Creating Creative Spaces!!!

Since posting this, I move my kitchen table into the living room for a desk. I think it’s big enough. Tigerlily likes it in the morning sun.

I rearranged my living room the other day and feel more creative and refreshed in my personal space. So it got me thinking about creative spaces and how writers create theirs.

This my little writing desk. As you can see, things are a little tight with limited storage. But I love the style of desk so much and it makes me feel creative, so I put up with it and use a little table and bookshelf either side for extra surface and storage.
This is my music corner with my Yeti mic condenser and old tablet for recording. My foot stool doubles as a piano stool. There are my two flutes and my new violin. It’s a cute little space right by the window. It’s probably my favourite space in the flat.
My MC from Out of Ashes learns (more relearns) to play the violin, so I figured I’d do the same. I bought a black one just like in my book.

Like any job or hobby, you need the right space and tools to work in. An artist need’s their canvas, paints, light and space to stand back and look at the bigger picture. A mechanic needs toolboxes and a large garage with a pit and one of those thingamajigs that raises the car up in the air. 

I’d love a desk like this. Classic but spacious.

Writing is no different. We need our notebooks, laptops, PCs, and whatever else to make notes and write, but we also need a calming space to write. I’ve heard some people like to write in coffee shops because it’s “cool”. I’m sure you look cool sipping your coffee and tapping away in your laptop, but the noise would be a serious distraction for me.

I used to write in cafes on my lunchbreak, but now I have lunch at home.

So home, or somewhere really quiet, is the only place I could write. I had this gorgeous writer’s desk in the flat when I moved in but it’s a bit too small so I’m looking for a new one. Something vintage-looking to go with the rest of my furniture. It prompts my creativity having more stylish furniture. I keep my desk mostly clear of clutter, but I need space for my notebook to scribble ideas down, which is a Santori notebook and super cute. It was expensive, but worth it since it sits on display every day.  

Another dream desk. Maybe with some drawers for storage.

I’m also lucky enough to have a PC and a laptop, so I can write anywhere. I prop my feet up on the footstool while chilling on the sofa, or hang my legs over the arm of the armchair. Comfort is also important, and moving around can help give you a fresh perspective. 

Light is also key. Not too much to cause a glare on your screen, but enough to keep your space looking bright. A friend of mine likes to work in the dark. Between you and me, she’s a little nuts. And I know she’ll read this and agree, so it’s cool. Some writers prefer the dimness.

Going back the post about inspiration, having nice images on the walls or on your desktop on your computer is a good idea too. It doesn’t have to relate to what you’re writing, just something visually pleasing. 

No matter where you write or what you write on, make sure you do all you can to make it a comfortable and creative space to help those creative juices flow.

Multiple Project Disorder!

woman sitting on bed with flying books
Photo by Lacey Slezak at Unsplash

I have a wild imagination and vivid dreams that always lead to some literary project whether it be flash fiction, a short story, or an entire series of novels. This is both amazing for an aspiring writer to have so many ideas, but also conflicting in which projects I’m more focused on. 

I spent two years drafting and revising my first series before I lost my creativity last year. I still found time to drop by for some outline changes and notes based on ideas I wanted to put into the piece at a later date, but I basically stopped writing.

Then my creativity came to me in dreams and won’t stop. I have my novel I’m writing and putting the majority of my energy into right now. But I have two series of short pieces I also keep hopping back and forth with. Plus my original series that I will go back to the moment this latest novel is finished,

So how do you stick with one project to get that done before jumping to the next?

If you find the answer, I’d love to know. But does it matter? Finishing my projects is the main goal, for sure. But why do I have to work on only one project at a time if I have so many ideas for lots of different projects?

Yes, this means they will take more time in the long run, but I’ve finished a few short pieces already, I have a final revision pending for my first novel, and I’m ploughing through my latest with virtually no distractions. So I’m 100% okay with working on short pieces occasionally. It gives my mind a break from the bigger project so I can do back to it with a fresh outlook.

If you’re the kind of person to stick to a project with no distractions, then great, do it. Finish that project.

But if you’re like me who has too many ideas for just one project, then don’t limit yourself. Make notes and write outlines for new projects if you want to focus on just one. You don’t have to write the whole thing now. I have many notes and outlines pending because I know I want to finish a specific novel first. But pondering short pieces are fine too. I might even get something published while I’m working on my novel.

Your imagination may give you plenty for one project or it may give you more than you can handle. But don’t be overwhelmed. Use it all and don’t limit your creativity. There is balance in everything.

New Year, New Perspective!

Tea, Book, Reading, Cozy, Cup, Table, Drink, Vintage
Image by Mylns65hoasphn at Pixabay

As it’s New Year’s Day, I thought I’d talk about introducing new POVs in a story and when’s best to do it.

Now, you can keep characters to separate chapters or switch for different scenes. That’s going to be another post on the pros and cons of that. But both of my top favourite authors switch POVs within chapters, so I’m used to lots of changes.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Starting with the protagonist makes sense unless it’s a prologue, in which case, choose the best person to prepare the reader for the main event. In my multi-POV book, the protag gets the prologue simply because it works best and shows her life before it all went wrong. 

In my latest WIP, it’s all single POV except for the prologue. But it shows something that the protag can’t show and doesn’t know about until later. So that one-off POV sets up exactly what I need to for the reader to know what I want them to know. 

What I find better as a reader, is to get just comfortable enough in one character before I change to another. Two chapters is usually enough or one if they’re quiet long. I want to feel and care for that character and use them to understand the world and situation around them. 

Introducing the second and third POV is not so different from the first. You want to ground the reader in a new mind asap and make it clear we’re now in someone else’s head. If you’re in 1st POV, chapter titles or subtitles are good, and for 3rd, use the character’s name in the 1st sentence for clarity. I know I mentioned it not being as important for 1st POV in chapter 1, but the ongoing characters need to be clear instantly no matter what form of POV you’re using. If they’re surroundings and general situation is different from the previous POV, then use it to transport the reader to a new life too. The whole point of multiple POVs is to give the reader a more dynamic experience of a bigger world. So show that through your characters asap.

Introducing a fourth, fifth, etc. By this point, you should have established the world situation, so you can leave most of that out unless it’s completely different again. Also, with these characters, I tend to expect to see less of, so delving deep is not as necessary unless you want to show the reader more. That’s subjective and depending on how much characterisation you want to show. I love characterisation, so I’ll take it all. But multiple POVs all with backstories can get in the way of the present story for some readers. I’m not one of them. I want these little tidbits especially since some might overlap with the protag’s past or clarify mutual or contradicting goals for the present. 

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Ask your critters or betas about how well you introduce characters and if they have a favourite. Then use that to help decide if you’re throwing too much information at your readers or not enough. 

So there’s how I like to be introduced to a new characters. I want to know why I should love or hate them. I want to question how I should feel about them sometimes too. I want them to surprise me. And I want to know all their secrets so I know when they’re about to be set free and cause chaos. I want to live the story with each and every one of them even if I have a favourite.