It’s easy as a writer to fall into the trap of shiny new toys. There’s an endless number of book writing software programs claiming to be the best at one thing or another, from Microsoft Word to Scrivener to Vellum—and the list goes on and on.
They flash their sexy features at you and promise to be the very thing you need to become the writer you want to be. But sadly, these programs will not make you into the writer you want to be. They offer the world, but often only take your time.
That’s why I would like to offer a defense for using the industry book writing software standard, Microsoft Word.
As writers, we create new realities, which demands we use our experiences to inform our work. A stroll with a friend in a park or a dance in a fountain will translate into chapters.
We don’t just have to grab the good times. We can do this with illness as well. When we are sick, we should try and take a step back and learn about how our characters will feel when they are struck with a disease.
There’s a painful tension between getting and giving in writing. Sure, when you’re writing, you’d like to get attention, or to get followers, or to get money, or to get reviews.
But when those things are your focus, your work is much less satisfying and enjoyable than when you’re writing to give back to your readers.
Storytelling is world building. Whether you are writing horror, science fiction, or romance, your readers must believe in the world you are creating. Often this requires us to develop characters who are in positions we have little to no personal experience with.
Thankfully, replicating things we haven’t already done is not impossible; it just takes practice. Here are three tips that will help you reproduce professions you’ve never been a part of and create believable character development.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a personal hero of mine. I grew up in a home passionate about correcting social injustice, especially injustices tied to race. My father gave me my first collection of Dr. King’s sermons when I was thirteen. By page five, I had I fallen in love with the great man’s perspective, vision, and philosophy.
Since that year, I’ve worked to make the celebration of his life more than just a day off of work and school. I try to make it an opportunity for personal challenge and an occasion to focus on developing my children’s character.
Today, I’d like to give you three ways that you too can honor the great leader.