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The Writer’s Journey

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Novels and Novellas – Why Word Count Matters

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House Today’s article, the third in our series on writing styles, concerns two of the most cherished forms of writing which also happen to be a couple of the longest forms: novels and novellas. As in the previous two entries for the series, Fiction and Non-Fiction and Literature vs. Commercial Non-Fiction, we’ll learn how to define the two styles first, and then we’ll take a slightly closer look at why word count is so important.   Since the Cambridge Dictionary defines a novel as ‘a long printed story about imaginary characters and events,’ and a novella, simply put, as ‘a short novel,’  we can safely assume the two have a number of points in common including the fact, that both are usually printed as books (or e-books…

Literature vs. Commercial Fiction

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House Welcome to the second article in our series on writing styles! Last week we took a look at fiction and non-fiction writing, but this week it’s all about literature and commercial fiction. Even if you’ve heard of both writing styles, these forms can seem very different, but below the surface, they can cross over into other writing styles just like fiction and nonfiction. Let’s check it out! Literature = Art In broad terms, literature is any piece of writing with artistic or intellectual value. Oddly enough, a category of writing known as “oral literature” exists which encompasses forms like spoken-word poetry, work that is sung, and orally recited histories as in those of ancient tribal people, but just about every other style of writing can easily…

Writing Forms: Fiction and Nonfiction

Fiction and Nonfiction The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House Hello to all of you embarking on writing adventures new and old, and welcome to the beginning of a new series in The Writer’s Journey. For the next seven articles, we are going to explore different forms of writing in the hope that you’ll find the style which best fits your voice. We’re even going to host our first-ever competition wherein the winner will receive a copy of the recently released, You/Poet, a book written by Her Heart Poetry’s founder, Rayna Hutchison (@herheartshapedbox), and Editor in Chief, Samuel Blake (@palemanpoetry)! More about that in the coming weeks. For now you’ll find a list below of what each article covers. As the weeks go on, we’ll add in links to each article for…

The Power of the Hashtag Pt 2

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House As I explained in The Power of the Hashtag, this innocent looking symbol (#) can enable your content to reach audiences far and wide, and although there are many similarities in how hashtags are used across varying social media platforms, there are some slight differences, as well. We’ve already covered hashtags according to Instagram, so today, let’s take a look at how to use them properly on Facebook and Twitter. The Differences Matter Hashtags on Facebook and Twitter are slightly different than on Instagram. While the same rules regarding punctuation, spacing, and capitalization apply across all social media platforms, the best way to use them changes depending on which platform you’re using. For example, Instagram works best if several hashtags are attached to posts, but…

The Power of the Hashtag

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House A simple yet powerful way to get your content seen on social media is by using hashtags. If used correctly this innocent looking symbol (#) can enable your content to reach audiences far and wide. What do I mean when I say correctly? This article will explain exactly that. Today we’ll look at Instagram hashtags, and next time I’ll cover Twitter and Facebook. How Hashtags Work Hashtags are a way of identifying your content and reaching a specific audience, and thankfully, this concept is the same across all social media platforms. Let’s pretend that you’ve written a poem about wintertime and feeling cold, and you wrote it specifically for Her Heart Poetry on Instagram. In either the caption or comments for your post, you would…

Chasing Goals

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House “The act or process of motivating; the state of being motivated, having a desire or willingness to act; something that motivates, an inducement, reason, or goal.” For some people motivation is easy to find, but others are filled with dread by the mountain looming before them. Let’s assume that you are one of the many people who finds motivation a difficult concept to handle – after all, everyone’s been there, right? If you want to write that book, piece of poetry, or song, or possibly finish the painting that’s been sitting unfinished on your shelf for the last few months, you’ll need a healthy dose of motivation to get it done. In my quest to understand this truth in my own life, I came across a YouTube video by Mel Robbins which has actually helped me to take the concept of motivation out of the picture entirely. Mel,…

Camp NaNoWriMo

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House Camp NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) is next month, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to dedicate some time to your writing, especially because it provides you the support of like-minded people from around the world – quite the bonus considering how lonely writing can be. You can work on poetry, short stories, novels, plays, or editing an already-written work, but the best part? It’s 100% free! The camp is available twice every year, once in April and again in July. After you sign up, you set your target word count, fill out some basic information about yourself and the project you’ll be focusing on, and then everyone is assigned to a ”cabin.”  Cabins are your main support group, and you can either bunk with up…

Writing and Your Body

The Writer’s Journey is a column dedicated to different styles of writing and the exploration of one writer’s path to publication. Written by Samantha House When we write, we primarily engage our minds to get words onto paper in a way that best represents what we want to say, but what if I told you, that the body you so often overlook has the potential to derail your writing, as well? What am I talking about? Posture. When you consistently practice poor posture, your body will refuse to do the things you want opting instead to subject you to pain. Suddenly all that time spent hunched over your computer or notepad looks a little different, doesn’t it? Once upon a time, I frequently finished my daily writing with a sore back or neck, and it was because I leaned over my desk – sometimes for hours on end – while…

Thick Skinned

Written by Samantha A House The writing world (just like any other) houses people who won’t like your work, and that’s okay: your cup of tea isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, though, people who don’t like your work feel compelled to tell you, and they do so in a manner that can hurt. It’s not especially kind or welcome, but it happens. Here are some tips to cope with that kind of criticism. Understand that it’s an opinion: You can choose to listen if you desire, but don’t let someone else’s thoughts sway your belief in your work. It’s a piece of you: believe in it like you would believe in yourself. Don’t make yourself an easy target: Ensure that your writing has no spelling or grammatical errors. It seems basic, but mistakes can easily be missed, especially when you’ve already read through the same piece a few times. One way…

Trusting Your Reader

Written by Samantha A House One of the hardest things I have had to learn with writing is to leave some of it for the readers imagination. I have this habit of wanting to hammer home my meaning and in the process bludgeoning it to death. It makes for overly long, elaborately explained prose that a reader usually ends up skim reading. Or, heaven forbid, stops reading altogether. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here are the tips I wish someone had told me when I started writing. Trust your reader!! I can’t emphasis this enough. Your reader is not stupid, they will pick up on the clues you’ve laid down. Yes, they are not mind readers but they can read between the lines. Example: The broken vase sparkled in the sunlight like the diamonds on her ring finger.  The reader will more than likely make the assumption from…