With this blog I hope to inspire people to live out their full authentic selves, no matter what other people might tell them is or is not appropriate. Follow me for noveling helps and articles about how to live your life freely and openly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I got "the call" today - the library wants me to teach a class on writer's block!! So. freaking. excited. And a bit nervous too, I'll admit. But you can never learn without doing, and the experiance that I get from this I can carry over to another library, another class. I'm so focused on the 5k in a little less then two weeks, that there is honestly little else that I'll think about.
Speaking of writer's block, I finally got over my rough patch in my novel, and am working on an outline that is totally different from what I originally thought I'd be doing. Even so, I'm excited about the direction the book has taken me. So. Excited.

I'll update more later, I promise..
L Elindel

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Beginning - Pilot

Ever wondered if you had it in you to write a novel? Maybe you had this great idea rolling around in your head and all it needed was a little push to get out? Well, I'm here to help give you that push!
Like you, I dream of the day when I can call up my best friend and say, "my novel hit shelves today!". Like you, I'm sometimes clueless on where to begin. The worst part of it is that I spend time pouring over books and internet links, time that could be spent writing. Well I'm here for you, friend! Let me do the pouring over the books and internet sites while you do the writing. All the information you need to write the next best-selling novel will be right here, on my blog. Will it be easy? No. No. No... it will not. But will it be rewarding, and doable? Yes, yes, and yes!

One more warning before we go on - this will not be one of those "Write a novel in 30 days" crash courses. While that can be useful for gaining momentum in your writing life, I've found that the outcome is mostly trash, and that it takes a lot of work to revise. Why not write something that is nearly prefect the first time, rather then doing lots of reversion at the end? (Note: You will have to revise no matter what. Again. and again. and again. Don't get me wrong on this one!)

Before we get to the writing part though, there are a few steps that we need to go over. First -
1) Develop a writing space
A writing space can be anything from your kitchen table to your car. I've written some of my best work in the car waiting for hubby to get off work. I am blessed enough to have an office that I can use for writing space - but I'm fully aware that other people might not be so lucky, so here's what you do. First, raid your house for any and all writing supplies. This applies even if you will be using a computer for most of your work. Things to pick up: post-it notes, markers, pencils, pens, index cards, ect. Then collect things that help you write. Music, candles (hey, I like fire. Don't go judging!), coffee, you get the idea! Do you have a desk you can use? I find that personally it's best to separate work from play so my office is totally devoted to my running and writing pursuits. If you want a desk and don't have one, then it's time to get creative.
        Desk Issues
        If you don't have a desk, but want/need one, first check out Walmart and see if there's anything there that suits your fancy. I got my desk for $50 and it's held up a year. With that being said, it's gonna self-destruct any day now (it's actually held together by duct tape), but it's done it's job for a year. Next I want this desk: (at over 3,000 dollars it's like yeah right! in my dreams! But hey... a girl can dream right???) I'm
sure that I can find a cheaper model somewhere... anyhow, back to YOU the writer. If you don't have a desk I'd recommend finding a bin or box to hold all your writing supplies. A backpack works well too, that way you can carry it with you where ever you go. Even if you do have a desk, I'd separate some of your supplies out into a ziploc bag (or a fancier bag if you have it) to keep in your purse or car. You never know when inspiration can hit, so it's best to always be prepared. If you don't have a desk, want one, but can't afford one, get creative. Maybe there's an unused desk at your parent's house, or you can even go to your local library to use their desks. A cheep lap desk might also be an option for you.

Highlighters. Gotta have them. If you don't have them, take a trip to your local office supply store. Bring paper and a pen. While you wander, find items that suit you as a writer. You might not have the money to buy everything you see today - I know I didn't! - so make note of the smaller things you "want" and the larger things you "need" - a white board, a chock board, etc. The idea here is that you are stocked with items that scream "you". While not always possible, it is very helpful to have items around you that bleed creativity. For example, my desk is covered with candles, all things pink, notepads, a mirror, CDs, play dough, my squishy, etc. I'll post a picture of my desk at the end of this post. One last thing - don't forget some sort of a notebook with pockets. You'll be using it!

A writing schedule is a must have. Not only will it keep you on track, you also get to look back and see the progress that you've done! Now, I understand that some of us are most alert in the morning and some of us are most alert in the evenings. All I'm asking you to do is take a good hard look at how you're spending your time and where you could possibly change your habits to fit in more time to write. Oh, before you get all up in arms about having to miss Grey's Anatomy, remember that it is online and you can catch it there after your writing is over. It's best to have a set time every day to write so that your brain kinda locks into thinking, "okay, now it's for real, I have to write now!" I've read that it's best to write every day so that your brain locks into that, but personally I write 5 or 6 days out of the week. Just depends what we have going on.

Okay, so you've gathered all your material together, set a place for writing, set a time for writing every day. What's next? Well, they say that 1/3 of writing is preparation, 1/3 is writing, and 1/3 is redrafting.

So the first step:
Write a one sentence description of your novel. Here's mine: A cutter is given guardianship of a dying kingdom. Write yours and post it below! I'd love to read them.

Happy writing!

L. Elindel

Not all here

I'm going to start out this post with an announcement, and a warning - I'm not all here today. My plan is that coffee will help that. Yay Coffee!!

Now, the announcement. I know the four of you who read this blog are probably very well versed in writing novels. But I want to expand my readership, and as such, this blog is going to be changing a bit.

Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into an x-rated blog (although sadly enough that would draw a ton of followers I'm sure... just not the kind I'm hoping to attract!).
I'm going to theme this blog all about novels, following my own process for writing a novel. I have, after all, written two, so I have some ity bity authority on the subject. Along the way I'll scatter in book reviews, hints and tricks gathered from here and there - basically make this your one-stop destination for writing your novel.
You ready?
I sure I am!
Let's begin...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Helpful Online Tools for Writers

How To Write A Novel Using The Snowflake Method

Check the link above out. I'm using this to map out my novel and it's helping soo much. Anyone who is writing a novel would highly benefit from checking out the Snowflake Method.

Evernote is like a large notebook that can be divided into sections and holds the little clips you pick up off the internet. It's also great for saving chapters or even a whole novel. It's really a cool tool that you should check out.

This is a handy little writing tool that encourages you to write... or die in a game format. Don't worry, your writing is saved for you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Civilizations got you down?

When writing a fantasy novel, I personally find that the hardest part is writing the civilizations. What exactly IS a civilization, after all?
Fear not, fellow fantasy and sci-fi writers, I found the answer!!

Check this PDF out. I didn't create it, the creator "lives" here. Tomorrow I'm going down to the library to print a few copies of this off (yes, we do have a printer but no ink) so that I can start filling them out.

Another helpful tool is brain mapping. It's really easy to do, both on the computer and on your own. Think of it as sub-plotting... or maybe like drawing a tree. You start with the roots, which is the main topic you wish to cover. So draw a circle in the middle of your paper and label it with the main topic - for example, "humans". Then "branching" out from that would be your sub topics - Biology, Family, Religion, ect. So write those words down (or whatever words you chose) encircling your main topic. Then draw lines, connecting them to your main topic, almost like floating ballons. Then you have your sub-sub-topics. Outside of the circle, "religion" for example, list several religions, then draw lines connecting them to your sub-topic of religion. Continue on until you feel as though you are complete.
Another easy way to do this is through free computer softwear such as XMind (just skip all the paid versions).

Coming soon: The snowflake method... or not. I'm still trying to figure that one out myself!


Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm officially back!

I got back home today, and I have only one thing that I want to live you with -
"Small hours".
Those are what count for eternaty. The hour that you spend watching tv, gaming, or goofing off is an hour that could be spent writing, reading, or pursuing your craft. Never underestimate the power of only a few minutes spent writing. Ideas can spring from the simple act of sitting down to write.
Am I saying all tv is evil? That entertainment in general is evil? No, but make sure that you earn it.

I'm simply exhausted tonight, so I'm keeping this short and sweet.

If whatever you're doing does not fit into your 20 year plan of where you want be in your life, cut it out to get to your goal faster. Simple as that.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Fiction Friday

This is a small piece I wrote with some of my novel members in it. Enjoy!
Every small detail on her outward appearance screamed “control freak” – her perfect black manicure to the tight bun on the back of her head. She absent-mindedly fingered her upside-down, broken cross necklace as she stared at the door.
“Staring at the door isn’t going to make more customers come!” her boss gently teased her as he stepped out from the back room. “Sure, but it makes me feel better!” She lightly responded.  Going over to the pastry case, she started methodically arranging all the pastries into several long lines. “Cling!” the bell attached to the door rang once as a young girl came in, trying to wipe the tear streaks that were running down her cheeks.
“Krystal!” The control freak exclaimed, coming around the counter to take a closer look at her younger sister. “What happened?”
“It’s – it’s – b-b-ullies, Ava” Krystal stammered, rubbing her upper arm.
“What did they do to you now?”
Th-they at-tacked me. I-I wasn’t d-doing wr-wrong!”
Grabbing a napkin out of the dispenser Ava gently started to wipe to marks off of her sister, tenderly tracing the malformed shape of her sister’s head.
“Maybe you need to let Bill pick you up from school from now on,” Ava suggested. “I’d do it myself, but you know you get out before me.”
Krystal animatedly shook her head no.
Ava sighed and smoothed her sister’s short pixie hair.
“A-Ave, yo-your per-perfect” Krystal affirmed her sister as she gave her a side hug. The bell rang again as a customer walked in. Spinning to help the customer, Ava’s sleeve got caught on the shelves nearby, pulling the sleeve up to her elbow. The customer gasped. Even Krystal pulled away from her sister, confusion written on her face. Cut into Ava’s forearm was the word “sinner”. Numerious other cuts and burns lined Ava’s arm. In shock, Ava yanked her sleeve down, her cheeks flushing with shame. Suddenly her perfect manicure, her perfect hair, even her perfect love for her sister, was all swept away in one moment by her imperfection.
Nothing is as it seems.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One last post....

before I officially leave for vacation.... errr... the conference.
I just wanted to make a note here that I've been learning so much through "Make a Scene" by Jordan E Rosenfield and through Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress that it's making me question a lot of things.
It's never made me question how badly I want to write, and hope to someday be a best selling author. No, it made me question my own writing skills. Notice that I didn't say ability. Ability is something that is innate. I think I have at least a little bit of that. I did, however, use the word "skills". Skills can be grown, changed, and even matured. I think my skills need a little of all of that!
My dilemma is simple. Right now I cannot afford classes, and I cannot afford to work (me working would push us into a much higher tax bracket, and all my money would go to pay taxes!! Not cool) so I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. But here's what I can do, in micro steps, in no real order:
1. Finish studying the creative writing books that you do have (5 total)
2. While you are studying, write short stories, edit them until complete
3. Send the edited story to a critique group, edit again
4. Send the story to a publisher
5. Get rejected. Learn something from it.
6. Start working again on novel (from scratch)
7. Send parts of the novel to critique groups
8. Edit, edit, edit
9. (Someday) submit to publisher.

 This video sums up EXACTLY why I want to write by one of the guys who got me into writing in the first place, Ted Dekker.

L Finch

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Youth of the Nation

It shocks me how cries for help from our youth often go unheard. We let them struggle in silence - until that silence isn't enough. Runaway teens, cutters, burning, suicides, attacks at school, bullying... the list goes on and on. From the time they are in their mother's womb they are attacked with the threat of death. It doesn't let up even then. And what are we doing to change that?
I wear a red bracelet that says "life" on it to remind me to pray for the unborn - but it also reminds me of the unheard youth of the nation an their struggle for life. It reminds me to write - write - write. The faster I pound the keys the faster I can leave my mark on their voiceless struggles. I've been voiceless before, I've been a teenager. The diffrence between me and them is that I've found my voice, and they are still silent.

I "see" them in my mind, duct tape over their mouths, tied down, trapped. Endure the trapped feeling long enough and the only way "out" is with a gun, a knife, a razor blade.

But that's not the end. And that's the part that I need to show them, that's the part that they cannot see - life gets better. This is not the end. Life is not as bad as it seems. There is a light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep pushing through.
When the cutters came to Jesus (yes, there are cutters in the Bible! See Mark) he loved them and did not turn them away. They were isolated in the tombs, and the people were scared to go past them. Sounds like a lot of today's youth -
1. isolated
2. harming their bodies (through drugs, addictions, etc)
3.wanting a way "out"

Christ showed them the only true way out.
However, I believe that there is still hope for you, even if you don't believe in Christ.

Will you help our youth?

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Micro goals are goals that are broken down into very tiny (hence: micro) seven-day steps. I first learned about them through the book "Living Write" by Kelly R. Stone. Excellent read, just ignore some of the new agey stuff.
Let me give you a personal example of a micro-goal:
I want to start submitting articles places, but have no idea of where to start and am scared of rejection (aren't we all!).

Monday: Make a list of places that might take inspirational pieces, pick top one
Tuesday: Develop a story idea to fit the parameters of the submission site
Wednesday: Write the story
Thursday: Complete guidelines for submitting story
Friday: Re-write story, call and ask for the editor's name
Saturday: Re-write story again, write accompaning letter
Sunday: Submit Work

Now, I'll be out of town starting Wends so that probably won't happen this week. I just wanted to give you an example of how micro-goals work. Pretty cool, right?
All I can say is get the book and read it. It'll change your writing life.
For the past week I've been writing every day and it hasn't quite been life changing, but it's been close to that. To give you a little bit of background for me, I wrote a lot when I was 13-16, got a play produced, quit writing, wrote a novel when I was 21, then stopped writing again. Writing has never been a constant thing in my life. Perhaps it's beacuse I love to wait for the muse to strike. Maybe I'm just lazy. Unmotivated. Tired. Unfocused. That needs to change.
I've written out my vision of success (To write a novel that helps girls and glorifies God), I have micro-goals, I have up to 20 year goals written. I've never been so motivated to keep up writing.

However, I do have to keep in mind that my tenancies are to get discouraged easily. To keep that from happening, I will surround myself with positive quotes, and I will surround myself with positive people and hopefully join a critique group in the near future. Check out this quote:

"I think a successful writer needs to ask herself some hard questions on a regular basis. What's your writing goal? Then, what kind of book do you want to write? When you have answered the first two questions you are prepared to face the third: does the book you want to write enable you to reach your first goal?"
- Novelist Nancy Martin

1. My writing goal is to offer girls with addictions and who suffer from abuse hope.
2. The book I want to write (am writing) is about a girl who is abused and also deals with cutting and the healing and redemption that can be found even when dealing with awful, awful things.
3. And the book I want to write enables me to reach my first goal, so it looks like I'm golden!

My writing schedule for next week:
Monday: Write 2,400 words. Read 2 chapters in "Making a Scene".
Tuesday: Write 2,400 words. Read 2 chapters in "Dynamic Characters".
Wednesday: Write 2,400 words. Read 2 chapters in "Making a Scene".
Thursday (at healing conference!): Write 800 words. No reading required.
Friday: Write 800 words. No reading required.
Saturday: Write 800 words. No reading required.
Sunday: Write 2,400 words. Read 2 chapters in "Dynamic Characters".

L Finch