Major Change!

Hey guys!

Today, I have something to tell you. I’ve decided to stop posting on this blog for now. I’ve recently started another blog called Infinitely Obscure, and I just don’t have the time to regularly update two blogs at the same time.

But here’s the good news: I’m going to incorporate this blog into Infinitely Obscure, meaning that I won’t stop posting about writing – it’ll just be under a different blog. That way, I can actually plan writing posts into my editorial calendar and have content regularly. Unlike on this blog, that’s been really neglected lately, and I’ve felt really guilty about it.

So if you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, I ask you to please go check out Infinitely Obscure and subscribe there. I post there five days a week, Monday through Friday, so there’s more content than here.

I’m still working on the projects I’ve shared with you on this blog, so I’ll update stuff about them there. (Including the e-book on writing a play for beginners, that I’ll hopefully get out this year!)

I hope that you can embrace this change with me. Luckily it’s not the end – it’ll just look a little different.

I hope to see you there!

Love,
Aino.

Conversations with My Inner Critic, Part One

Yesterday, I finally completed the first draft of Manna, my newest play. Time to party! WOOOO…

…OOO…

…ooo…

…egh…

Only not really. Why didn’t I feel like celebrating, even though I finally managed to finish the draft that I’d been struggling with for a really long time? By the time I got to the dramatic, emotional final scenes, I was exhausted, tired and frustrated. Why? After saving the draft and stepping away from my computer, it finally hit me. My inner critic. This was the first time I could see him, in my mind, staring judgmentally into my soul. Yes, him. My mind often personifies inanimate objects and apparently, voices inside my head.

So, my inner critic looks like this:

I know he’s been with me ever since I started writing, but this time he was exceptionally loud. I’ll walk you through one of our conversations. Maybe it can help some of you – at least it helps to get it out of my system:

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How Stating the Obvious Can Improve Your Writing

The Writing Days / How Stating the Obvious Can Improve Your Writing

I already know what you’re thinking. Going against this advice is the building block of any creative writing course or class. Stating the obvious means you’re (1) undermining your readers and (2) you’re probably just a lazy writer. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that sometimes avoiding the obvious means overlooking some very exciting stuff. But don’t take my short word for it – let me explain what I mean.

Plot

Now, by stating the obvious I don’t mean writing a predictable plot from start to finish – you can still add unforeseen twists to your heart’s content. I mean that if you set up for something to happen it should happen.

How many times has the following happened in books you’ve read or TV you’ve watched?

A: I’m gonna talk to him.
B: Don’t you think that’s a little dangerous?
A: Sure. But I have to know. I have to tell him to leave me alone.

Two hours later:
B: How did it go?
A: He said he wasn’t going to bother me anymore.
B: Okay cool.

WHAT?! No, not cool in the slightest! Unless what actually happens in the confrontation is a major plot point that needs to be revealed further into the story, do not set up drama that’s never going to happen. I think writers fear that showing drama will make their writing resemble a soap-opera, but I beg to differ. Why give us set-up and aftermath when we could have action?

Characters

Basically, my frustration with this can be summed into a sentence I’ve already used in this post: Don’t set up drama that’s never going to happen. This will apply to many sorts of situations, mostly with characters whose morals are questionable, or who are part of a minority. It is a phenomenon in which the writer seemingly recognises a minority but at the same time fears that writing a character who is a part of that minority will alienate their audience. Similar situations include, but are not limited to:

  1. Your character is bad. Only not really, he’s just behaving that way because of, let’s say, a curse. Not like any of it is actually his fault. So there are no consequences, because you know, he didn’t know what he was doing.
  2. Your character has this one friend. They behave exactly like they are falling for each other. Only, you know, they are best friends so no way.
  3. Your character dies. Only not really, haha, it was all just a dream.

You get my point. For example, queerbaiting drives me absolutely insane. Setting up a homosexual relationship and then passing it off as a homoromantic one is not right. Go with what your characters tell you. I don’t mind a little “will they, won’t they” fun, but as a reader and viewer, I demand action! Writers are supposed to be brave. So be brave and let your characters be who they are.

So sometimes, just sometimes, give your audience what they expect. Walk bravely towards drama. Trust me, your readers will love you for it.

What do you think about going for the obvious solutions? Do you have any cautionary tales from books/films/TV? Which writers succeed in setting up drama and seeing it through? Comment your opinions and let’s chat!

Love,
Aino.

Camp NaNoWriMo has started!

Hi guys!

You might remember that I’m absolutely in love with National Novel Writing Month, and guess what? It’s April and Camp NaNoWriMo! This is just a quick update, because I’m desperately behind on my wordcount already and have to get back to writing.

Do you ever experience the problem of having too many ideas at once? I do right now. I have an idea for a play I’m writing for Camp this spring, but at the same time I’m thinking of other stories that want to get written, a dramatisation that still awaits the OK-go… My head is buzzing!

I guess this Camp I have to rebel a little and write several things at once. It’s a lucky situation to have all these ideas waiting to be realised, but at the same time I wish I had a driving passion to finish one thing before moving on to the next. Apparently that’s not how my mind works. I wish I understood myself more easily!

Learning to know myself,
Aino.

The Importance of Walking for Writers

theimportanceofwalking“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
F. Nietzsche

I love walking. When one day in lower secondary school I realised that I could walk the eight kilometres (I think that’s about five miles) home from school, I went home by foot whenever I had the time. Walking gives me time to think and relax. Many writers mention that walking is a part of their daily routine and I started wondering why. Here are some of my thoughts on the importance of walking for writers.

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7 Reasons Why Writers Shouldn’t Turn Off The TV

The Writing Days / 7 Reasons Why Writers Shouldn't Turn Off the TV

One of the ways in which I procras– I mean find inspiration is read tips for writers. The one I keep seeing over and over again is the command to watch less television. You know, I love TV, but that’s not the only reason why I don’t agree with this piece of advice. I think there are numerous ways in which television can benefit writers.

1. TV is writing

Do we keep forgetting that most of television is written? The industry employs writers in just about every series from costume drama to reality TV, but we look past that. Is it elitism? I hope not. The people writing the most popular and the most underrated series are our colleagues. Knowledge in that field is just as important as reading the latest novels, research articles and plays. Let’s not forget that.

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Things I’ve Learned About Writing From 9-Year-Old Me

Things I've learned about writing from nine-year-old me

It began with a picture of the jungle, and evolved into a story about Tarzan. I drew page after page, describing the events of the story in each picture. And in the last one, Tarzan saves a man from being hanged from a tree. Granted, this story I imagined as a child was one of the more morbid ones, and my mom must’ve been baffled when she saw what I was up to. But you know what? She never said no. 

I’ve been writing stories as long as I could write, and telling stories before I could put words down on paper. Something drew me to writing at a young age, so that something must be the reason I’ve kept it up. What things did 9-year-old me love about writing?

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