Free Printable Writing Planner

We’re about a month and a half into 2019 by now, and that means that a lot of us are working hard on our 2019 goals. For many of us writers, those goals revolve around, well writing. And you know what? I want to help you reach your goals. That’s why I created this FREE printable weekly writing planner for all of you!

It’s so much easier to reach our goals when you approach them one step at a time, day by day, week by week. And it’s even more easy to reach them when you’re organized. I hope that you will be able to use this free weekly writing printable to flourish as a writer, reach your goals, and stay organized! You can print and download it below. Read on for some instructions and tips on using it. =)

How To Use Your New Writing Planner…

O N E : Download your weekly writing planner above and print it out.

T W O : Start by writing in the date and narrowing down your focus for the week. For example, you could focus on writing lots of blog posts or working on editing your novel. I find that picking one thing to focus on a week helps me to stay less stressed and more productive.

T H R E E : The next step is to narrow down your writing goals. If you want to write lots of blog posts, you could write down how many posts you want to write, what type of posts you’d like to write, etc.

F O U R : Now it’s time to make a writerly to-do list! For example, going back to the writing blog posts example, you could write down things such as creating blog graphics, formatting posts, writing the posts, and editing the posts.

F I V E : Lastly, it’s time to scribble down some writing inspiration and accomplishments. I find that writing down things you accomplish can help you stay motivated throughout the week. Writing down things such as inspirational quotes can also help keep you motivated and inspired to accomplish even more!

How do you stay organized and motivated when it comes to writing?

How To Use A Fountain Pen Like A Pro | Guest Post By Emma of Invaluable.com

I’m so excited to share today’s guest post by Emma of Invaluable.com with you all! In this post, she’ll share her knowledge on how to craft a gorgeous signature using a fountain pen. Read on to learn how to use a fountain pen like a pro!

Writing is good for our mind, body, and soul. It’s proven to help us communicate more effectively, it decreases stress, increases productivity, and helps us make more focused, educated decisions. The physical act of writing by hand has even more benefits as it encourages brain development and gives us an outlet to release any anxious, stressful feelings. If you don’t already incorporate writing into your weekly or even daily habits, it’s time to start doing so and reap all the mental and physical benefits.

One of the most crucial steps into developing a long-term, successful writing practice, is by acquiring the right writing instruments. Not only is it fun to gather notebooks, pens, cards, and other accessories for writing, but they’re monumental in changing how easy and enjoyable it is to write. One of the best tools for writing is a fountain pen. They have a unique sense of antiquity attached to them, and write in a way that is smooth and beautiful. If you’ve never written with a fountain pen before, Invaluable created this helpful guide that outlines everything you need to know about them.

First, it’s important to understand the anatomy of your pen. The main parts of it include:

  • Nib: The metal tip of the pen that physically touches the paper. Nibs come in different sizes that determine the line width. 
  • Feed: Made of either plastic or ebonite, the feed acts as a vehicle for ink delivery, connecting the neib to the pen’s reservoir.
  • Barrel: This is the exterior of the pen, and sizes differ based on preference.
  • Converter: These are small filling mechanisms that fit right onto the pen and take the place of an ink cartridge. Converters work with bottled ink.
  • Cartridge: These are disposable capsules attached to the back of the pen that supplies them with ink.

Once you understand all the moving parts of your pen and how to fill them with ink, then you can focus on technique and how to write with one. There’s a lot that goes into it, and everything from how you hold the pen to the amount of pressure applied is an art. While Invaluable’s post goes into detail, here are some quick, summarized tips for writing with your fountain pen:

  • Hold the pen between your thumb and index finger.
  • Make sure the pen creates a 40 to 55 degree angle with the paper.
  • Position the nib so that the metal side is facing away from the paper.
  • Keep fingers and hands rigid.
  • Though ballpoint pens require constant pressure, fountain pens require very little. 
  • Use light strokes.

Once you’ve practiced and mastered the technique, then you can enjoy all the writing benefits fountain pens have to offer. Invaluable also included a helpful infographic on quick writing tips and how to craft the perfect signature using your fountain pen. Check it out below, and start your writing practice today!

About the Author

Emma is a writer at Invaluable.com, the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles. You can see more of her and her colleagues’ work at https://www.invaluable.com/blog/.

Printable Christmas Roll-A-Story Game

Have you ever played a roll-a-story game? I recently discovered these fun games when my Mom found and printed a Christmas themed one for my siblings and me. We all had so much fun writing short stories using it! In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much that I thought it would be fun to share a Christmas themed roll-a-story of my own making with you all. To play my Roll-A-Story: Christmas Edition game, download the printable game below and follow the instructions listed. 

What You’ll Need

  • My Roll-A-Story: Christmas Edition Printable
  • A Die
  • Some Friends and Family (or you can play this by yourself!)
  • Writing supplies (computers, notebooks, pencils, typewriters…)

How To Play The Game

O N E : Print out the Roll-A-Story: Christmas Edition game. 

T W O : Grab a die and some friends.

T H R E E : Take turns rolling the die. The first roll determines the setting of your story. The second roll determines its main character, and the third roll determines the sticky situation your character finds himself in. For example, if I rolled a one during my first roll, my setting would be a Christmas tree farm. If my second roll was a six, my main character would be Jack Frost. If my last roll was a four, the sticky situation that Jack Frost would find himself in would be that he accidentally knocks a Christmas tree over. 

F O U R : Now for the most fun part: Writing the stories! It’s time for everyone to grab a pencil and paper (typewriters are always welcome, of course) and start scribbling! Sticking with the setting, character, and situation you rolled, it’s up to you to craft a fun short story. Here’s a sample synopsis of what a short story with the roll I made up in step three could look like…

During his seasonal visit to a Christmas tree farm, Jack Frost accidentally knocks over the Christmas tree of a family who hasn’t been able to afford one in the past. Feeling guilty, he tries to make up for the family’s loss by getting them one adorned with icy ornaments. Seeing the children’s joy at receiving the gift, and the wonder in their eyes at its beauty, he is inspired to spread Christmas magic throughout the world. 

Your story can be serious, heartfelt, goofy, or just plain nonsense. It’s your story. Have fun with it! For extra fun and a writing frenzy, set a timer (this is completely optional). The stories have to be finished when the timer rings! 

F I V E : Now it’s time to share your stories! There are no winners or losers in this game. The point is to challenge yourself to think creatively and to have fun writing and sharing a short story. 

I would love to see the stories you create with this fun game! Send your creations to me through my contact page OR tag me in an Instagram post featuring your story during the days leading up to Christmas, and your story could be featured on my Instagram account @micaiahsaldana. 

Have you ever played a roll-a-story game? Will you play this one?

Project Canvas Blog Tour

Project Canvas Blog Tour
Project Canvas is almost here! *cue the epic music, confetti, and mounds of cake* This exciting international project is jam-packed with writerly advice, encouragement, and lots more amazingness. And guess what? It’s going to be released to the world on November 15! So many epic people contributed to this book–61 in total (including me)! Altogether, we’re from eleven different countries and six different continents. And we have all come together to make Project Canvas. I am SO EXCITED for this book to go out into the world! ❤ Read on to learn more about Project Canvas, the amazing founders, and other fun stuff. =D 
About the Book

An international writing community. 61 authors. 11 countries. 6 continents.

Are you looking for advice on how to create the perfect villain? Do you need the courage to put your story down on paper? Find this and more in Project Canvas, a writing resource written completely by teen and young adult writers and compiled by Caroline Meek and Olivia Rogers.

Project Canvas includes:

· 71 short chapters, each written by a different author

· bonus interviews with authors such as Tessa Emily Hall and Q. Gibson

· world building and character development worksheets

· and other helpful resources!

“This is a writing teacher’s dream – not a how-to book, but more of a literary testimony and homage to the process of writing. A sweet balance between the practical and the spiritual, Project Canvas is concise enough for daily meditation, yet robust enough to move the writer’s soul beyond the temporary.” –Brian Dolezal, professional development and spoken word coach at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

About the Founders

Caroline and Olivia have been friends ever since kindergarten, when they met in a homeschooling group. Their writing journey was a slow evolution over the course of many sleepovers, games of pretend, writing stories together, and finally publishing some of them.

Caroline Meek is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Project Canvas. She’s originally from Kansas City, Kansas, where she co-authored The Drawing in of Breath and attended Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences. Caroline has a passion for bringing writers together and is currently studying English & Creative Writing on the Publishing track at the University of Iowa. She’s been published in The Kansas City Star, Ink Lit Mag, Wordsmith, and blogs at Of Stars and Ink-Stained Things.

Olivia Rogers is the co-founder of Project Canvas. She’s originally from the great state of Kansas, where she showed sheep, competitively debated, and also became involved in politics. Olivia believes that writing is the gateway to change. She’s currently studying Political Science and Philosophy at Kansas State University, with the goal of becoming a lawyer and continuing to advocate for others.

Other Fun Stuff… 

The fun doesn’t end with the release of this insanely amazing book. There’s also a giveaway!  Go to the giveaway post on the Project Canvas blog for a chance to win free copies of Project Canvas and more exciting goodies. =) Click here to visit the giveaway post.

And y’all, don’t forget to stop by the other amazing blogs on this tour! For a schedule of the blog tour, visit the Project Canvas blog (projectcanvasblog.blogspot.com). Also, there’s a super fun bookstagram challenge going on, and I think that I’m going to be joining in. Click here to see the blog tour schedule and check out the bookstagram challenge that Project Canvas is hosting! =)

Are you excited for this book’s release or what?! 
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other writers? 

3 Tips On Writing A Novel With Multiple Points of View

3 Tips On Writing A Novel With Multiple Points of View
I’m very excited to continue talking about multiple points of view in fiction with you all today! In last week’s post, I talked about three important questions to ask yourself before adding another point of view to your novel (you can read that post by clicking this link here). Today, I’m sharing three tips on writing a novel with multiple points of view. Most of the projects that I’ve worked on have had at least two points of view in each, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned from reading and writing stories with multiple points of view! =) 
#1 Let your readers know when you’re switching between points of view. 
As I mentioned in my last post on multiple points of view, having more than one point of view can be confusing. Key words: Can be. It can be confusing if you don’t warn your readers when you’re switching between points of view. This is especially important to remember in first person narratives, when there is less use of the point of view character’s name. 
For example, there are multiple points of view in the second and third books of Sara Ella’s Unblemished trilogy. To keep everything less confusing, the author dedicates a chapter to each point of view and marks each chapter with the name of the point of view character. Imagine how confusing it would be if she skipped from one character’s journey to another, with just a pretty divider in between! 
The Take-Away: Don’t skip from points of view seamlessly, especially if you’re writing in first person. Make sure that your readers know when you move on to another point of view. 
#2 Don’t use too many points of view. 
Have you ever read a book with more than four points of view? I can’t think of single one, and there’s a reason for that. It can get confusing with lots of different points of view. It would be hard to balance each character’s part in the story equally, not to mention keep the readers interested in all of the characters and their separate journeys. Lots of point of view characters can be okay, but you’d have to be really careful as to not confuse your reader or lose her interest. 
The Take-Away: Try to limit how many point of view characters you use. 
#3 Make each point of view sound unique. 
This is a biggie! It’s not just the confusion aspect that is a problem here. If all of your characters are sarcastic and gloomy or cheery and full of rainbows and unicorns, they will all sound like one person. Having all of your characters sound the same won’t let them shine as the unique and memorable characters that you have created them to be! 
Instead of adding lots of snark to each point of view, think about your characters. What makes them special? What aspects of writing could best bring out their personalities? Lots of monologue, more action? After all, would sweet and innocent Sally really roll her eyes or whine on the pages? 
The Take-Away: Let your characters shine! Allow them to be their unique selves on the pages, and their voices will stand out as unique and memorable ones. 

 Does your novel have more than one point of view? And what is your favorite book that has multiple points of view? I’m all ears! =D 

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adding Another Point of View To Your Novel

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adding Another Point of View To Your Novel
Annnnnddddd I’m back. xD Apologies for the unplanned hiatus! Life has been a bit crazy, what with the start of my first draft of my novel (I AM SO EXCITED GUYS) and a whole lot of other exciting stuff (such as the fact that I finally got INSTAGRAM!!!!!). I am so happy to jump back into blogging. I’ve got lots of exciting things planned for you all, including more book reviews, photography, and details about my current WIP! =D 
But for now, let’s talk about points of view in novels. Specifically adding points of view to your novel. Is it good? Is it bad? The answer to both of those questions can’t be found until you ask yourself these three very important questions. 😉 

Will this work with the narrative voice I’ve chosen?
Other points of view just might not sound very good with the narrative voice you’ve chosen. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer having multiple POV stories in a third person omniscient narrative voice. For example, here’s a snippet of writing featuring two points of view in the first person narrative voice:
My heart hammered in my chest. I couldn’t believe it. What had he just said? “Say it again,” I breathed.
Timothy ran a hand through his hair and met my gaze. “I like you, Amber.” 
~~~
There. I had said it. I liked her. I looked down at my feet. I wouldn’t expect her to feel the same way, especially since I had lied to her about the letters, but still…. 

Is it just me or is that a tiny bit confusing? We skipped from Amber to Timothy SO quickly. It felt a little choppy, even with the “divider” signaling a change, and the voices didn’t sound very distinct. Let’s look at this same snippet in third person omniscient, shall we?
Amber’s heart hammered in her chest. She couldn’t believe it. What had he just said? “Say it again,” she breathed. 
Timothy ran a hand through his hair and met her gaze. “I like you Amber.” 
There. He had said it. He liked her. Timothy looked down at his feet. He wouldn’t expect her to feel the same way, especially since he had lied to her about the letters, but still… He could hope, right?
In this third person omniscient voice, it’s not only easier to add extra points of view, but it is also less confusing and has smoother transitions. This by no means goes to say that first person narratives with multiple points of view are bad (they can be done well!). I’m only bringing this up as something for y’all to consider. =) 

Will the other points of view weigh the story down and take away from it, or will they move the plot/theme/arcs/etc. along? 
Adding some extra points of view might not make your story better. Those extra points of view could weigh it down instead. For example, if I’m reading a story about a little girl named Lilly who’s buying ice cream from an ice cream truck, I don’t want to know what the ice cream truck driver or the boy riding his bicycle past her are thinking. I’m only concerned about Lilly getting her ice cream. Reading those other points of view would drag the story along and add a bunch of unneeded story. 
However, if the story was about Lilly and the boy riding his bicycle past her, it’s okay to include his point of view. Adding his point of view would help introduce him, move the plot along, and even help reinforce a theme, amongst other things. It would deepen the story and help the reader understand things that one couldn’t understand with just Lilly’s point of view. 
Will these extra points of view confuse my readers? 
Has anyone else ever read a book with what seemed to be only one point of view character, but then later, about halfway through the book…. There’s for some reason another one? And then you only hear from this POV for five pages? It can be confusing, y’all, trust me. Multiple points of view get confusing when there are too many of them or if they’re introduced too late in the novel, amongst other reasons. If you think that your extra points of view might be confusing to your readers, have another person look over your manuscript with this specific question in mind. 
I hope that you’ll join me next week as I share three tips on writing multiple POVs in your novel! =) 

Do you prefer novels with just one POV or multiple POVs? Do you have anything that you’d like to add to my thoughts? =) 

THREE ROMANCE CLICHES THAT DRIVE ME CRAZY

Ah, romance in YA. I’ve got a serious love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, all of the cute moments in YA romance that send me squealing into a pillow have me hungry for more. But on the other hand, one of the things that drives me crazy about YA romance is the sheer number of clichés I’ve read. Some of the clichés drive me crazier than others, and yet some I find myself asking for more of.*
Without further ado, here are three romance clichés that drive me crazy.

*I would like to note that I have seen instances in which these clichés were “freshened up” rather beautifully, but these cases are very rare for me personally. 
Insta-Love ❤

“And then their eyes met from across the room and they just knew that they were meant for each other…” It wouldn’t be entirely untruthful to nickname the cliché of “insta-love” as “Disney-love.” After all, nearly every Disney princess movie has moments of insta-love (although in Frozen, this cliché is flipped beautifully). 

Yes, attraction happens, but falling in love with someone in a matter of minutes is utterly ridiculous. 

This idea of “love at first sight” is not only unrealistic, but it also is super shallow (and not the smartest thing in real life, if you know what I mean). Who falls in love with someone after a glance from across a coffee shop or a quick conversation about the book you’re reading? How can you know it’s really love if all you know about the guy is that he has icy blue eyes and a baseball cap? 
Love Triangles ❤

Newsflash: LOVE TRIANGLES ARE KINDA DONE. If I have to pick up another book with a love triangle in it, I might cry. Yes, love triangles can be done well (it’s possible!), but honestly, we’ve seen it a thousand times before. Nothing seems to have changed. It’s so easy to figure out which guy the girl is going to pick! 
Not only are love triangles super predictable, but they add weak (unneeded!) tension to the plot. 
There have been books I’ve read that have love triangles in them just to have love triangles. The love triangle adds nothing substantial to the plot. In some cases, all of that unneeded baggage about which boy the main character is going to the dance with can take away from the story. I don’t want to know about Suzy’s inner turmoil about Eddie and Bob. I want to care about something more than the love triangle in a book and see something more original, something more real. 
Insecure Girl Meets Gorgeous Boy ❤

This cliché is so common it’s not even funny. We go from a main character thinking that nobody loves them to suddenly meeting their “true love” and then suddenly having extremely high self-esteem levels. In this cliché, characters feel worthless without their love interest. But when Prince Charming comes along, the mirror is no longer as harsh. The critics’ voices become muted. They’re happier. They’re content. They feel worth something, now that someone so wonderful loves them. 
This is cute, but isn’t this cliché teaching readers to find their worth in what others think of them? 

Instead of encouraging readers to find their worth in what the Lord thinks of them and the beautiful people He made them to be, this cliché teaches readers that their worth comes from having a Prince Charming to tell them how lovely they are. Truthfully, our worth comes from the God who created us and loves us more than we can imagine, not a tall, dark and handsome guy. 

What do you think? Do any of these clichés drive YOU crazy? Have you seen any examples of these three clichés that you liked?