Chantele Sedgwick is a YA author, harpist, wife to one cute hubby and a stay-at-home mom to four silly kids. She is the author of Love, Lucas, Switching Gears, Interlude, the forthcoming The Summer of Lost Things (June 4, 2019) and other titles. She's also a Gryffindor, Kit Kat hoarder, avid reader & lover of all things nerd. Chantele is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.
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It's Time To Get Real, Yo.
How to write realistic/contemporary fiction:
Setting your story in the ‘real world’ can be just as hard as making up your own world. We’ll discuss how to write an accurate portrayal of your setting in the ‘real’ world, how to use ‘real life’ situations in your book, draw out the right emotions for your main and side characters struggles and where to draw the line using ‘real’ experiences of people you may know in ‘real’ life. Let's keep it 'real'!
CHANTELE'S WRITING TIP
BATTLING WRITERS BLOCK
We’ve all been there. Staring at the computer screen, writing a few sentences because they’re amazing, then erasing said sentences because they’re the worst, then proceeding to bang our heads on the computer desk because we don’t know how to move forward and our book sucks and we’re stuck.
Writer’s block. It strikes again.
I’ve found, at least in my case, writer’s block is “sort” of real, but mostly, it’s me choosing not to write for one reason or another. I’m worried my book isn’t going to be good enough, or I’m burnt out from working on it for so long, or I’m intimidated by the complex plot or scared I won’t get things right.
But sometimes, I really am just stuck.
When this happens, I have a few things I do to help get me back into the writing groove.
1. Research. Sometimes if I’m writing a book and can’t move forward, it’s because I haven’t done enough research on the place, time period, my main characters personalities and wants, etc. When I look up pictures of what my characters look like, find photographs of places that are in my book or pin inspiring pictures on my Pinterest board, I find my writing comes easier because I’m getting more familiar with how my characters see their world. Historical research can feel overwhelming, but take it little by little and you’ll enjoy it!
2. Read! When I’m feeling frustrated with my writing, I tend to read a lot. My tip? Read in a totally different genre than what you’re writing. Reading in a different genre can challenge your brain as you discover new cultures, magic systems, etc. You obviously need to read in the same genre you write in, but taking a genre break helps when you get burnt out. It also fuels creativity and gets you motivated to work on your own book when you read something fantastic! Watching movies and listening to music also helps get your creativity moving again.
3. Write something new. Pick something fun. Don’t worry about what you think will sell or not. Enjoy yourself and get those creative juices flowing again. Every word counts. Even words no one will ever read, but you.
4. Take a break. We all need a break sometimes, and it’s OKAY. Writing is hard. It’s time consuming and drains our energy when we’re hyper focused on finishing a book. We need to take time to recharge. Take care of yourself first and you’ll be able to sit down a few weeks, months or even a year later and have the energy to finish your book.
Writing a book is hard. Fear of failure is very real. Every manuscript has some kind of road block before it’s ready to send to agents or publishers or even critique partners. Every author goes through “writer’s block”. Even if you have to set a book you’re struggling with aside for a while, things work out. Just keep dreaming, kick self-doubt to the curb and most of all, keep writing!