Intro To Historical Fiction

I am writing a new historical fiction novel! Well, I’m researching while I finish up my NaNoNovel, so things around here might be a little more historical fiction centric. But don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of other posts about other topics. Today is mostly an overview of what historical fiction is, and I’ll explain it in simple, easy to understand points. (Sarcasm may or may not be included.)
Okay. So what makes historical fiction?
1. It takes place in our world’s history.
Okay, so that one’s kind of a given. Historical fiction can start way back at ancient Egypt, or even take place in the 1990s.
2. It can include real historical characters like, say Hitler.

When you add historical characters, it adds a layer of believability to the story, and maybe even shows a new side to that character.
3. Or it’s all completely fictional characters going about their marry way in the world.
Those are usually either mysteries or romances, but can just be characters struggling to survive against any backdrop you give them.
If you want to change events in history, I believe that is called speculative fiction. (I want to try that sometime.)
That’s all for today, come back tomorrow for my Top Ten Resolutions/Goals for 2015. Also, I’m wondering: What do you think about historical fiction? How much historical fiction do you read?
Elizabeth

What’s Coming Up This Week

How many people are doing NaNoWriMo? I am! I am super excited to be a part of it this year, as I have been for the past two years. I’m also starting a teen writing group at my library that will focus on NaNoWriMo. So in fitting with all this preparation and research that I’m doing, I thought it would be fitting to do a few series on what I’ve learned, so that I can share my new knowledge with you all who are doing NaNoWriMo. Also, if you want more writing tips and tricks, go over to http://www.ravensandwriting.blogspot.com, where they have a series on planning for NaNoWriMo (I guest posted for that series). So here’s a schedule of what and when I’ll be posting this week:
Monday : What is NaNoWriMo? by Elizabeth
Tuesday: Ideas by Katie
Wednesday: How to Start a Teen Writer’s Group: Planning by Elizabeth
Thursday: A Young Writer’s Guide to Summaries and Shame by Hazel
Friday: Preparing For NaNoWriMo: Word Count by Elizabeth

Let’s Talk Characters

Hey guys, this is Elizabeth. This post is by my new contributor, Katie. I’m super excited to have her on the Written Path team! I am looking for one or two more people to contribute once a week, or every two weeks. If you’re interested, please contact me through the guest post page. And without further ado, here’s Katie!
Hi everybody! I’m Katie. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a teen writer. I’ve wanted to be published ever since my first-grade teacher read my class a picture book written by a ten-year-old. Naive little me was shocked at the idea that a kid could write a book. My thought was, hey, I want to do that! So here I am, all these years later. I usually write fantasy/speculative fiction, and I’m about halfway through the first draft of my novel, Tempest. Aside from writing, I like hanging out with my friends and watching TV shows on Netflix. I’ve been a reader for a long time too. I love the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, almost anything by Gail Carson Levine, the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie, Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, etc. I love dogs (I have a golden retriever), chai tea, comfortable clothes, words, and rainy days. I’m very excited to be blogging here with Elizabeth, and hopefully I’ll get to talk to you all soon!

So let’s discuss characters. Characters are huge. Think about your favorite books and stories. What about them comes into your mind first? What did you like about them? Think about what makes you like or dislike a book. Did it have something to do with the characters? A lot of times, the answer is yes. As a writer, you have to consider the impact of characters on your readers. So how do you create a realistic character your readers will like? Here are a few ideas:

1. Talk it out. I’ve found that, when creating and developing characters for the first time, it helps a ton to work aloud. You could do this alone, or, as I’ve done, you could ask a writing friend, a non-writing friend, a sibling, or someone else willing to help to talk about your character with you. Bounce ideas off of them. Ask them questions. If you have online writing friends, do it over email.
My writing friend (who I know in real life) and I usually talk through a character worksheet (see number two for that). It’s nice because when there are two of you, you can “check” each other, so to speak. One person might suggest something about a character, but the other might not think it fits that character’s personality. You get a stronger character because of it. My friend and I were co-writing something when we did this, so the character “belonged” to both of us. But even for something you’re writing independently, you can try talking aloud about the character to someone else, to reason things out, ask questions to a potential reader, and make sure the character sounds realistic.

2. Use your resources. There are lots of great character-building tools out there. Take advantage of them. I recommend the worksheet mentioned on this page (hit “click here” to access it) from Go Teen Writers’ Jill Williamson (this is the one my friend and I use). This page has links to websites where you can take the Myers-Briggs personality test for your characters, as well as articles with details on the different personalities. Also, try actively listening to people around you. Compare the ways they speak. See if you can identify a word or phrase they use often, or if they pronounce a certain word differently. Infuse your characters with different, real-life voices.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words. I like to find pictures of people who look generally like what I think the character looks like. Pinterest is a great place to look. You could also try photography websites or Google images. Then, when you’re writing about that character or from their point of view, get out the picture and have it near you. Imagine the person in the picture speaking and doing the things their character does in the story. Get to know the person that is your character.

So there you have it. What about you? Are there any character-building resources you use? Do you have pictures of your characters? Do you think you’ll try any of these ideas? I hope they gave you some new techniques to consider, and that they will help as you create amazing characters!

~Katie

I’m Looking For A Partner

Hey guys! As you know I’ve been very busy lately, but I’d still like to have enough posts for you all to enjoy each week. That is why I’m looking for a partner to post once, maybe twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you can’t post that often, even a guest post would be great. I just need someone to help me run this site and post about writing. If you are interested, please contact me in the contact form on the Guest Post page. Thanks.
Elizabeth

How To Be a Writer: Finding Your Writing Space

Now that you’ve figured out what genre you want to write and have researched it, it’s time to find your writer’s space. This space can be in any spot that you want. Where do you like to write? The answer will not be the same for everyone.
I, for instance, like to write at desks, preferably in my bedroom. I started at a small, pale, wooden desk meant for a much smaller child. My legs were pressed up against the top, and it sometimes left marks, but it was worth the words pouring out from my fingertips. Later I got what I work at now, a huge L shaped desk made out of dark wood. It has many bookshelves, where I store all of my books on writing, notebooks, and library books I need to return. I also hang posters on it, and store little mementos around me for inspiration. I also have a vanilla air-freshener. Whenever I open it up, the scent of vanilla floods out, and inspires me to write. This scent gets me in a writing mood, since I only use it when I write.
I say all this to give you ideas, none of which you have to use. Maybe you don’t like to write at a desk, but at a coffee shop, or on your bed, or in a tree, or on your living room couch. That is awesome! Do what works best for you.
If you don’t know what works best for you, experiment. Try your couch one day, and your kitchen table the next. You never know what place will inspire creativity, and aid your writing.
And remember, you might need a change of scenery now and again. For instance, I wrote most of my novel at my desk, but finished it on my bed. I desperately needed a change of scenery, and it worked! Soon, while I plot my next novel, I’m going to try writing at my library in the newly remodeled teen section. Who knows, maybe it will be just the thing to get this new novel jump started!
That’s all for today, thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check back Monday for The Path To Publication Step Six: Starting Your First Draft.
Elizabeth

How To Be A Writer Introduction

Welcome to the introduction to the How to Become a Writer series. This series is going to be for anyone, at any age, who has just decided they want to be a writer. I was there, and I learned a lot on the way to becoming a writer.
First things first, you need to decide what you want to write, not your idea, but your type of writing. When I started, my type of writing was obvious to me. I wanted to write what I liked to read. I really like to read middle grade and young adult fiction, both fantasy and contemporary. Look at what you like to read, and test out different genres and audiences.
You could like one genre, but really be good at writing a totally different genre. That’s okay, but whatever you choose, you really need to read and study whatever category you decide to write in. Ask your librarian for popular books in your category, and research online.
​That’s it for this week, sorry it’s so short but this is a really busy week for me, and I thought this subject would be better by itself.
​Elizabeth

First Post and What’s Coming Up This Week

Hello everyone! This is the first blog post for my new blog, Walking the Written Path, and I am so excited to get started! The first real blog post won’t be up until next Monday, but for now, I will be giving you a list of what to expect this week.
Monday: I talk about your first step down the writing path besides coming up with the idea, only you can come up with your ideas.
Wednesday: I review the writing book Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Wilson.
Friday: I talk about the age differences between Middle Grand and Young Adult.
Sunday: I talk about how my writing week went, review what I posted this week, and reveal what I’m posting next week.
So that’s what’s happening this week, I hope you come back Monday, and please spread the word.
Elizabeth