5 More YouTube Videos to Help You Up Your Writing Game

I am a chronic under-writer. This applies to both my WIPs and blog posts. I have to fight for every single word. Sometimes I wonder if I’d be better at screen or script writing, because my brain often inserts those character movement cues in my head rather than on the page itself.

Fun fact: I almost went into advertisement when I was in college. Had a script writing class and everything. What did I write? Naturally, it was a Star Trek: Voyager “fan fic” of a script, but I was super proud of it. To this day I wish I’d kept it, but I had a habit of dumping all my coursework in the garbage after each semester. No matter if I was proud of it or not.

Not only am I chronic under-writer, but I’m also a constant, consistent doubter of my abilities. Yes, I know writing takes work. And yes, I’m well aware I’ve given up on a lot of things over my thirty-seven years. So that’s why I’ve begun searching out writing advice on YouTube. A few years ago I wouldn’t have, because so MUCH advice was coming my way from multiple social media platforms. As I’ve said in the past, I’m a simple lady with simple pleasures. Information overload isn’t part of the equation.

I would self destruct if I was ever assimilated into Star Trek’s Borg Collective. One mind? Thousands of voices in one’s head? I think not.

I digress.

A few weeks ago I shared ten YouTube videos with the hope that they could help you up your writing game. As I’m rebooting my own writing journey, I’ve found myself in need of advice again. Here are five more writing related YouTube videos I hope you’ll find as helpful as I do.

Editing Tips for Underwriters | When Your Book is Too Short

  1. Internalization/emotionality
  2. All A Plot, Lacking B Plot
  3. Underutilized Characters
  4. Complicating Characters
  5. Skipping “Boring Scenes
  6. Lacking Description
  7. Starting in the Wrong Place
  8. Act 2 Light on Setbacks
  9. Rushed Midpoint to Climax
  10. Ending is Rushed
  11. What is confusing?
  12. Narration Overabundance

I know I’ve already shared a video of hers before, but this one is so specific to my chronic problem that I had to include it. I always get confused on where I should add description or where there’s just enough, my first novella attempt began in the wrong place, and I tended to use the only action scenes I thought of right at the beginning of the book without thinking about the rest of it. Yup: I’m the classic under-writer type. But hey, at least I recognize, right?

How to start writing a book.

  1. Create an atmosphere
  2. Tools: gather the supplies you’re going to need to write
  3. Sectioning: slow down and plan
  4. Set schedule for yourself & deadline
  5. Turn off the “inside editor”
  6. Have a rough draft, however you want to set it up

I don’t know why but I could listen to her speak all day. She does come at the process from a faith standpoint, so if that isn’t your jam just jump the next video on this list. I do like that she emphasized the whole “don’t worry about editing, just get the story out” thing. I get stuck on this ALL. THE. TIME. However, she does talk about self publishing and “choosing” who you want to go with. This process is VERY different from traditional publishing + finding an agent, and there are a lot of scams out there to look out for. So that’s my tip on top of her tip!

25 Mistakes that Peg You as an Amateur Writer

  1. Spelling changes
  2. Similar names
  3. Mistakes in professions
  4. Mistakes in descriptions of medical care, tech, etc
  5. Small talk in dialogue that doesn’t mean anything
  6. Forgetting sensory information
  7. Naming MC after yourself
  8. Cliches
  9. Using same sentence structure
  10. Switching tenses unintentionally
  11. Pausing story every time a new character is introduced
  12. Overuse of alternative dialogue
  13. Using more words than necessary
  14. Overuse of alternative dialogue
  15. Thesaurus writing
  16. Constantly repeating a character’s name
  17. Repeating same descriptions over and over
  18. Switching POV at random with no indicators
  19. Including mundane details for no reason
  20. Describing every item of clothing
  21. Using an adverb + verb instead a stronger verb
  22. Overly formal dialogue
  23. Introducing too many characters at once
  24. Writing stage direction instead of action

OMG number 15 on the list kills me every time I see it in a story or hear it in a show. I also had trouble with overly formal dialogue for the longest time, especially when I wrote (or read) Victorian era stories. Didn’t think of people from that time using contractions for some reason, but by jove they did! Just like we do. It would be awkward to leave them out of the story. (And I know some writers do that to up their word count). And yes, I know my typed list from the video’s missing a couple of points, but that’s okay. It’s late, and I’m just going to accept it and most on 🙂

Margaret Atwood’s Top 5 Writing Tips

  1. Get a notebook
  2. Read a lot and read critically
  3. Pay attention to your posture because writing is very hard on the neck
  4. Writer’s block? Go for a walk or go to sleep
  5. Don’t be afraid to throw things out

This interview was adorable. The interviewers were so nervous, but Ms. Margaret was a gracious, well spoken guest. I must say that my jaw practically dropped when one of her tips was about writing posture. I’ve known I need to pay attention to it for years because of my scoliosis and the amount of time I spend on a PC at work. It’s just such an uncommon piece of advice that it made me, well, sit up and pay attention to her words even more! I also appreciated her tip about not being afraid to throw things out. I think, because I tossed a lot after college, it’s why I hang on to story ideas now. I think it’s time I spend an evening going through every file on my computer to finally purge what I really don’t want to hang onto anymore…

10 Writing Tips from JK Rowling

  1. Read as much as you can
  2. Always be writing
  3. Know everything about your story world and generate a lot of material
  4. Meticulously plot your story from beginning to end, from big plot points to minute details
  5. Let the characters come from a deep place inside you. Let them be an exaggeration of you
  6. Secrecy and mystery are a big part of the excitement of the story. Plan it carefully
  7. The urge to write often comes from a wish to rearrange your own reality
  8. You’ve got to believe in your writing
  9. You will be criticized; you can never please everyone
  10. Failure will set you free

Say what you will about her political beliefs, but this lady knows the book writing process. Heck, she’s the creator behind one of the largest fan bases in the entire world. So take this contribution to today’s blog post with a grain of salt. All I care about are the writing tips.

And now, here are my own tips:

  1. You don’t have to emulate your favorite authors or famous ones
  2. It’s okay to go through a “writing dry spell”
  3. Not everyone has to pay attention to modern writing “rules”
  4. Focus on the story one step at a time

What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever heard? Or, what’s your favorite tip from today’s post? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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