What To Write

What To Write

As Fiction writers, we usually have ton’s of story ideas.

I know I do.

Sometimes I have trouble focusing on just one story at a time.

Has this ever happened to you?

I was set on writing my second Novel and I still am…but lately I’ve been writing something else on the side. A non-fictional piece for some reason I’ve felt I just had to flesh out a really rough draft outline of (or at least the part that was on my mind).

I’m definitely still working on writing Novel #2, but just wanted to know if anyone out there could relate.

Do you work on main pieces, but have a “side piece” story your writing at the same time?

Is it a bad idea? Good idea?

What do you think?

 

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

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What’s Your Story?

What's Your Story_

Everyone has a story.

Some people have many.

Some, not so many depending on how long they have been on this earth and the things they’ve experienced. By now you know I love writing (obviously), but I also enjoy history.

I love listening to other people (who have something interesting to share) and history in general.

No one person’s story is the same as another’s.

As I begin to really dig deep into doing research for my second novel, I am beginning to ask family members and other elders about their stories and lives.

I love reading about history, but it’s something to hear how it really was…not the text book version, and listen to it from a person first hand.

A lot of heritage and stories of our families history is often either left out or untold. A lot of truths are dying and being sent to the grave with those who pass who really have so much to tell.

Usually the fun part about it is, older people have many many stories to tell. If you ask. (Sometimes…)

If you’re around someone 70,80 plus just ask them “what was life like when you were my age..” Most the time they are more than willing to share.

If you have the time that is…you may just learn a few things.

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Lena, Issa & Inspiration To Do Some Screenwriting

nicolealiciawrites.com (1)

I took a little break last week, but I’m back y’all…

So this weekend I had tagged along with my husband to visit a relative of his in the ICU at a hospital and since we had our son with us, I sat in the waiting room while he visited with her.

This waiting room was so quiet and peaceful. There were no TV’s and no vending machines. We were pretty high up and there was a beautiful view out the big bay like windows. With my son occupied I searched for a magazine on the table that interested me.

I really don’t know when the last time I picked up an interesting magazine article that really intrigued me. Let alone get a chance to just sit down and read something for my age group (things have been so hectic lately.) Then I came across the April issue of Vanity Fair with Lena Waithe on the cover.

Now, yes I admit I’m late being “in the know”…

I had heard of her online tied to Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”, but honestly I didn’t finish the 2nd season of that show (started it, but never finished).

Then I heard her name mentioned again, winning an Emmy and that she had wrote the show, “The CHI” on Showtime. I mean her name has been everywhere!

So I picked up the magazine without hesitation. I begin reading the article, but only was able to finish part of the first page of the feature article about her, before my husband came in to the waiting room and said he was ready to go.

I looked at him and told him what I was reading to which he replied, “Just take the magazine.”

I didn’t want to take the brand new issue of the magazine from the waiting room, I mean what if someone else wanted to read it. If it was a few months old I probably would have snatched it, but yet I digress…

So, in short I went to 3 different stores in my area to track down this issue…

I had to read the rest of the article!

The writer of the article Jacqueline Woodson did an excellent job. I love Lena’s candor. She’s definitely and inspiration. Currently, I have only stuck to what I know which is story telling in fiction format as a novel. But as I binge watched “The CHI” finally this weekend (shout out to Xfinity for the 3 month free subscription to Showtime), I began to be super inspired by the writers of this show!

I am still working diligently on my second novel, but now after reading this article and seeing this show, I am really inspired to do some screenwriting! Also, after reading another favorite of mine, Issa Rae’s book earlier this year these women are so inspiring for a young writer like myself!

Has anyone else seen “The Chi”? What do you think about Lena Waithe’s projects she has written for? Has anyone done screenwriting? Any advice?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Writer Struggles: Take 2

Writer Struggles_ Take 2

Happy Monday eve readers,

I am struggling…

I’m fine physically, but mentally I have been doing a horrible job at keeping up with my writing routine and blogging.

I try to blog consistently on nicolealiciawrites.com, Monday’s and Wednesdays. I think last week I only did one day.

My goal at the beginning of January was to at least have the rough draft of my second novel knocked out.

Fail!

I am only about 40 pages and 15,000 words.

Trouble is I have been so distracted with my other businesses. I have to find a way to get back on track.

One may say this is writer’s block, but I know it’s just lack of focus and inspiration.

What do you do when you fall off track? Comment below!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Be Your Own Fan Club

Believe In Yourself

When I started writing, for some odd reason I thought I would have this cheering section. Like really…

I assumed since I was blogging, automatically readers would come to my blog.

The biggest misconception in all of this, was that I would have the full support of at least friends and family.

This turned out to be the biggest lie of them all, that I told myself.

When you are an artist or a creator, or do things that are different from the norm, most of the time you’re not going to have support you think you’ll get.

Well, at least not in my experience.

I had so many people ask me the question, “You still doing that blog thing,” or my favorite “Hey, how are those book sales coming?”

But, when it came down to my first book being published some friends and family who said they would support me by either reading it or buy it, didn’t.

That’s why I decided along time ago as a writer and entrepreneur, in all the other endevours that I do, that I, myself have to cheer myself on.

If you wait for people to cheer you on, especially your own family and/or friends…hate to tell you, but you’ll be so disappointed.

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If no one takes you seriously about writing, opening a business or whatever…please take YOURSELF seriously.

I love my readers!

95% of you all I don’t know, but I thank YOU for your support and your continued feedback!

Have you ever relied on someone to cheer you on and they didn’t? What happened? Were you surprised? How did you feel?

Comment below…

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

The Power of Keeping A Prayer Journal

The Power of Keeping A Prayer Journal

 

I am no stranger to journaling…

I have been keeping a regular journal or diary of some sort since was about 6 or 7. I think I have kept probably almost every journal or diary I have ever had, so yeah I love  journaling (I’ll write another post soon on why I love it so much and the benefits)!

Every now and then I get a bit nostalgic and like to look back and see what it was I was talking about in middle school or high school in my journals. I even browse through the ones from a couple years ago sometime.

Along with my love for writing stories, I think journaling just came naturally. Not to mention me and my obsession with pens and paper.

Most recently, I found a prayer journal I started back in June 2013.

I got the idea to start one from my women’s bible study leader. She would have us write our prayer requests down at the end of the meeting on note cards and put them in a box, so she could pray for us during the week on those specific things.

I started out doing the same at home. I bought a little box from the dollar store and wrote down my prayer request on note cards and stuck them in this little box when I was finished praying. But then, I came to the conclusion that for me, I sometimes wanted to write down my prayers maybe while taking my lunch break, instead of waiting until I got home that night. So I got me a small notebook I could just slip in my purse and started my first prayer journal.

I happened to pick it back up here recently and start writing my prayers down again. I do still actually say them during my nightly time to pray and even in the morning, but I guess I use the prayer journal more for documentation also.

Yesterday while I was at church ( I sometimes use my prayer journal to record notes from the pastors message during service) I came across the very first passage I had written in this prayer journal. I looked at the date and then I thought back…

What was happening in my life during June 2013?

Oh yeah, I had just found out I was pregnant with my son who is now almost 4.

This pregnancy was extra special for so many reasons!

My husband and I had gone through 3 very difficult miscarriages and never had a problem getting pregnant…until we actually tried to. We were so happy when I found out I was pregnant again, but so nervous. Everything with that pregnancy started out going really well and then BOOM I ended up on bed-rest for 3 1/2 months in the hospital.

As I continued to thumb through there, I saw more prayer requests I had written down and more prayers that have been answered not only for myself, but for others.

prayerjournal

I had been writing in it off and on since 2013.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes don’t remember what I prayed about 4 years ago. But for me it’s so powerful, especially when you’re down and feeling discouraged or doubtful, to look back and see how the Lord has blessed you or your friend or your family member.

To be completely honest, my prayer life wavers back and forth sometimes but this little book served as a re-reminder how good God is and has been!

 

Do you journal on a regular or keep a prayer journal? Do you think it’s something worth trying? Comment below!

 

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Top 5 Authors I Follow on Twitter

Top 5 Writers I Follow on Twitter

I love twitter!

More than ever, I enjoy following and interacting on social media. It can be very inspirational and helpful to connect with other writers.

Many different authors that I admire, were very successful last year. Here are just 5 I follow…

1. Nic Stone (@getnicced)-In 2017, she released her debut novel that did very well, “Dear Martin” about a young boy who faces racial injustices and during the course of his storm writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This book is definitely on my Goodreads list of books to read in 2018. Her Twitter timeline is filled with tweets about herself as well, as well as other writers. I love that she shares her personal side.

2. Angie Thomas (@angiecthomas)-Her book, “The Hate You Give” is actually being turned into movie. It’s on my list to read this year and I hear it’s a real page turner! Angie tweets about current events, authors struggles and has a quite a sense of humor. Her bio states that “She love’s jesus but she cusses 🙂

3. Nicola Yoon (@NicolaYoon)-Her debut book “Everything, Everything” was made into a movie last year. Her timeline is totally about diversity in litterature (yasss) and big ups other great writers.

4. Brit Bennett (@britrbennett)-Her book “The Mother’s” was one of my best reads of 2017! Not to mention, I got to meet her at a discussion and get a signed copy here in Kansas City last spring. She also writes some very interesting essays and Tweets about current events.

5. B. Love (@AuthorBLove)-Like myself she’s a self-published Author who writes fiction, Romance specifically. I find her tweets inspirational because she tweets about her writing process as well!

Curious as to who else I follow on Twitter or what I tweet about? Follow me at NicoleAlicia2

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

What To Do When Starting A New Novel: My Process

 

What To Do When Starting A New Story_ My Process (1)

There’s nothing like starting  a brand new book!

For me, I get excited to dive into a new book. As a writer, I feel that same way!

When I started working on my debut novel, “Drama University” that I released last year, no lie it took me quite awhile to write and publish.

(A warning: for first time novel writers, it could take you awhile. The important part is that you finish and get that story out, so you can share it with the world.)

Thing is for most newbies, they think there is some magical formula that is attached to writing a novel. But, I found that to be a BIG lie. There is no exact formula!

You really do have to find what works for YOU and only you. But, today I’m going to share a little bit of my process with you.

I have written and self-published my first novel and am in the process of writing my second.

First of all, I think the hardest thing is to narrow down what you’ll be writing about. Well at least for me it is, and here’s why… 

With my first novel, I had a very broad idea that I was going to write about College life and center a female character around it. That was it. At the time, I was working a corporate 8 to 5 job and had my own little cubicle.

I kept a notebook with me in my little tote bag and would write at lunch (if I even got to take a lunch away from desk) and often use up a bunch of my offices’ sticky notes and notepads to jot down any notes for my story that popped in my head while working through out the day.

The main thing is narrowing down what you’re going to write about first. This may require some free writing, some charting, some bar graphs (I’m just kidding). If you’re like me, you have the gift and the curse of having too many d*mn ideas.

 The Plots & Outlines.

I’ve found it helpful to just write out a brief synopsis of what story you have in your head. A paragraph or two is alright. Remember, this is for you, so do whatever will help you get a clear idea of your story.

I understand some writers can just go and write and end up with a complete manuscript for a 1st rough draft.

This.is.not.me! I can’t do it.

I’ve tried to write with no outline and my story always come to a hault usually very early in the story because I forget what the heck I was going with this.

I am an outline-r! I love outlines!

They help me stay on track. It doesn’t have to be a text book type outline either with numbers and letters and subscripts either. If all you write is beginning, middle, end and that works for you. Do it!

Mine is a bit more detailed… (Check out the video below to see what one of my outlines looks like)

Once I have a rough outline, if I need to I go do research. Research in my next novel has been very important because it’s going to be a historical fictional.

Really that’s it! Really!

I could go into characters and arc and everything but I’ll save that for another post.

Oh and don’t forget to set yourself some goals! Think about when you would like to realistically finish your first draft. How many words will it take you to finish that thang!

Other than this, that’s all.

The major key to writing a novel is DON’T MAKE IT COMPLICATED! DO NOT CONFUSE YOURSELF!

As one of favorite comedians, Martin Lawrence says, “Nothing to it, but to do it!”

So get to it…

WRITE!

I know you can do it.

Until next time…

Peace, Love and Blessings

Nicole Alicia sig