Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Roberts’

Guest Post: Rachel’s Writing Tips

We are delighted to welcome author Rachel Roberts as she shares her story telling expertise.

Since so many of you have asked for tips to create your own stories, Attila, Raider, and I thought we’d share some writing secrets! Whether you’re a writer starting with a blank page, a painter staring at a canvass or a sculptor shaping a lump of clay, creating is a process. It takes time, practice, and patience to bring your vision to life. Creativity can be hard work but it’s always worth the effort. The important thing is to have fun!

WAIT! Don’t write – yet: You have to prepare first. Make some decisions about what kind of story you want to tell – action, adventure, fantasy, mystery – and who your characters are. But where do you get ideas?

You need input to get output: 
To get your imagination flowing, start by doing something you like. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, walk in the forest – any experience that makes you feel inspired and ready to create.

Be open to ideas: 
As a writer, part of your job to observe. Ideas- big and small- will come if you pay attention to the world around you. Maybe your cat did something so amazing that it gives you an idea for a magical creature, or your BFF had an interesting comment that made you think, or a ray of sunlight shining through a maple tree looked like a cloud of golden fairy dust. The more you study the real world, the truer and realer your own world and characters will feel.

Be ready to catch ideas: 
If you don’t grab that idea when it pops into your mind it, it might get lost. Carry a notebook so you’re always prepared to jot things down. Soon you’ll have a lot of cool stuff to help create your story. Some ideas you’ll love and others you won’t, but that’s okay. You never know what will help build your story. Plus, when you feel stuck during writing, you can always go back to your notebook and find ideas to get you moving again.

The Big Idea: 
You’ve immersed yourself in great stories, you have a collection of cool ideas, you’re inspired, excited – now what? Here’s what I do:

1. Write A Story Summary: 
A story summary helps you answer the question, “Hey, what’s your story about?” This will help you keep the big picture in mind as you start designing the beginning, middle, and end to your story. You can also use this summary for sales copy when you are ready to post your book online or print it. Here’s some examples of the Avalon book summaries:

Circles in the Stream:
Three very different teenage girls are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods. There they discover a portal to another world through which strange and wondrous animals have emerged, searching desperately for the magic that will keep them alive. The animals are peaceful and good, but what follows them through the portal is pure evil. Emily, Adriane, and Kara have been chosen by magical beings called Fairimentals to protect the magical animals, though they don’t know why. To save them and their world, the three girls must begin a quest to find the lost home of legendary magic, Avalon…or to perish trying.

Secret of the Unicorn:
The problems in the magical world of Aldenmor are getting worse. Many new creatures are arriving in Ravenswood through the portal and they report that the Fairy Glen, home of the Fairimentals, has vanished. A frightened and terribly wounded unicorn is among the new refugees to Ravenswood. Can Emily communicate with her to offer help? The future of the magic web depends upon the dark secret the unicorn carries.

2. Create Character Bios: 
Write a short bio for each of your lead characters, including stats like age, hair color, eyes, height, likes and dislikes. Don’t worry about selecting names. I always use placeholders (any name I can think of) until the perfect name comes to me.

3. Build Your World: 
Write a short description of the places in your story. Is it a fantasy world? Is it a zoo? Is it a mall? An old, spooky house? Know your environments to make your world feel real.
Keep your notes handy because as you start to write your story, you might want to update, expand or change these 3 things.

Okay, now that you have the basics it’s time to start writing and start creating your own world.

Your fellow writer mage,
Rachel

Three very different young teens, Emily, the shy one, Adriane, the outsider, and Kara, the power shopper, are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods where they discover a portal to another world. Wondrous animals have emerged from the portal, desperately seeking the magic that will keep them alive. Though the animals are peaceful and good, what follows them through the portal is twisted and evil and bent on destroying them all.
The Fairimentals have chosen these three fourteen-year-olds to protect the magical animals. To save them and their world, the girls must overcome their differences and band together. They begin a perilous quest to discover Avalon, the lost, legendary home of magic, little knowing the terrible dangers they will face along the way.

To find out more about the series and to read Rachel’s blog visit the Avalon website(here).
The Avalon series is available now as a Kindle download from Amazon.

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Circles in the Stream ( Avalon #1)

Rachel Roberts

Three very different young teens, Emily, the shy one, Adriane, the outsider, and Kara, the power shopper, are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods where they discover a portal to another world. Wondrous animals have emerged from the portal, desperately seeking the magic that will keep them alive. Though the animals are peaceful and good, what follows them through the portal is twisted and evil and bent on destroying them all.
The Fairimentals have chosen these three fourteen-year-olds to protect the magical animals. To save them and their world, the girls must overcome their differences and band together. They begin a perilous quest to discover Avalon, the lost, legendary home of magic, little knowing the terrible dangers they will face along the way.

I was quite excited to read this book as it was the first review book that I have read with my daughter Willow. She is seven years old and really loves books but struggles with reading herself. This means that the books that we share together have become all the more special, I want her to continue with her love affair with stories and not become disengaged with reading. This as it turns out was the perfect book for this.

We read a couple of chapters of the book a night before bedtime and nearly every night you could almost guarantee that there would be tears as she was desperate to find out more. There were times when she became quite worried about what would happen to the characters and I did wonder whether she would want to carry reading but that really wasn’t the case. That she did want to carry on reading is testament to how well written the characters are in the story. We both got to know them well and both want to find out what will happen to them in subsequent books. As an adult there were bits that I found stretched the realms of imagination, but at the end of the day this is a fantasy book so it wasn’t too much of an issue. Willow had no issue with this at all and as she is closer to the age demographic of this book I think her opinion is the one that matters.

This isn’t a book that I would have chosen to pick up had I not known it was something that Willow would enjoy, animals feature heavily, and animal books really aren’t my thing. I am glad that I did though. Whilst it probably isn’t something that I would choose to read on my own it has been perfect reading material for the two of us and has definitely been among the better bedtime stories we’ve read.

Verdict: Willow’s verdict of the book was that it was really, really good (said at the top of her voice!). Some really interesting things happened and her favourite character was Adrianne as she was really funny. My verdict is that the book was surprisingly gripping, enjoyable with some very well drawn characters. I am actually looking forward to bedtime reading whilst we complete the rest of the books.

Reviewed by Alison and Willow

Publisher: Seven Seas
Publication Date: March 2008
Format: eBook
Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Provided by publicist
Challenge:None

Check back tomorrow when Avalon author Rachel Roberts will be sharing her writing tips

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