting, some fonts that you can use, and what size fonts you can use for headings and footers.

Table of Contents

In your Kindle book, you do not want page numbers. It just flows as one long document.

Research how to add a clickable table of contents to your Kindle book.
Research how to add a clickable table of contents to your Kindle book.

There are ways that you can have a clickable table of contents: you can do some research on that. Basically, you just have the name of the chapter, and you have a link that goes to the chapter. You can do some online research as to how to provide those types of links.

I think that in Microsoft or PCs, you might be able to make those types of table of contents and they may just come up as clickable.

For an Apple device, you might have to do some research to find out more about making your table of contents clickable.

Either way, I highly recommend you do that because many people really find that to be appealing in e-books.

Kindle Direct Publishing

Once you have the template filled out, then you can move over to Kindle Direct Publishing, and you can begin copying and pasting from your template into the respective places in Kindle. I think it is pretty self-explanatory as you go through the process.

So there you go. There’s how to write a book for Kindle.

Writing a book for Kindle is easy!
Writing a book for Kindle is easy!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this and have found it helpful. If you’d like more tips like these, click here to find the rest of my writing blogs.

If you would like me to come and speak on one of several topics, click here and complete the contact form. I will be glad to discuss speaking at your event.

Finally, for the ultimate guide to writing, get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

Available on Amazon.
Available on Amazon.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day and I hope you have a wonderful week.

This is Randy Carney reminding you: YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing a Book for the First Time – My Story

The story of my first book

Hello everyone. This is Randy Carney again with another session of walking with Randy, where I talk about writing, speaking coaching marketing, and marriage. Today, I am talking about writing. I want to talk to you about writing a book for the first time – my story.

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In 2009, I decided that I wanted to write a book. I was encouraged by my wife to write something on the topic of marriage that would encourage husbands.

That was a compliment coming from my wife, and I was quite excited that she encouraged me to do that.

I’m not sure that she thought I would write a complete book but I got excited about the idea of doing it.

Now never having written a book like that before. I had to research a little bit and think about how I was going to go about doing it.

I did some research before I began writing my book.
I did some research before I began writing my book.

I did have some previous writing experience that I’ve detailed in other videos and posts

Past Experience

One of those experiences was when I was in seminary. We had a major writing project. Some people call those things, dissertations or theses. My seminary was encouraging us to write them on a popular level, rather than on an academic level. Now that I think about it, that was a great thing, because it prepared the way for me to be able to write more popular books rather than just textbooks.

The project had to be 100 pages long. It was a little bit difficult for me to do. I kept writing on different slips of paper and things like that, but I finally got through it.

Then later, I had a job with Accelerated Christian Education, which was a major Christian textbook publishing company. Now their curriculum had courses that were divided into 12 units, and each of those would comprise a 325-page book, and then there were activities that were involved.

I was able to meet my goals by simply forcing myself to write 700 words first thing every morning. Then later in the day, I had time to research and then go back and change and revise what I had written that morning.

It ended up being great but it was a little bit difficult.

Helpful Tips from Others

When it came to writing a book on the topic of marriage I was reading about how some people wrote their books. There was an author named Rob Parnell who advised writing in the flow, and I enjoyed his materials very much. I’ve actually taken some of his writing courses.

For my first book, I got tips from other authors.
For my first book, I got tips from other authors.

There was also a book by a man named Steve Manning that told you how to write using the technique of fast writing

Putting together what I learned while doing my major writing project, writing in the flow from Rob Parnell, and writing quickly, as advised by Steve Manning. I came up with a plan for a book and made the decision to go for it.

Much of the planning I did for the book I had learned from Steve Manning, as well as what I had done in my textbook writing.

The Plan

The plan for writing the whole book was 20 chapters, and each one of those chapters had a plan for five-minute writing projects. Each one of those chapters was planned in such a way that there would be 15 5-minute writing projects.

My plan was to write 15 minutes at a time.
My plan was to write 15 minutes at a time.

So those 15 5-minute writing projects involved finding a total of 75 minutes every day to write. Using my technique of just getting the material done and using Steve Manning’s encouragement about fast writing I was able to write for those 75 minutes during the day.

They weren’t always consecutive. Sometimes they were, but sometimes they were snatches here or there. I could be sitting in a waiting room and get five minutes done.

That’s how I got started. I was determined to write for 75 minutes every day.

Now, like many of you, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray, so I didn’t always get that done every day. I do remember doing something with the book every day.

Most days I did write for 75 minutes in total.

No Matter What, Work on the Book!

During that time, I agreed to go on a mission trip to Mexico, so I was quite busy.

I was able to complete my book during a mission trip to Mexico.
I was able to complete my book during a mission trip to Mexico.

We went into Mexico during the day and always crossed the border and spent the night in Texas. Late at night. I was able to write. The guys that I was with made sure that I had time by myself during that time which I was very grateful for. I finished the book while I was on that mission trip.

My Books

If you’re interested in my books, you can search Amazon for Randy Carney.

If you would like to know how to write a book, my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” is also on Amazon.

For more tips like these on writing, go to randysblogs.com and subscribe.

There are several ways to stay informed.
There are several ways to stay informed.

You can follow me on Facebook, and I also have a channel on YouTube and Rumble. Subscribe to one of those and you’ll never miss a thing!

If you’re interested in having me come to speak on the topics of some of my books or to speak on a topic of writing go to www.randycarney.com and fill out the form. I’ll be glad to come to speak at your event.

I hope you have a great day. I hope this has been helpful to you.

I want you to remember YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing a Book for the First Time?

Hello, everyone!

Writing a book for the first time. Here’s a secret that bi-vocational pastors and others can use to publish a wonderful and beneficial book even if they have never done so before.

Define a Problem

First of all, you want to define a problem. Once you have the problem figured out, then come up with a series of steps to provide the solution to the problem.

Once you have those steps, figured out, make sure you have them in the right order. Then you can prepare a series of sermons based on those steps.

Decide what you wait to write about.
Decide what you wait to write about.

It may be that that will be exactly what the Lord would have you to use for your congregation. If not, then you’re just going to have to prepare your sermons and deliver them to yourself or to your phone.

Either way, prepare a series of sermons based on those steps. A 30-minute sermon will provide a good chapter length for a book.

It would be best to have around seven steps to provide the solution to the problem.

Five to 10 would work and you can come up with a book by doing that.

Transcribing

Next, you have your recordings transcribed. You can do a search online and find services that will use artificial intelligence to transcribe your recordings, and they will be relatively accurate.

You can transcribe your book yourself, or hire someone.
You can transcribe your book yourself, or hire someone.

Depending on what kind of monetary investment you want to make in producing your book, you could hire a live transcriptionist. He or she may charge $1 or $2 per minute to transcribe your recordings.

Editing

After that, you’ll need to have the transcriptions edited.

You can hire editors to help you do that or, if you’re really good with grammar and writing, you can edit yourself.

Feedback

Find a couple people you trust to offer their opinion on your book.
Find a couple people you trust to offer their opinion on your book.

You should then give the book-to-be to at least a couple of people to get their feedback on it.

Publishing

Once you’ve done that, either send your book idea to a publisher or self-publish your book.

More and more people are self-publishing today, and they are not producing bad books. They are self-publishing good books.

Well, that is a way you can write and publish a book for the first time.

If you’re not a bi-vocational minister, just pretend that you are and prepare a series of talks and follow the steps above.

Whether you are a bi-vocational minister or just a regular person, these steps will work for you.

For more information about writing and publishing your own book, head to Randy’s Blogs where you can read many more posts with helpful hints.

For the ultimate guide to getting a book completed, my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” on Amazon is what you need.

The best tips are in these pages!
The best tips are in these pages!

I hope this information has been helpful to you. I’m Randy Carney reminding you, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Tips for Writing Fiction

A happy ending to your story.

I hope you’re having a great day. Today, I’m going to give you some tips for writing fiction. I’ll include four ways to develop a great story. As I discuss these four ways of developing a great story, I will place the tips into four different categories.

Video: Tips for Writing Fiction

Personal Tips

You want to make the story your story. It should be a story that you love, a story that you would like to read. You want to put yourself into it.

Write about things you know or love. Personal experiences can help develop a great story.
Personal experience can help write a great story

Then you want to make it your personal journey. As you do that, you don’t have to actually make it an autobiography. You might use elements of your own life story.

Practical Tips

Secondly, we have what I would call practical tips.

Daily writing can help avoid writer's block and keep you inspired.
Write every day.

First of all, write every day. I resisted journaling for many years because I didn’t know what to write about. I didn’t feel like I would be very good at it. Even when I had past attempts at writing diaries, I had trouble getting started. But in the past year and a half or so, I have discovered that I do actually enjoy journaling. The secret has been I just pick up the pen and start writing whatever comes to mind. Sometimes it is a diary entry, sometimes I talk about ways of doing things, and sometimes I talk about ideas for the future. But I just write whatever comes to mind. That is called free-flow writing. When you’re writing your actual book, of course, you will be writing daily in that regard. But write every day.

Next, you should read other stories. When you find a fiction writer that you really like, read a lot of his or her stories. Read other fiction writers as well.

There are also many ways to beat procrastination and writer’s block. I won’t go into all of that right at the moment. However, my book on how to write a book in 28 days or less goes into that in detail. One of the things that it involves is breaking your project down into smaller projects. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time? How do you write a book? Write a chapter. So you want to chunks.

Practice free-flow writing where you just write as fast as you can. Simply let the words come. Don’t correct that spelling mistake you obviously made, don’t correct that typo right there. Keep writing and get the flow of the story going. and practice that free-flow writing.

After you have your rough draft or a section you want to edit, read it aloud to yourself.

So far, we’ve had personal tips and then we’ve had some practical tips. Let’s go into general tips while you’re writing your fiction.

General Tips

First of all, ask questions. You can make your main character ask questions. You can have the minor characters asking questions. You want to think of what questions your readers might have and ask those questions. Ask yourself questions about the story. Ask yourself, how did they get in that predicament? Ask yourself, how are they going to get out of that? Ask yourself what comes next.

Next, you’ll want to withhold some information. Maybe withhold a lot of information. You don’t have to give the whole story the whole biography. What you need to do is to give enough info for the start of the story, and then you know where the story is going. Withhold information so you can have some surprises along the way.

Adding action or active voice to your stories will make them more engaging.
Add action to your stories

Use action and active voice. Active voice is where the subject performs an action. Passive voice, that’s where the action is being done to the subject. For instance, “The ball was hit.” In that case, you had the subject, which was the ball and the action was being done to the subject. But you can change that around and say “The batter hit the ball.” In that case, the subject is performing the action. The way to find this passive vs active voice is to look at your manuscript and find instances where you’re using that passive voice, and make changes.

So those are some general tips for writing fiction.

Story Tips

Now for some more specific tips: Give the main character a problem.

Next, get that main character into trouble quickly; very early in your story. Of course, the first part of your story should include a lot of information about your character’s regular life, before he/she gets thrust into the life-changing aspects of the story. But you want to get them into trouble as quickly as possible.

Then as the story progresses along, intensify the problem, make it worse in their minds.

Include a series of progress and setbacks.

Attempts to correct the problem seem only to make things worse. So show the attempts to correct the problem making things worse.

Finally, make the situation seem hopeless. Of course, you know the way out because you know where you’re going with the story. But write in such a way that the character doesn’t know how he or she is going to get out of this seemingly hopeless situation. Then guide your character down the path to where they get to a resolution to the problem.

A successful resolution to the problem or obstacle will nicely wrap up your story.
Victory!

That will make for some exciting fiction as you’re writing your story.

Well, I hope this has been helpful to you. If you’d like more tips like these, go to www.randycarney.com. If you would like more information about how to write a book, just follow this link for my book How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.

Well, I hope that you have a great day, and remember, you can write a book!

Writing Fiction 101 – Basic Concepts

A basic introduction to fiction writing.

Hello everyone! Today, I’m talking to you about Writing Fiction 101: Basic Concepts. If you go to college for a particular field, you will have various courses that will come together. Many times you will have undergraduate courses and one or two of those might relate to your field. Then you will have about 30 credit hours of courses that relate to your major. A course with a 101 in its description is usually a foundational course in that particular subject and covers the basic concepts upon which all the other courses will rest. Of course, this is not an actual college course, just a blog discussing basic concepts for writing fiction.

Have Compelling Characters

First of all, you want to come up with compelling characters. In another blog post, I went into this in a little bit more detail, but I will just remind you that your main character would be someone that you would want to spend time with. It is also a good idea to also reveal that character’s weaknesses and things that they might struggle with, and even some of the emotional things that might be involved in their journey. So create some compelling characters.

You should also come up with interesting villains. Sometimes people talk about the villains we love to hate. The villains are often complex characters.

Be sure to make the good guys and bad guys intriguing,
Have captivating characters

Decide on a Plot

Next, you need to decide on a plot. You can do a Google search and find a list of plots, which are the basic stories that are written over and over again. They range anywhere from six to 36. (You might even find more but these are the numbers I found in my searches.) Look those over and pick out one to be the major focus of what you’re going to write about in your fiction story.

Have An Ending Planned Out Before Starting

I recommend having the end or resolution of the story worked out in your head before you start writing. That way you won’t write yourself into a corner of which you cannot get out. That happens sometimes in writing. You’re just writing along and you don’t have a goal in mind as to where you’re going or what the action is building up to or what the climax is going to be, and you get stuck. Get that part figured out. Rough it out a little bit, and then go back to the beginning and work through the other details of your story.

Planning is crucial

Reveal Things Through Dialogue

Another tip is to reveal things through dialogue. Now you could have expositional paragraphs. Sometimes you have to do that in order to save time. But the more that you can reveal through pictorial material, actions, or dialogue between the characters, the better it will be and the more interesting your writing will be.

Overcome Obstacles Along the Way

Now, sometimes you will have a story where the character seems to be going down, down, down, and then you start having the rising action. The last half of your story should be rising toward a more positive direction. But even in that, there is an ebb and flow and ups and downs as the overall story progresses. So have some obstacles that need to be overcome, suchas little failures and victories along the way.

Have Two Stories Going on At the Same Time

You don’t always have to do this, but you often can have two parallel stories going on at the same time. You do not have to add any more characters. But if you will describe their emotions and emotional changes and have an emotional story going on at the same time, your story will be more exciting and interesting.

Have Chapter Goals

You need to outline some goals for each chapter of your story.
Goals

Finally, you need to have some chapter goals. It would be good for you to write out a synopsis of your book, which tells what’s going to happen, just a paragraph or so, in each chapter. In my most recent book,(link below) I show you some ways to flesh out those chapter plans in even more detail. Using my system, you would come up with nine to 15 items that you would cover in each chapter and some ways of handling those. That would be a blueprint for your book. figured out in this way.

In Summary

Well, these are some foundational concepts for writing fiction.

  1. Have compelling characters.
  2. Decide on a plot.
  3. Have the or the resolution to the problem firmly in mind before you write.
  4. Reveal things through dialogue.
  5. Overcome obstacles along the way.
  6. Maybeay have two parallel stories: An emotional story and an eventfull story going on at the same time.
  7. Have some chapter goals. For example: How long you would want your chapters to be and the basic idea of what would be in each chapter.

Well, I hope this has been helpful to you. If you would like more tips on writing, go to randycarney.com. And also, if you would like to know more about fleshing out those chapters, go check out the book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.

As always, I want you to remember you can write a book!

Writing Crime Fiction – 7 Things to Think About

Would you like to get into writing crime fiction? There are seven questions you’ll need to answer to get started.

Who Are the Characters?

First of all, who are the characters? You have the protagonist. This would be the hero or heroine. As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s often good to give your hero or your heroine a flaw within their character; something that they’re struggling with as they go about the process of solving the crime. It will make the story a little bit more interesting.

Make sure to have an interesting cast of characters in your crime fiction.
Make sure you have interesting characters.

Next, you have other interesting characters. Of course, you need the victim. Now, unless the victim is just an outright scoundrel you’ll want to honor the memory of the victim in some way. Especially if they really are a victim and what happened to them was no fault of theirs whatsoever.

Then you have the eyewitnesses.

Beyond that, you will have the suspects and the actual bad guys. If you want to make it more interesting, make your criminal a complex person. Write about the things that they have to deal with, the issues they have, and the thoughts they have. Maybe they are kind to animals. Maybe they have some things that you would not expect from a criminal and, and maybe they’re torn within themselves as to what has taken place.

What is Crime Fiction?

The second question is what is crime fiction? Well, it is writing that deals with everything related to the crime. It can range from a mystery to a who-done-it, all the way through to a thriller.

In most cases, the crime has already been committed, and you’re trying to figure out who committed it and why it was committed. But in some cases, like the cases of serial killers, for example, the crimes would be ongoing. In the cases of thrillers, oftentimes, the crime is ongoing. But, maybe it’s not been committed yet.

So we have the who and the what, next comes the when.

When Will the Parts of the Story Take Place?

When will the parts of the story take place? Well, your crime fiction setup, like many stories are set up, has three acts.

Act one, you have the protagonist, who is introduced to the problem or the crime.

Decide on the timing of your crime story.
When does your story take place?

In act two, you have the protagonist solving the crime. It’s how they go about managing to do that. In this act, you also have the discovery of what the story is really about. Sometimes, you have two stories going on at the same time. You have a story of the struggle going on within the life of your main character and the actual story of the events. That all takes place in act two.

Then in act three, you have the process of actually catching the villain and/or saving someone or saving the world. This is the when of your crime fiction.

We’ve covered when, what, and when. Next, we need to decide where.

Where Does the Story Take Place?

Where does the story take place? Well, it could be the world where the crime took place, or where the perpetrators of the crime would hang out, or where they would flee. But it is the world where that would take place.

It is often good to make this place an unfamiliar place to the protagonist, where the hero or heroine has to get used to being in a new place and discovering new things about that place as well as the obstacles they have in finding out about the story.

How Will the Crime Be Solved?

How will the crime be solved? Here is where you’ll have the process of following clues, and you often have helpers that come along and help the main character. You may even have high-tech science and high-tech devices in some cases. It may be forensics or forensic science, but not always.

Be sure to add a lot of informaiton regarding the investigation that leats up to the crime being solved.
The investigation is how a crime is solved.

Then the crime is solved by moving through moments of suspense. How do you create suspense in your crime fiction? You do it through conflict and descriptions of conflict. You do it through time limits. If something is not accomplished by a certain time, something dire will happen. You do it by distractors, which take a reader down the wrong path for a little while. Sometimes we call those red herrings. You can also do it through descriptions of mood like the ups and downs in the characters’ lives and moments of growth within their lives.

Why Did the Crime Happen?

Why did the crime happen? Your hero or heroine will search out a motive during their investigation. The clues found will help point to a motive for the crime.

Finally, we come to question number seven.
So the first six of them are
1. Who are the characters?
2. What is crime fiction?
3. When will the parts of the story take place?
4. Where does the story take place?
5. Why did the crime happen?
6. How will the crime be solved?
Then number seven…

What Then?

Question number seven is what then? How is the hero or the heroine changed as a result of this process? Perhaps there is a hint to a possible future adventure that the hero or the heroine might be involved in.

How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death
Book cover

Well, I hope these tips have been helpful to you. If you would like more tips like these, go to www.randycarney.com. If you would like to find out even more about writing, go to Amazon and get my new (best-selling) book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death“.

Remember, you can write a book!


Book Writing Strategies

Book writing strategies. Are you a “pantser,” an outliner or somewhere in between? One is not better than the other. They’re all equally good. It’s just important that you figure out who you are.

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I want to encourage those of you who are writers to find what your style is and what works for you.

Are you an outliner a pantser or somewhere in between?

What is your writing style?
What is your writing style?

Outliner, Pantser, or In-Betweener?

Now an outliner is someone who plans out the project ahead of time and develops an outline.

A pantser is someone who writes from the seat of his or her pants and is able to just start writing and go and have a lot of success doing that.

Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

I remember when I was in high school and grade school, they would ask us to write a paper and they would want us to give them an outline. They were trying to teach us how to be outliners and how to write from an outline.

I was a little bit more of a pantser, or maybe I just didn’t like to plan that much. But sometimes I would write the paper first, and then I would go back and make up the outline from the paper. That’s sort of like how a pantser works, although I don’t consider myself that much in these days.

Now, I have also learned the value of planning your project before you write it. Nowadays, I am more inclined to do at least some type of outline first before I write.

Book Writing Strategies: Be an Outliner

An outliner can be a very extensive outliner.

They may be a person who would write complete sentences for all the main points, all the sub-points, all the sub-sub-points, and so forth. By the time they had that done, they would have a lot of words already.

Sample outline
Sample outline

They know what direction their book is going to go and how it would end. Once that was done, all they would have to do is just go in and fill it out.

Some outlines may not be as detailed.

Some may have complete sentences for the 3-7 main points and then just have phrases or words for the sub-points and then just words for the sub-sub-points.

Or maybe just words for the main points and single words for the sub-points and so forth.

It’s whatever works for them, but they still have a pretty detailed plan before they start.

Book Writing Strategies: Be a Pantser

 Do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?
Do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?

Now a pantser would have an idea of where he’s going and just take off writing and keep writing toward the end in view. If it’s someone who is really good at it, that’s all they need to do. Ups and downs and twists and turns that the writing project would take in between just come naturally to them.

A true pantser has the natural ability to go up and down and use literary devices as they work.

Book Writing Strategies: Be an In-Betweener

Then there is the person who is somewhere in between.

In the area of writing fiction, Randy Ingermanson. has developed a method that’s called the snowflake method. That method is in between the two.

I consider myself to be sort of in between, although now I lean more toward a plan than I used to.

The in-betweener uses both methods.
The in-betweener uses both methods.

Let me give you some ideas if you’re an in-betweener. If you are a fiction writer, you might have a story that goes something like this: There is a character, (describe that character) who had a problem (describe the problem). Then you could have maybe three major disasters that happen.

In the first part of the story, you come to a major disaster. Maybe your character overcomes it, maybe not, but it leads to another one. Build that as you continue working on trying to solve the problem. So then the second major disaster comes about halfway through, and another major disaster about three-fourths of the way through. Then you have the resolution, the climax, the ending, and then you tie up the loose ends.

So if you’re a fiction writer, and you want to have the in-between of the outline and being a pantser you might think of the three major disasters and know how the resolution is going to come about.

If you are a nonfiction writer, instead of having major disasters, you will have either steps to a solution to a problem or different ways of solving a problem.

So you would want to have at least an idea of what the problem is and have some sentences or key words that would remind you of what you know to be the solution or the steps to the solution of that problem.

That would be an example of an in-between method for nonfiction writing.

More Tips and Information

There’s also a type of blueprint that you can do with 12 to 15 ideas. Take those ideas and turn them into questions, and have bullet points related to the questions.

Although that’s closer to an outline idea, it still allows your creativity to flow as you go through doing that.

Useful tool!
Useful tool!

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you’d like more tips like these, I would urge you to go to www.randycarney.com. You’ll find many more posts like these; several of them include videos.

You could also subscribe, subscribe to my YouTube channel, or Rumble channel to see all my writing videos.

For the best tips, get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” In it, you’ll get three different methods are being able to write a book, even if you’ve never done so before.

Pretty soon I’m going to be releasing a free Writers Roadmap to Success. When you go to the website, look for that. It’s coming soon.

I hope you have a great day. Until next time, this is Randy Carney reminding you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

How to Write with Writer’s Block

Today I want to talk to you about how to write with writer’s block.

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Ah, the dreaded writer’s block. You look at a blank page, a cursor is just blinking and you can’t get started. You can’t get anywhere.

I want to give you some advice if you feel like you have it so you can write anyway, Here are seven tips to help you deal with writer’s block.

Write Something Unrelated

Well, first of all, just sit down and write. Write something unrelated. If you do journaling, this would be a good time to do your journal entry. It doesn’t matter what it is. You can write a letter, email, or a funny story. Just write something and then see if your creative juices have gotten started. Then you can turn back to your regular project.

Plan Your Writing

The next thing is to plan your writing.

Have a plan before you begin.
Have a plan before you begin.

If you’ve not already done this, sit down and devise a plan for your writing. Write down a series of phrases. That’s one way to do it.

In previous posts, I’ve talked about other ways to set up a plan for your writing. You can do questions followed by anywhere from two to seven bullet points. Then you will have a plan for your writing.

Pick a Time to Start

Then pick a time to start. Now this time the start is not based on your feelings. In fact, you probably don’t feel very good about it at all if you’re describing yourself as having writer’s block. But pick a time to start and don’t make it too far away.

Set a Word or Time Goal

Next, you’ll want to pick a word goal or a time goal. The time goal works better for me because I can just write and do free-flow writing and write as quickly as possible. But that may not be your style.

If you’re going to do a word goal you will need to pick the number of words you want to write. You can still write quickly with that method.

Pick a length of time that works for you.
Pick a length of time that works for you.

Set a Timer

Set a timer for a specified length of time. I recommend anywhere from five to 25 minutes, whatever seems to work in your situation.

Countdown

Now, here comes the key. You have your plan set there in front of you. You have your timer ready to go off. Then you just count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and push start.

Finish Your Daily Goal

Stay on target and finish your goals.
Stay on target and finish your goals.

Then use your writing prompts and finish the daily goal. Finish it regardless of your feelings.

Sometimes people say they weren’t very inspired on those days. My experience has been that after a few days, I can look back and try to find the day when I didn’t feel inspired, and really can’t tell much difference between the quality of the writing.

That is the key; you have to write. Just force yourself to go through it. If you do it the way I’m talking about, writing can be fun, especially if you use the timer method.

If you’re using the daily word goal method, just keep going until you get the number of words you have set as your daily goal.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Hopefully, you will no longer have writer’s block. When you get started writing and when you look back on it, you will probably find that it wasn’t that bad after all.

For more tips like these, go to www.randysblogs.com. For the very best advice, you can get my book, “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” on Amazon.

Until next time, remember: YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!