Friday, May 29, 2015


Can you believe that we've reached the end of our one-word series? Sheesh, what happened to the month of May?

For the last word, I picked something that I've found to be important in every story I've ever read -- even when the writer didn't realize it:


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know how cheesy it sounds. But there are many different types of love. It can be between a man and a woman, between two best friends, between a boy and his dog -- and it always helps to drive a story home.

So, here, three reasons to keep love in your writing:

1. It's compelling

At the very least, your female readers will enjoy the fact that there's love in your story. And let's face it, the majority of readers out there are women.

But really, we're all compelled by the notion of love. We all want to find it, to know what it looks like and how it tastes, to see it in the lives of other creatures (for the fantasy readers), and we all feel drawn to it, whether we realize it or not. It's compelling to us, to find out whether or not the guy gets the girl and if the soldier makes it home to be with the people who love him.

If nothing else, inserting deep, emotional, real love into a story can give it a lift into a place where many readers may find your book more realistic than others on the shelf. And really, that's what we're going for here, isn't it?

2. It's "unattainable" 

Ask anyone who hasn't found it yet. Love is unattainable, and that makes it interesting. Pure unadulterated love is something many people have never actually seen. So what does it look like? Show us. Show your reader what you think love looks like, or what it's like trying to attain it when you've never felt it before.

Again, that compels people to read.

3. It's a negative

Remember how we thought love was a cheesy notion? That's what makes it a negative, and also what makes people want to know more about it. We always want to know more about the bad things, the things nobody likes or wants to do. So why not tell us more about love, by banking on its negativity?

Sounds like a good story to me.

[love and the end of a series]

{Rani D.}

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Out of all the words in this series, this is the only one that didn't really match with anything else.

Writers need to have a healthy dose of...


Evil is what every good protagonist is trying to fight -- and that's always what the story is about. Well, okay, 85% of the time that's what the story is about.

That being the case, we writers have to know what evil looks like, and we have to be willing to write it in its deepest and truest form. We need to know how to write those terrible characters like Sauron and Vader, so well that every reader would know their voice if they were to step out into the real world.

To do that, we have to create that sense of wickedness in our stories, in three primary ways:

1. Bad things have to happen to our characters

Obvious, right? If nothing bad happens to our characters, then what's the story about?

Wickedness usually starts with something bad happening, sometimes offstage before the books starts, sometimes onstage at the very start of the book. For example, the moment in the beginning of Coetir when Ellya witnesses the killing of the druid man. (if you haven't read my book yet, you really should *wink*). But it also needs to continue throughout the story. Frodo needs to meet with peril at every step along the path, Luke needs to find out that his father is one of the most vile men in the universe, and Neo needs to see the truth about the matrix.

If none of that happens, there is no story. 

2. Antagonists

Another obvious one. We have to create an antagonist, a real, brutal, antagonist. Sometimes it isn't a person, sometimes it's an emotion, a political movement, an army on the horizon -- but it's always there, on the horizon, battling against our title characters. And for the battle to be real, for that sense of wickedness to grow, we have to make these antagonists realistic. V can't just be fighting against a nameless politician, the Ring can't just be an object that needs destroying, and the matrix can't just be a concept. There needs to be real evil there, enough that the reader can sense it and taste it in every moment of the story. 

3. Protagonists

Maybe not so obvious, eh?

Yes, the antagonist needs to be evil. Of course. But so does the protagonist. If they have no bad in them, then how is the reader supposed to relate to them? They need to have that little bit of evil in themselves, that little streak of dangerous that they're fighting within themselves -- and the reader needs to see it and feel it. How would The Lord of the Rings progressed if Frodo hadn't started to love the Ring? How would V have succeeded in making his point if he hadn't gone on a killing rampage?

And yes, sometimes your protagonists are the bad guys. Those stories can be even more fun, but require even more of that wickedness.


{Rani Divine}

Monday, May 25, 2015


Writers need to be smart. 

No-brainer, right? Most people need to be smart for their day to day lives. It's one of those things that has always been necessary.

But for writers, there are a few key areas where we need to have...


1. Reading and understanding our characters

They're not allowed to hide anything from us. We have to know what's going on inside their heads at every moment of every day, and they're not allowed to even try hiding anything. Characters need to be real, and we can't play dumb when it comes to writing them. Readers will see right through it if we try to create an idiot character who doesn't make any logical or heartfelt decisions. They need to be real, or we've lost the illusion of this story ever actually taking place.

2. Creating realistic plots

This one is difficult for a lot of us, so don't worry if you haven't mastered it yet. There's only so much bad that can happen to any one character. Everything can't be bad for just one Joe while every Jane is happy and fine. It needs to be evened out, so there are problems for everyone -- because there are problems for everyone. If we want our readers to see our stories as real, they need to read as being real. So play it smart, even it out, and keep that level head.

3. (for us sci-fi/fantasy writers) Creating believable worlds

My favorite part about science fiction and fantasy is that I get to create a whole new world. Sometimes it's a different planet, other times it's this world with a few tweaks and changes -- and to me, that's the whole fun of it. But I can't just create a random world with no rules. Things have to make sense according to the way we know them here, or they won't make sense to my readers. I can't show them pictures of what I'm seeing in my head, so I have to find a way to describe things in a way that they'll be able to see them too.

But that's the whole fun of it, and the whole reason for reading far too many science books in my lifetime. Star Trek helps too, if you want to take the lazy route. ;-)

4. (for you real-world dwellers) Re-Creating the real world

Though it's not something that I often have to deal with, it is something that I read a lot. Most of what I read is not actually science fiction. It's fiction, set in this world, in this day, with people doing things that I do every day. That's what makes fiction so difficult. Things have to be realistic. Writers, you need to know what's going on in the world around you if you're going to write something that's in this world, in this day. If you don't understand the way the world works, your readers will be able to sense it. They want to feel secured by your story, not thrown out naked in the wilderness.

The moral of the story is, keep it smart. Know what you're writing, know your characters, know your story like you know your own life. After you've written it and it's all said and done, then you're welcome to forget.

Try asking me what happens in the middle of Telekinetic. I guarantee I don't recall it all.



Friday, May 22, 2015


Happy Friday, everyone!

Today's word is another one that means a lot to me, one that speaks deeply to my soul, and one that I think we all cling to in one form or another.


When they opened Pandora's Box, the only thing left inside was hope, closed within so it would be preserved. Why is that? Why is hope so important to us, and why does it mean so much to writers?

Well, I'm so glad you asked.

1. If we don't have hope, we go stagnant

As living beings, without hope, there's no point in continuing on. If there's nothing to look forward to, nothing on the horizon, then why continue at all? We need hope. We've always needed hope. Even if that hope is in tomorrow, in the future you picture in your mind, or in the family by your sides -- we need it. We thrive on it. If we let it go, we stop thriving. If we stop thriving, story ceases to be. 

2. If we don't have hope, our characters have no hope

This seems logical, right? If the writer has no hope, it's hard to make a character who does have it -- or at the very least, it's hard to make a character believably have hope. So if we give up on hope ourselves, so do our characters. They follow us in more ways than we tend to realize.

This leads into my next point...

3. People don't like hopeless stories

Well, they don't like completely hopeless stories. Take The Walking Dead, for example. The situation is dire. We know that at some point every single character (yes, even Daryl) is going to die. But we have hope that they're going to survive another season. If there wasn't that hope, if the characters had no hope and completely gave up on everything, what would even be the point of watching?

4. Without hope, there would be no story

In the end, this is what it all boils down to. Without hope, there would be no story. No one would care enough to read what pointless drivel we spew out, nor would we even care to write it. Nothing would matter.

So hold to your hope. I promise you, there's always something to hope for. There's always a light shining down on this world. All you have to do is look up and find it. He's waiting for you to see.


{Rani D.}

Wednesday, May 20, 2015



It's not just for hippies.

For writers, I believe peace is something we tend to fight on a daily basis. Having peace in a story is like death to characterization and plot lines, because no conflict can happen in utter peace. But losing peace in our lives can make it ten times harder to write, because stories cultivate out of peaceful times.

So, why peace? Why do we need it, and how do we use it?

1. We need peace to calm our minds

We have too many ideas, and we need to sort them out if our stories are going to make any sense. In any kind of creative writing, too many ideas = confusion. That's what we're avoiding. And the best way to avoid it is to avoid some of the crazy. Find a peaceful spot, a happy place, maybe even some soft music, and content yourself for a while to sit and write.

2. We need peace to be able to sit down and write

For me at least, I cannot write in a loud place or when I'm discontent. It's like there's too many voices in my head, and they're all competing for the lime light. So I need to find that peaceful place, that zone of rest and contentment, where I can sit down and cultivate a story.

3. We use the peaceful moments to offset the crazy ones

We've said it before, and it's still true: we're a little crazy. We can't help it. But it's in those peaceful moments that we're able to offset our crazy and reach some semblance of normality (especially when we need to be normal for a few hours). If we don't have enough peaceful times, our crazy comes out too much and our stories, our friendships, and even our minds can suffer.

4. We seek out peace to avoid the sorrow

It's practically common knowledge by now that creative types tend to lean more toward depression. It happens. It's okay. I'd be the last person to condemn you for that. But it is another reason why we need peace in our lives. If we have that peace, that contentment in our hearts, the depression is staved off. It can't touch us, because we have that little piece of heaven inside us.

And really, that's what we're all trying to achieve.


{Rani Divine}

Monday, May 18, 2015


This week is going to be three of my favorite topics I've ever discussed on this blog. Three words that mean a great deal to me, that resonate within me, and that I crave and strive for with the deepest of passions.



To be perfectly honest, faith is a big part of my life. But faith is also something that every writer needs, in my opinion, for a few simple reasons. 

1. Faith keeps us from giving up on ourselves

Writers need to have faith in themselves, in their ability to sit down and craft a story. Without that, we wouldn't actually be writers. We would be pretenders, people who like the idea of writing but don't actually know how to do it. 

Faith is the tool that keeps us going, that keeps us believing in ourselves and keeps us working to hone our abilities into the sharpest that they can possibly be. 

Lose faith in yourself, and you lose that art.

2. Faith keeps us from giving up on our stories

Truth be told, some stories are just plain hard to write. The one I'm writing now, for instance, has taken me three tries to get more than five chapters into. But I always had faith that it was going to come, that there was going to be something beautiful there. 

If we lose faith in our stories, we lose the will to write them at all.

3. Faith helps us push on when others would push us down

I cannot count the number of writers I've spoken to whose family hates that they've decided to take the whole of their life and devote it to writing. To many people, writing is a dead end job that will never pay well. To a writer, writing is the dream job. It's what we could spend every hour of every day doing. 

Faith is what keeps us pushing toward that, even when our own family members would try to push us down.

4. Faith empowers us to go against the grain, to do what our hearts desire

Writers, as a group, tend to have a love for going against the norm. We don't like to be seen as average people who do average things. We're not normal, and we like it. We have faith in that, and in where it can take us. 

Holding onto that faith, keeping our eyes on the prize, it what allows us to follow our heart's desire. Letting go of that would be... detrimental, for lack of a better word. 

Faith. Some people think it's a dirty word that's only used for religions, but now you know -- it's for writers too, and we'd better not let it go. 



Friday, May 15, 2015


We talked about this word a little bit last week, but I promised I'd delve further into it later on. The time has come.


Writers, as our main goal, strive to reach understanding. We know that people everywhere across this world are searching for some form of understanding, and we wish to give it to them in some small way.

But how is it that we achieve this goal? I'm glad you asked.

1. We make stories that make sense

This is one of the first rules of writing, actually. Whatever you write, it has to make sense. Why? Because if it doesn't make sense, no one will actually want to read it. It just becomes a confusing jumble that no one really has the willpower to follow.

By making stories that make sense, we've made something very different from the real world. Let's face it, half of the stuff that happens around us every day doesn't actually make any sense. It's illogical and insane, and that's what we're trying to escape by reading.

When we give our readers a story that is filled with sense, with logic and emotion that follows order, we've given them something they're likely searching for in their lives. 

2. We shape worlds into something believable and relatable (even if it's on another planet)

Readers are looking for characters they can relate to, ones who have similar goals and beliefs, or ones who break them away from the monotony of their own lives.

We given them this escape by creating realistic and believable characters who understand what the reader is going through, because they're going through it themselves. It doesn't matter where in time and space your characters are. If they're believable and relatable, you've made something every reader is looking for -- whether they realize it or not. 

3. We give our readers more information than what they would have in their real lives

Truth be told, half the time we have no idea what's going on in our own lives. And it's not our fault. It's just the way things go. We only have our own thoughts to listen to, and we can't get inside someone else's head to figure out what they're thinking.

In stories, however, we often can. This allows us to give the reader a better understanding of the way other, real, people think -- by putting them into the minds of several believable and relatable characters we talked about above.

Doing this helps them to understand their own lives, and really, it helps us to understand our own as well -- as well as the lives of those around us.

It's what we do. It just takes time to do it well.


{Rani D.}

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Some of you know the fruits of the spirit, yes? Well, one of those fruits is the topic of our discussion today.


Possibly more than anything we've discussed so far, writers need self control. If we don't have it, our work goes a little haywire.

Okay, more than a little.

But with it, everything can fall into place. The story can be what it wants to be.

With that in mind, four particular places in which writers need self control:

1. Characterization

Sometimes, our characters TALK. Sometimes they're a little crazy. Sometimes they don't want to do what they're supposed to do. 

Self control in this area is where we find the will to nix whatever it is that's getting in the way. A lot of the time, that means not writing down our characters rant-like monologues or their strange eating habits that might (but probably won't) at some point make some sort of strange sense in the story, because really, it all comes out for the better if we control ourselves and remove what needs removing.

I've yet to meet anyone who likes doing it, and yet, we all still do it when it needs doing.

2. Plotlines

Crazy plotlines thrive within the minds of most women I've ever met. Have you spoken to a woman during her time of the month? Then you'll know what I mean. We can go a little nutso. Not all of us, mind you, but a great many. (Don't worry, guys do it too, they just don't have something to blame it on)

We can get a little crazy. We know it, and we're okay with it (for the most part).

It's self control that helps us to not insert too much of the crazy into the writing. Guys, this goes for you too. I know you. Many of you are just as crazy as women, if not more so. Do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- insert all of the crazy into your stories. Some is okay. We like some crazy. We don't like insanity.

I trust you'll all agree. 

3. Wording

How many of you are word abusers? I'll admit, I used to be one. I used more words in certain instances than was entirely necessary, and I didn't care.

Now, however, I care.

Wordiness is one of writing's greatest enemies. Readers don't like to have to decipher that many words, nor do editors like trying to figure out what that many adjectives strung together is actually supposed to mean.

Control thyself, friends.

Use your words appropriately.

4. Organization

For many of us, this is the greatest of struggles. Organization is the enemy of many people, and I understand (although I'm not one of those people). But it is also the way that we're able to get things done and to get our stories written to where they actually make sense and no plot holes exist.

If you don't practice enough self control to keep yourself organized while you're writing, your work will suffer.

There's no maybe in there. It will.

The moral of the story is:

 Control your characters, your plotlines, and your wording by use of organization through self control, and you'll be good to go.

At least, you'll be good to go for this particular topic.

We'll see about the next one. *wink*


{Rani Divine}

Monday, May 11, 2015


The day after Mother's Day, it seemed only fitting to talk about something mothers have to have an abundance of, especially when their children are little. It's also something all writers have to have, and I'm about to explain why.


Just like time is something that gnaws at the back of our minds, patience is something we have to delve deep within ourselves to find -- if only to block out the annoying tick of the clock in the background.

Patience, young padawan.

But how, you ask?

Well that's simple. (Note: I didn't say it was easy)

1. Remember that not everything is going to happen according to your time table

This is the biggest thing when it comes to patience. People, especially in the States, like to think that things are going to happen according to these neat and tidy little time tables, but that's just not the case. Nothing really happens like the charts or the stars or whatever you want to consult tells you it's going to.

No, it's going to happen in its own time table, and we have to be okay with that. We have to be okay with relinquishing some control, in believing that we're going to get through all of this with a bright shiny story sitting in our laps at the end of it all.

2. Remember that it's important to take time for you

Yes, your story is important. It's probably even one of your priorities. But it is not, nor should it ever be, greater on the totem pole than you.

If you feel burnt out, it's because you're lacking in patience. The story will get written in its time, remember? So there's no problem in taking a day off to kick your feet up and binge watch Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix.

That might have been what I did on Saturday.

I'm not telling.

3. Remember that it's not you writing the story

This one is a little hard for some people to wrap their heads around, but it's not really you writing that story. The story is already written in your head somewhere, you're just transcribing it. That means it's going to be there waiting for you if you don't want to work on it right here right now.

If you're not feeling it today, then don't write today.

Why? Because if you're not feeling it, your reader (or more likely your editor, since you definitely use one) will be able to tell. 

4. Remember that your characters are not a part of you

Again, a little tricky. We writers like to think that all our characters are living somewhere in our heads, and that we all actually have some strange form of multiple personality disorder, but I'll tell you the truth:

We don't.

Even if there's a little voice from one of your characters talking in the back of your head, it's not actually a character. It's you. And it's okay not to listen to parts of yourself, for the greater good. If one of them is feeling antsy because you haven't sat down to write in the last twenty minutes, it's a pretty safe bet that you have a story coming on.

But that doesn't mean you have to write it right here, right now. It just means you have a new idea. And we have these handy little smart phones with built in notepads to write down our little ideas as we move about the day. 

5. Remember that if it's in you, it's going to come out at some point

If that story is in you, if it's gnawing at your mind even as you read this, then it's going to find its way out. It's just a question of whether it comes out now or later on down the road.

When would you rather have it happen: now or later?

So then, the real question becomes, can you find the patience inside yourself (because it is in there, whether you feel it or not) to write the story now?

If you can, then you're a writer.

If you can't, you're only an aspiring one. We'll work on you, don't worry.


{Rani D.}

Friday, May 8, 2015


These one-word-a-day things are pretty fun, aren't they? I hope you're enjoying reading them as much as I'm enjoying writing them!

Today's word is...


You might think that I'm picking very obvious words for this series, but there's a reason for each and every one of them. Even the best of writers can have trouble grabbing hold of all of these -- and flow can be a very difficult one to master.

Here, my four step way of flowing out the words:

1. Sit down and write the words

Words not coming to you? Carry on to step two.

2. Take a deep breath, sit down, and write the words

Still not working? Step three...

3. Put on instrumental music, take another deep breath, sit down, and write the words

If it's still not happening, well then we'll have to go on to step four.

4. Pray

Stories flow out of us because they were given to us by our creator. When I write, my fingers are moving across the keys faster than my brain is thinking of the words. Why is that? Because it's not really me doing the writing. I'm the conduit between heaven and earth, writing down the story that I've been called to write.

So if it's not coming to you, then pray.

And if it's still not coming to you, then it's probably not the time to write, or you've not opened up your mind to the possibilities the creator has in store for you.


{Rani D.}

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Today's word? I'm glad you asked.



Seems obvious, doesn't it? So instead of explaining why we need passion, I'll tell you five things you should be passionate about, if you want to be writer (or if you are one)

1. Writing

Obvious again, isn't it? Well, sometimes it's the obvious things that we need pointed out to us or shoved in our faces, if only so that we'll be able to see them.

If you want to be a writer, or if you consider yourself one, then you'd better be passionate about it. If that fire goes out, so will your will to write -- and your writing will die. Trust me, because I've seen it happen before. It's happened to me, and it's happened to many others.

If you want to write, then hold onto that passion like its a lifeboat and the ship's going down. 

2. Reading

Another obvious one. Why write if you don't like to read? If all you do is write and not read, then how will you ever know what people actually want to read?

You see my point.

Writers read because it helps us understand craft, because it helps in understanding what readers nowadays want to read, and because it's just plain fun and something we can be passionate about while still sticking within the realm of our love.

3. Grammar/Punctuation

Yes, people won't like you for this one. But we'll just forget about that for a moment.

If you're going to write, you'd better be good at it. So develop a passion for grammar, for punctuation marks and their uses. Find out what every single symbol really means, and then discover for yourself how to use them.

This will both help you keep your writing and reading passion alive, and help you to further cultivate that passion for writing.

Do it.

4. Words

This is my personal favorite. Why? Because I have a passion for words. I look up their etymologies and histories, their multiple meanings and many facets, and I use them every which way I can. Because that's what words are for, and because that's what I have a passion for doing.

I want to write, and writing is nothing but words.

If you want to write, you'll need a passion for these little tools. 

5. Understanding

People strive for understanding. Writers strive to give it to people. We have such passion for understanding that we can't help but put it into every facet of our work so that everyone can see it, so everyone can touch it and taste it and feel it for themselves. We weave it in and out of our stories so the world can see it and find the truth.

But in order to do that, we first must have that passion, that desire, for truer and deeper understanding.

As for myself? I've found a great deal of it. I dare you to ask me where.



Monday, May 4, 2015


It's May.

That's new.

So I thought I'd do something I've never done before. For the entire month of May, I'll be focusing on a single word per post: a word that I believe helps to create a writer.

Hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I do. *wink*

Today's word?


For very many reasons, writers need to have time. We need to have the time to sit down and get the words down on the page, and we need to have an understanding of multiple forms of time in which to write.

Here, three forms of time every writer needs to know, have, and understand:

1. Linear Time

This, essentially, is the flow of your story. It's the easy one. It's the time from chapter one to chapter fifty, the order in which the story will flow.

You probably see where I'm going here, but it is extremely vital that writers know how to construct linear time, and how to do it in a way that keeps the reader interested. We need to know what scenes will gain interest, what scenes will be boring and need chopping, and what order to list all of those scenes in.

The best way to do that? Well, that will be explained later on in the series. 

2. Chronological Time

Yes, this is different from linear time -- but not always. In many stories, the linear time and chronological time are the exact same thing. However, in many other stories, linear time does not follow the chronological pattern.

For instance, chapter one might be in the 1700's, but chapter two might then be in present day. They're not chronologically arranged, but they're set up for linear time.

In the mind of the writer, we have to keep these two things separated (especially when working with multiple timelines). We have to make sure everything flows both chronologically and linearly, because there will be readers out there who will go back and read only one timeline, and read it chronologically even if it wasn't linearly listed that way. 

3. Physical Time

This one is probably the most important. If you're going to write, you need to have the time to do so. If it's something that you're passionate about, something that you've been gifted with, then it is your God-given right to sit down and put something on paper. It's a privilege that we've been given, and it's important that we find enough physical time to sit down and cultivate it.

I sincerely hope that you will.


{Rani Divine}

Friday, May 1, 2015

What's coming

Just to give you a heads up about what's going on with me in the coming weeks and months, here's a list:

  1. I actually released a short excerpt from my piece in Mavguard Magazine's first edition! Click Here to check it out, or Here to go to RAD Writing's online store and get a copy of the whole magazine!
  2. Excerpts. Always excerpts. Why? Because we're here to write, and we're here to read about writing. I have a few new projects on the shelf, and the plan is to get you some teasers in the coming weeks. (after all, my 200th post is fast approaching)
  3. Teasers. As many of you know, Deanna Leah has signed with RAD Writing to have one of her novels published! The release date is still TBA... BUT that doesn't mean we can't get you some teasers in the meantime.
  4. More teasers. If you haven't read Coetir, you'll want to now. I'll be posting another excerpt from the book (and maybe a cut scene or two) as well as some teasers for Coetir and its companion books, to give you all a taste of what's to come.
  5. Last but not least, BOOK SIGNINGS! I know, I wanted to get some in earlier in the year, but everything has just been far too busy to even think of it. So, we'll be doing as many signings as we can in Albuquerque and Gallup, New Mexico. If you have somewhere else you'd like me to come, or you're a part of a book club that would be interested in seeing me, email and she'll get to work!
Lastly, speaking of my 200th blog post coming up in a couple weeks... I have a big surprise for you. As previously said, it's an excerpt.

But an excerpt of what?

Well you'll just have to keep checking in for teasers and stop by for the 200th to find out.

I hope you all are as excited as I am for this summer and all the fun stuff that's right around the corner! I'll post dates for signings as soon as they've been made available to me, and I can't wait to see each and every one of you in person!


{Rani Divine}