#WritingQuote – If you write a hundred stories, you have the odds in your favour

 

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favour. Edgar Rice Burroughs

 

We have seen writers who will write a few stories and then stop because no one is reading, or no one is commenting. Why do we do that sometimes though?

Look at it from this angle, you are travelling to America from Nigeria and on your way to the airport you stop moving because there’s a little traffic and you are angry you’ve still not gotten there. Will stopping aid your journey to America? Of course not. All you have succeeded in doing is aborting the trip. The same applies to writing. It is good to have expectations; you want to build a community, you want to publish bestsellers etc but you must remember that all these will not happen at once. If you don’t  keep writing consistently, you may never get those results. 

Many of the ‘accomplished’ writers have been around for almost 10 years, you just didn’t know about them. There’s no overnight success in this industry only those who pay their dues will be duly rewarded.

If you write one story, it may be bad but when you write a hundred, chances are that there’d be at least one which would be usable.

How many of us have written up to a hundred blog posts? Have you written up to a hundred stories? So why do you want to give up? Even if you have written up to a hundred, stopping now would rubbish all the hard work you have done since you started so keep going.

You will succeed.

#GrammarSeries – Here’s how to improve your grammar

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Learning to write good English can be a slow process. Every time you think you have written a word-perfect piece, someone points out a mistake or mistakes you just didn’t see anything wrong with. 

Not anymore, here are a few ways to improve your grammar. 

Read as much as you can

In today’s world, many people prefer reading blogs, posts on social media and chats to good books. If you want to write better, read newspapers, magazines, reports and materials in your niche area. This will give you a better understanding of grammar and how not to write. 

Avoid those slangs

We know you want to look and sound cool but those slangs will not help your written or spoken English. Be careful not to allow slangs to creep into your written work. Words such as ‘innit’ and ‘dunno’ are not considered proper English grammar, and should not find their way into formal written communications.

Find a personal/ online tutor

If your written English is pretty bad, you may need to employ the services of a teacher to help you brush up your skills or learn online. Learn about sentence structure, punctuation, proper spelling and much more.  

For online assistance you can check SpellCheckOnline.com ,  WordReference.com  or OxfordDictionaries.com 

#PickOfTheWeek – Is this love?

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Hey Sparkle Writers and welcome to another amazing #PickOfTheWeek segment on the blog today. 

We are super excited to show you what we’ve got partly because we are featuring new writers! The other reason will be revealed later. 

Here they are. 

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The first is by Anita and you can tell that it was one of the posts that inspired today’s title. What do you call this, love? 

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This one is everything and should be the reply you give if you’re being taken for granted on the account of love. Love should not make you loose your mind. You should know when you’re not being treated right. 

farmto table (1) We love, love love this one. Many times, whether in love or everyday life some of us miss some great things because we have a fixated mindset of how things are supposed to play out. It doesn’t always happen that way.

farmto table Thank you scribbling introvert for this. Sometimes love is so deep that you look for different ways to express it. 

 

You have time to write and this is proof

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“Gosh! If only there were 26 hours in a day, I’d at least have time to write!”

If you have been saying this, it is safe to guess that you have not written anything substantial in a long while because you ‘don’t have time.‘ Our experience from coaching writers has proved to us countless times that everyone has time to write but not everyone makes it a priority.

If you were told that for every page you write in a day, you’d get $1000, we are sure many of us will come up with pages of work because we have moved writing to the priority list. We understand that the hustle and bustle of everyday life can get overwhelming but everyone who wants to go beyond writing occasionally must attach some level of importance to it.

You say you don’t have time. What time do you wake up everyday? What do you do when you wake up? Some of us wake up by 4 am and are already checking social media sites for what someone else has posted. Where is what you have posted? Before you know it, it is 7 am and all you want to do is rush out. How about utilizing that period when everyone is sleeping and your neighborhood is quiet to write? If you are a morning person, it is even better. Even if it’s just two pages you manage to write in one hour, it is okay because you have at least gotten something down. 

There is another group of writers who just need to give up something they do for writing. Like we said before, you have to know what’s important to you. If you love your TV and it’s your relaxation time, maybe instead of watching two hours, you just watch for one hour and then spend the other hour writing.

You don’t need to have a four-hour block of time in order to work on your book. If you have 15 minutes, or half an hour, get some words down.

It’s all about scheduling.

Wondering what scheduling has to do with it? You need to actively schedule the time to write.

We make time in our lives for what’s important to us.

The question is this, Is writing important enough for you to make time and plan it in advance?

 

Social media myths every blogger should get rid of

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Every blogger knows that social media cannot be avoided especially if you want to be successful as a  blogger. There are however a few myths about social media that you need to take note of. We shared four of such myths in this post. 

Social media is cheap or free. 

Now this is quite tricky because it is true that so many social media sites are free. The same applies to a number of social media management tools but you must know that although they don’t cost money, they cost time (time is money). One way or the other, you’d have to pay for it. Think about the money you spend buying data in the first place. 

You can make a big splash really quickly. 

No you can’t. There are a few people who seem to ‘make it big’ quickly but it does not work that way for everyone. Don’t expect your blog or social media page to become a sensation from one minute to the next. It takes a lot of time and dedication to keeping your content fresh which is one of the things that attracts growth. 

You can’t build quality relationships online. 

This is not true. Many people have built quality relationships online. The Sparkle Writers Hub is a testament of this. Through our writing blog, we have successfully built relationships with writers, authors, book publishers amongst others. As long as you are ready to groom the relationship offline, then it is worth it. Business relationships can be built on social media; let no one tell you otherwise.

It gives away content and ideas you should be charging for. 

Simply put: The more you give, the more you receive on social media. You need to let go of the idea that all the content you produce is proprietary. Engage with your audience, and encourage them to share what you’ve created.

 

#WritingQuote – Get it down, it’s the only way you can do anything really good

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“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”  William Faulkner

Too many writers have missed out on writing great stories because their ‘perfectionist’ mentality got the best of them. 

Have you ever read that ‘good writing is great editing?’ It’s the truth.

Most of the bestsellers we read today may have looked uninviting when the authors started writing the first draft but they decided to finish the story first.

Dear writers, you must learn that you have to get that idea written down first. Don’t be too quick to shove it away as not good enough. Get it down! 

Taking chances is also another thing every writer must learn to do. 

Don’t be too quick to hide in your shell or too lazy to step out of your comfort zone.

Good writing is sometimes an adventure and you can’t lead your readers where you have not been.

#WordOfTheDay – This is what Parlous means

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Hey Sparkle Writers, we have another word that would sure interest you. We bet your new story will come alive if you use it. 

The word is Parlous and is pronounced as /pär-ləs \.

Parlous is an adverb and could mean full of danger or uncertainty. It could also mean greatly or excessively.

Here are a few words that are similar in meaning to parlous: Bad, dreadful, frightful, grave, uncertain

 Let’s use this word in a few sentences. 
The company is in a parlous financial situation. 
He talked about the parlous state of the country
Now make your own sentences and share them with us in the comment section. 

#PickOfTheWeek- Love and it’s piercing consequences

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Hey Sparkle Writers, you already know we love to see you here Let’s get to the #PickOfTheWeek, we know you want to know what posts we loved this week and why . Well here they are!

 

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We see a lot of posts on love and we decided to give them special attention. The first one definitely made us think. Why would he say those love stories were not theirs? Could that be true or did he say it out of anger and hurt? 

 

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The next post did get us thinking too, or maybe we felt a little bad for the writer. Silence from a loved one can be painful and is something no one wants to experience. 

farmto table (2) Jummy Ipinlaye speaks the truth on this one. Wounds that are covered love related or not never heal well. 

farmto table (1)Finally! Something to smile about right? This post describes love using music. Love can make your heart sing and the one who loves you so will love to listen to every note, and chord it plays.

#GrammarSeries – Apostrophes and Possessive Nouns

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Let’s admit it, the rules about forming possessives probably cause the most apostrophe confusion. They vary a little bit, depending on what type of noun you are making into a possessive.

Here are the rules with basic examples from Grammarly.

Rule 1 – For most singular nouns, add apostrophe+s:

The dog’s leash
The writer’s desk
The planet’s atmosphere

Rule 2 – For most plural nouns, add only an apostrophe:

The dogs’ leashes (multiple dogs)
The writers’ desks (multiple writers)
The planets’atmospheres (multiple planets)

Rule 3 – For plural nouns that do not end in s, add apostrophe+s:

The children’s toys
The geese’s migration route

We know that style guides vary in their recommendations of what to do when you have a singular proper noun that ends in s. Some recommend adding only an apostrophe.

Here’s an example

Charles Dickens’ novels 
Kansas’ main airport

Others say to add apostrophe+s:

Charles Dickens’s novels 
Kansas’s main airport

No matter which style guide you use, add only the apostrophe to plural proper nouns that end in s:

The Harrises’ house
The Smiths’ vacation

P.S – Use whichever style matches the style guide you use for your writing. If you don’t have a style guide, it’s OK to just pick one of the methods, as long as you don’t switch back and forth within the same document.

This is why your story is not compelling enough

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You know it.

Your story needs help; you look at it and tell your self that a primary school student can write something more appealing or maybe you gave it to a third party like we usually advise and the person couldn’t go on after the first page. 

But you really don’t know what to fix or how to start. 

Here are a list of things that could have gone wrong with your story and how to fix it.

Poor Plot 

If you do not have a particular plan of action or a direction where you want your story to follow, then your plot will be poor. Remember those books that you drop because nothing significant happened in the first three chapters? Yeah, that is probably where your story is heading to if you don’t get a plan asap. 

It is also possible that your plot is no good because:

  • It’s just plain boring
  • It’s totally unbelievable
  • It only appeals to a very small audience

Clumsy Characters

If your characters don’t think, behave or talk like real human beings, then your story will not work. 

Your characters are the stars in your story and if they are not well developed, people will find it difficult to connect with your story. Are your characters thinking like human beings will orare there too many characters that your readers cant distinguish between them? These are some of the things you should look at when creating your characters. 

 Lazy use of Language

You know one reason why we continually put up our Word of the Day post? It is because you need to get a grip of your language if you want to write a good story. 

 Consider the following:

  • Do you use the same words too often?
  • Do you spend too much time describing things or people?
  • Have you overused adjectives and adverbs?
  • Have you resorted to using cliches?

Remember, a story is only as good as the word used to tell it.