Laws of Attraction: A Guest Post by Irish Author Evie Gaughan

Pen Friends, we are so honored to have Irish Author Evie Gaughan, as our guest today to share some writing insight with us! 

c6f27b3e0cc8c692c21a892fcd6bda06--irishLaws Of Attraction

When writers are asked, ‘Where do you get your inspiration from?’, the perception is that there is one big idea from which the book just flows. While this is partially true, I have found as a writer that my books are more likely to be made up of several ideas, all drawn together in a seemingly random yet perfectly designed patchwork to form the storyline. What begins as a small, fragile idea, lodged in my subconscious, begins to attract other ideas that just magically seem to connect. It is during this ‘germinating’ phase that serendipity peeps out from behind corners, magazine articles, overheard conversations; drawing all manner of flotsam to the shores of your mind, creating a map of the story.

This makes it all sound terribly easy, which of course, it isn’t! Sometimes, patience and observation are the most difficult skills to master. Take my novel, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris. I had the initial idea and rushed at it, like an over-excited puppy. I was watching a TV show about an Irish chef living in France and she visited a renowned bakery in Paris that was shrouded in secrecy, as no-one knew who the baker was. No-one was ever seen entering or leaving and the patrons were very discreet. It’s all so long ago that I’m not sure where the TV show ended and my imagination began. Excited to get the story down, I rushed at my first draft, in which I hit the mother of all dead ends. My original plan for the story just didn’t work. I hadn’t given the idea enough time simmer, to see what other ingredients it might need. And one day, my main character Edith appeared in my head and took over the story, breathing new life into my draft.

Plotting a new book can be a very fraught time for a writer. Continue reading

How To Kick Off An Awesome Summer: The SP Reading Challenge

Raise your hand if you were ever that kid who couldn’t wait for the summer reading program at the library. I know it wasn’t just me.

We might not be quite so little anymore, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t look forward to a stack of glorious books in summer! With that in mind, we’d like to present you with:

SP Summer Reading Continue reading

How To Win At Writing After A Conference

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The writer’s conference: There’s little more exciting than the thought of surrounding yourself with a hundred or more people who love words and books as much as you do, and getting to spend anywhere from an afternoon to an entire week learning about the business and how to become better at your craft.

For me, anyway, there’s little more exciting than a good conference. What’s never so good is the re-entry afterward. The introverted side of my personality starts kicking back in, my brain is happy but also exhausted from all of the information I’ve squished into it, and I usually just want to sleep for a few days.

From what I’ve heard from many other writers, this isn’t uncommon. And while it’s enticing to curl up in a cave and hide, the time right after a conference is golden, and we should do what we can to use it well. So here are my best tips for re-entry. Continue reading

How To Super-Charge Your Story With Energizing Word Sprints

Mondays.

We all have them. They’re those days when it’s hard to even drag yourself out of bed, much less write all the words you know you need to write.

Sometimes, ‘Mondays’ don’t even show up on Mondays. But you know them when they come creeping up on you. So, how do we fight them? By exercising our creativity, even if it’s against our will at first.  Continue reading

The North Texas Teen Book Festival: 2017

endless signIf you ever doubt that today’s youth are into reading, all you need to do to is attend a book festival like this last weekend, where over ten thousand teens from all over Texas came to hear their favorite authors, ask them questions ranging from what inspires them to how they come up with their complex plots; sign hundreds of books, get the latest on booktubing from the pros, win prizes, buy swag, and of course, hear the answer to that age-old question: Can I be a writer, too?

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“What I Learned from a Writing Fiction College Course” by Teen Staff, Noah Dingman

What I learned from a Writing Fiction College Course

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Currently, I am enrolled at Edmonds Community College as a Running Start Student, which means I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Sadly not the fun kind of writing I wish I was doing, just a bunch of boring academic essays. I know, gross. Word of advice, when signing up for your first quarter of college classes, don’t pick two five credit English classes; since nobody told me that, that is exactly what I did. I picked the basic English 101 course, and English 161, or a Writing Fiction class. Needless to say I was excited to have an excuse to write fiction for school, but the class I got was much different than I expected. Here’s some things I gleaned from my experience.  Continue reading

Reset: A No-Stress Approach for a Great New Year

Welcome to 2017, Pen Friends!Reset: a No-Stress Approach for a Great New Year

Once the confetti has been swept up, and we’ve all recovered from staying up too late, it seems like the dawning of January only has one thing to declare: New Year’s Resolutions!

But let me be honest: I’ve never really cared for New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe it’s my Myers-Briggs type talking (I’m an INFP), but I can’t stand being made to create a long list of things I need to improve in my life, and then be made to feel guilty about it if I don’t follow through on them all. I realize that’s not the actual point of resolutions, but that’s how they’ve always felt to me–like that one-size-too-small, itchy sweater your mom’s second cousin gave you for Christmas: uncomfortable, yet you still feel obligated to wear it. No, thank you. (Sorry, Cousin Cate!)*  Continue reading

Know Yourself: How Many Worlds Do You Live In?

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Writing fantasy is fun. Why else would so many people do it? Why would so many read it? There’s more than a monetary investment when a reader picks up a fantasy novel. They are taking on faith that the world the writer has created is going to engage them and spark their imagination. As an author, you have to think through more than loving your own world and story – it has to be easily comprehended by a reader so that they don’t get fed up and abandon the attempt to enter into your written world.

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3 Ways to Celebrate the Post-NaNoWriMo Crash

coffee-coffee-cup-cup-cafe-162793Congratulations! You have made it to the end of November. And if you’re in certain parts of the globe, you’ve already arrived in December.

I don’t know about you, but between writing like crazy this month, and getting caught up in the flurry of the holiday season, I’m already exhausted. Happy, but exhausted. Honestly, I can barely function after pulling a crazy marathon writing day yesterday in order to finish NaNoWriMo, so I’ll keep this short. 🙂

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