Chapters and Emotions by K.M Joshi

Rick and Rita were best friends from high-school, and now, seven years later, Rick decided to ask her out. A few words, couple of drinks, and fifteen minutes later, Rick drove home, his grip on the steering wheel tightening every passing minute and his nose flaring. Scenes of Rita swearing at him rushed across his mind.
Okay, let's stop! That was interesting, right? And do you know why? Because of the emotional changes. 

chapters emotions writing
In this article, I shall share with you what I have found about this queer specimen after these long years of staring through a microscope at — wait what? Alright, alright, I'm going to share what I've found after all the time I've given up for reading. I'll keep it short, I promise!

The first thing that I found is that almost every good book's chapter has a similar trait when it comes to emotions. And by understanding this trait and copying it (not everything!), we can write stories that would make readers unable to put the book down. And all of us writers dream that, don't we?

Okay, enough talking, let's dive in.

Drum roll, please!

The primary goal of every writer is to draw readers. While there are many determinants that affect this, one of the most important ones is Emotion. Let me say it again, emotion. Or feelings.

In this article, I'll only talk about the usual traits of emotion found throughout a chapter and some other related things.
Here's what I've discovered after dissecting a chapter:

The first fact is that the beginning and the end of a chapter should never give a similar emotional sense. For example, let's take two characters on a date. At the beginning of the chapter, you describe how happy they are, and the readers will enjoy it. But if you write the end of the chapter with the characters remaining happy and going home contently, that's when the readers would put the book down.

For a chapter to be interesting, the emotion at the beginning should be different from the emotion at the end of the chapter. In the example above, let's suppose that the chapter ends with a very heated argument between the characters, and one of them runs off before the other can stop him/her, just like in the example I gave waaay back.
A lot more interesting, right?

So the first fact is: The Feelings/Emotions at the beginning of a chapter should be different from the one at the end. I have found that usually, it is best to have opposing emotions at the beginning and at the end, as in the example I've written above.

The second fact is that when the emotion the main character is feeling is different from the general emotion of the environment, the chapter becomes far more interesting. Let us take an example of a detective who has just lost his wife to a serial killer, and now he is sitting in a bar, drowning his sorrow. But the other people of the bar are all laughing and chatting, happy about their normal lives. That is when the detective would feel his loss most deeply, and we, as a writer, will have to take this opportunity to convey the emotion of the detective to our readers, which, ultimately, would make the character more real. And at the same time, such moments are the perfect time to get the characters to make decisions. In the detective's example, he might make his decision to find his wife's murderer while he's still sitting in the bar, because that's where his loss would most likely boost his sense of revenge.

So the second fact is: There should be differences between the emotion of the character and of the environment, especially when the character is making decisions.

The changes or fluctuations in the emotion in a chapter is one of the many factors that drives the story forward. Emotions are the basic things in a story that can create a link between the reader and the story. But how do we show these emotions? We're definitely not allowed to use emoticons!
As a writer, we have only words to show scenes and emotions. So, it is necessary to choose the right word and words' count to describe the emotions. It is generally accepted that for moments with anger, surprise, horror, shock and similar emotions, fewer words make the story interesting. And for scenes with happiness, pleasure, wonder and similar emotions, longer descriptions can create better effects.
There are no right words to describe emotions. If you're trying to show the emotions of the main character (the Point-Of-View character), you can use words to tell the emotions as well as their intentions. For example, if you are describing the feelings of a side-character, then you cannot directly claim his emotions. You have to use the main character's observations to hint the reader about the side-character's emotions. Perhaps the main character has noticed that the side-character is trembling with fear. There! We've told the reader about the side-character's feelings. And similarly, you cannot tell the reader about a side-character's intentions. For example, we cannot know whether a side-character is determined to do something.

Let's take a look at these example:

Wrong: Mike (POV character) could see the mountains on the far north. They were approaching the Tower. Despite the cold wind brushing against her thin clothes, Susan stood firm, determined to show no emotions to Mike. They walked on in silence.

Correct: Mike could see the mountains on the far north. They were approaching the Tower. Susan shivered slightly as a cold burst of wind blew from the mountains. Mike turned to look at her paled face. They walked on in silence.

The difference between these two examples is that the first one told the emotions and the intentions (italicised words) of Susan, the side-character, whereas the second one showed them. Since Mike is a POV character, it's okay to tell that he could see the mountains.

Written by K.M Joshi
Okay, I promised to keep this article short, so this is where I'll end it. I hope you learned a thing or two about emotions from this article.

Enjoy writing!

Article by K. M. Joshi

Beyond the Veil by Jessica Majzner

Hello everyone,

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to purchase!
Today I want to talk about the novel I have just released, called Beyond the Veil! This is a vampire/werewolf story that delves deeper into the genre, exploring themes such as prejudice, fears of the unknown and philosophy.
In this book I wanted to write vampires as they should be – seductive, intelligent, undead beings that have no qualms about ripping into your pretty little neck and draining you dry. My vampires are unflinching, unremorseful and always thirsty.
But they are also multi-dimensional characters with their own story arcs, motivations, fears and personalities.

My werewolves – well they are a bit different. Living in close proximity to humans, these wolfish creatures have attracted all of the hate from humans that real wolves have, and then some. Savage and brutal, but also exceedingly gentle with a natural reverence for all life. My werewolves are complex, and interesting. And they also have a secret…
As the moon dies and becomes new again, these werewolves shed their flesh and fur to become skeletal beasts with glowing white orbs for eyes. They are terrifying to behold, and it is this that has earned them their reputation for being terrible creatures that must be killed on sight.
Thus a war broke out between the two factions, and only a wall and treaty could prevent further bloodshed. This wall has divided Valwood from Claw Haven for over a hundred years, and no human or werewolf has crossed it. Until now.

Natalya is a seventeen year old vampire huntress who must make a tortuous decision – cross the wall and risk starting a second war with the werewolves? Or allow the vampire who killed her mentor to escape, and lose her chance at ever avenging her? 
This novel follows all three main characters: Natalya, the brave huntress, Voren, a werewolf shunned by society, and Arkadith, a murderous master vampire.

This novel has been a realization of my dreams come true and it was born the same way any novel is born – with a simple idea. Mine revolved around a character. A man, living amongst humans, but judged for what he is and not who he is. This man became Voren and thus his story arc began.
But a story always needs a villain. Next came Arkadith, a character loosely inspired by Dracula. Thus my two main characters were born, but my story was missing something. Or someone.
An awesome heroine. But not a clichĂ©d, snarky, tough, female character that is as witty as she is amazing at everything. No, I wanted a young, innocent girl that would be easy to relate to – and sympathize with. She became seventeen year old Natalya. 

It’s 2007, and I have my three main characters. For the better part of the next eight years I meandered, wrote a bit, slept a lot, procrastinated, slept some more, ate some stuff and got very little writing done. I learned this was not the way to write a novel.

I never liked the idea of outlining (still don’t), but I did needed to at least figure out what kind of story I was writing. I started thinking about major plot lines, and with a bit of help from my friends and fiancĂ©, an actual story (well novel) was starting to emerge. Once I decided to commit to a goal each day (1,000 words written), I was blown away at how much I was getting written! Less than 10 months later I was looking at a full manuscript – and thus my first dream, to write a book, came true.
It’s still almost surreal that I can go on to the internet and see my novel for sale. The feeling is indescribable. I’ve made the jump from an aspiring author, to an actual author. My book has only been for sale for about a week and I’m just a ball of nervous, excited energy. I’ve had requests from actual people I don’t know to have copies of the book signed! If you would have told me I’d even finish writing this book a few years ago, I’d laugh and smile about my beautiful pipe dream.

I really hope everyone enjoys Beyond the Veil as much as I do. I wrote the story I wanted to read, and I think a lot of people want to read. Even now as I thumb through it, I can’t believe some of the passages originated in my brain! It’s been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. When I held the first proof, I swear my face was going to break with how big a smile I had.

I want to thank everyone for your time, and thanks for listening to little ol’ me talk about my story!

-Jessica Majzner, author of Beyond the Veil
Website –

Buy Beyond the Veil here or click on our link in the sidebar!

Plotting: A Different Approach (and possibly easier) [GUEST POST] K.M Joshi

Written by K.M Joshi
Hello, fellow writer! Lovely day, isn’t it? Why don’t we learn a simple thing today? Perhaps plotting. Yes, that’s a lovely idea.
Many aspiring writers try writing without a plot (or a plan), and end up nowhere. While there are many people who think that pantsing (writing without a proper plot) is the best way to write, I still think that you should try both (plotting and pantsing), before making your decision.
Follow the steps I’ve written below, and you’ll have the basic plot structure in no time.
I’ll be using the Harry Potter series’ first book as step-examples, and the Ice Age movie (first one) as the final overall-example.
Let’s begin!

1. Understand what a plot is:

First of all, you need to know the plot’s definition that is used in this article. Generally, a plot is a set of fictional events arranged chronologically. But in this article, I’ll be using this definition: a plot is a set of recognized events and elements of a story. The events are the scenes of a story. They are the actions or episodes that drive the story towards the end.
Elements are the major things (usually physical, like a house or a man) that you find in a story from the very beginning to the very end.

2. Understand Elements:

Elements, as described before, are the major objects that are involved in a story. I define “major objects” as the objects that appear more frequently than the rest. For example, in the first book of the Harry Potter series, the Hogwarts Castle, Uncle Vernon’s house, Hagrid’s hut, the characters (like Harry, Neville, Malfoy, Dumbledore) and so on, are the Elements.
You might ask, what is the use of Elements? Well, Elements are the very stones that you carve on. They’re the limitations that limit your plot’s movement. For example, Harry Potter did not use a lightsaber against Voldemort (although it would’ve been quite interesting) because it wasn’t available in the story’s list of Elements. He had to find a way to defeat Voldemort using the available Elements.

3. List out the non-living Elements (in less than an hour):

Before you begin, get a notebook and a pen right now. In this step, we’ll list out the non-living things only. However, characters that do not have a distinct psychological personality, like an orc, can be listed here, and in the characters’ list (we’ll discuss about it later) as well.
First, decide where you want the majority of your story to appear. Is it in a city? Or perhaps a forest? Or is it confined in a castle? First, list out each and every detail imaginable about the place. For example, in a story that takes place majorly inside a castle, we could list out the rooms, floors, places where the stairs are, places where the statues are, places where the secret doors are, and so on. List out everything about the place, you don’t want the protagonist seeing the secret doorway on the first floor, and using it on the third.
If you have any doubt, remove them. Just list down whatever comes to your mind. It could be anything. You could even add a spacecraft along with a troll! We’ll figure out which ones to keep, and which ones to remove later.
Ready? Alright, now program your phone/computer to ring an alarm after fifteen minutes, and list down all basic things (like castles and lands, not rooms or floors) that appear in your mind. Don’t judge!
Use the rest of the hour to list down the details (like the rooms and the floors) of the basic things you’ve listed. Simply create without analyzing.

4. List out the living Elements:
Simply, list down the characters (especially with distinct psychological personality, like a man, elf and such), and add full descriptions (physical appearance, psychology, imagined part in plot, backstory etc.). List down all types of characters, from a noble, charming prince to a spacecraft pilot. And give them a tag about what they are, like ‘prince’, ‘best friend’ and ‘musician’. You can take as long as you like.

5. Choosing the right Elements:
There are two determining factors that decide which Element to keep and which to remove: your ideas, and the amount of a certain type of Elements. First, if you’re thinking of writing a fantastic Science Fiction, and you’ve listed (the Elements with no distinct psychological personality) a spacecraft, an evil robot, an ugly alien that shoots alien-chemicals out of its mouth, and…a cave troll! You know which one doesn’t belong in the Sci-Fi Elements’ list.
But what if you’re uncertain? What if you don’t know what kind of story to write? Here comes the second determining factor: Amount of a certain type of Elements.
If you have listed a dragon, a robot, a witch, a castle, a lightsaber, swords brimming with magical powers, and a troll, you should definitely remove the robot and the lightsaber, because they are the minority. The others cover the most space in your brain, so it’ll be easier to write about the fantasy-themed Elements.
About the characters, you can simply imagine whether they fit or not. If you’ve tagged a character with long curls, tight jeans, meaty arms, and rings and tattoos all over his face, as the noble prince in a medieval-timed novel, well, good job! You have successfully wasted a page of your notebook.
After choosing the right Elements, you’ll have automatically selected the right genre and theme for you.

6. Using the Elements:

After you’ve selected the right Elements, you need to find the many uses and stories of these Elements in your plot. We just need to find out the reason why these things exist in your list of Elements. And basically, the reason could be anything you can think of.
For example, let’s suppose you’re going to write a fantasy story, you’ve listed an elf, a man and a sorcerer in your characters’ list, and a castle, a sword and a dragon’s lair in your non-living Elements’ list. What could be the uses and stories of these Elements? Well, perhaps the elf is stranded on the Land Below Seas (the land of men), and he can’t go to the Land Across Seas (elves’ territory). And the man is the only friend of the elf. Maybe the world of men does not accept the elves, and perhaps they kill one another at first sight. But the man you’ve listed helps the elf, because of some reason. We’re already making a story with only two Elements. Concerning the other Elements, perhaps a dragon had stolen one of the boats of the elves, and the elf plans to find the dragon’s lair, steal the boat and be off. However, he needs to fight the dragon, so he’ll need a Sword of Power, which he’ll find in the ancient castle of the Sorcerer. And so on. We have actually crafted a story that has a great potential.
Similarly, take some time to find the uses of the Elements you have listed.

7. Twisting and Probing:

We have already found out the uses of the Elements, and although they do tell a story with a few twists (like the feud between elves and men, and the elf being stranded), the twists aren’t quite enough. We need bigger twists that can make the readers’ jaw drop. Once again, here comes the use of Elements. What could be the twist? I’ll take the elf (from the previous story) as the pivot around which I’ll create the twist. What if the elf, who thought he was completely alone, wasn’t that alone? What if there was a she-elf* too? What if the elf fails to capture the boat, but he finds the she-elf nearby? And perhaps, together, they end the feud between men and elves?
Just brainstorm a bit, and you’ll find some good twists soon enough. Take some time, choose a few Elements, and list down the possible twists of every chosen Element.

* You can add an Element or two, as supporting Elements (not for changing the entire story). For example, you can add a she-elf in the Elements’ list, but you shouldn’t use this she-elf to replace the man or elf, but you can use it to add interest in the story.

8. Choosing the Right twist:

After listing the possible twists, you’ll have to find out which twist works best for your story. Usually, the twist that changes the entire story is the best one for it. For example, the story changes when the elf meets a she-elf. So this is a pretty good twist. Similarly, we could kill the elf’s friend (the man). That would be interesting too.
In the first book of the Harry Potter series, Quirrel turns out to be the one trying to steal the Philosopher’s stone, not Snape. This changes the story, so it was chosen as the Right twist.
The final decision is made by you. Can you write the scenes after the plot twists, without compromising quality? If you can, then choose the twist. If not, try another.

9. Beginning a story:

After choosing the Right twist, you’ll have created the basic map of a story. The next step is to choose where and how the book begins. For example, we could place the beginning at the man’s house, or the elf’s hideout on the Land Below Seas.
If we took the beginning at the elf’s hideout, we could write about the elf hunting in the nearby forest for some food. When suddenly, he spots a man lying on the ground. The man has a large wound on his body. The elf saves his life. So the man agrees to help the elf return to the Land Across Seas.
For every story to start, we need to find out why the starting point of the plot occurs. For example, in our current story, the starting point is the agreement between the man and the elf. This happens because the man is in debt with the elf.

An example: In the first movie of the Ice Age series, the starting point is when Manny the mammoth saves Sid the sloth, from the charging rhinos. This shows the morality of the mammoth. Then, the plot starts getting interesting when they find a baby, and Sid (also a good guy) thinks of carrying the baby back to the humans. And the plot turns even more interesting when there comes Diego the saber.
The main plot twist of this story is when Diego agrees to help Sid and Manny escape from Soto the sabers’ leader, near the end of the story. This happens because Diego owes his life to Manny (when he saves Diego from the volcano), and also because he starts loving the baby.
I’ve always loved Ice Age, because it is one of the best story to find instances of Plot and Elements. You can practice on it yourself if you like.

That’s it! The only step remaining is to write that story, and if you think it necessary, to add a few more details in the plot.
Have fun writing!

K.M Joshi
Twitter: @AuthorKMJoshi

30 Day Writing Challenge to Kick Start Your Novel

We all love a good writing challenge but I’ve noticed that most writing challenges out there are mainly just things to write about with the aim of getting your creativity flowing. I Wanted to do something different, I wanted to create a challenge that helps us with the reason that we were looking for a writing challenge in the first place… our novel.

Over the next 30 days, follow these steps and by the end of this challenge you’ll have the kick start to your novel you need.

Good luck!

Day 1 - Create your main character.
What is their name?
What do they look like?
How old are they?

Day 2 - Create a back story for your main character.
If you don't know your character, how will your reader?

Day 3 - What does your main character want? What are their goals?

Day 4 - Create your main characters friends/ acquaintances.
What do they bring to the story/ to your character?
If they bring nothing, they are not needed. 

Day 5 - Create your antagonist.
What is their name?
What do they look like?
How old are they?

Day 6 - Create a back story for your antagonist
Your antagonist is as important as your main character - Get to know them. 

Day 7 - What does your antagonist want? What are their goals? What makes them your stories antagonist?

Day 8 - Write 5+ possible things your antagonist may do to stop your protagonist getting what they want.

Day 9 - Write 5+ possible things your protagonist may do to stop your antagonist getting what they want.

Day 10 - What are the main obstacles your main character has to overcome?
Emotional, physical etc.

Day 11 - What is the worst things that can happen in your book?
Go into detail, why are these the worst things that can happen?

Day 12 - What is the point of your book?
If you don't know this by now, repeat the last 11 steps. 

Day 13 - Create your main setting.
Why this setting?
What does it bring to the story?

Day 14 - Write a synopsis.

Days 15 - 20 - Spend these five days focusing on reading a book in the genre you plan to write.
Writers must read and there is no better inspiration to start writing than reading a good book.

Day 21 - Create a beginning, middle and end.
Focus on the main plot only. 

Day 22 - Create a sup-plot.

Day 23 - Write down all the questions about your novel you can possibly think of so you can answer them throughout the writing process.
Add to these questions constantly throughout the writing process.
For example: Why does this happen? Who is this character and what does he/she/they bring to the book? Is this necessary - why? If this happens, what are the possibilities it could lead to?
When writer's block takes hold, use that time to answer these questions.

Day 24 - 29 - Plan chapters 1 - 5

Day 30 - Begin writing!

Bonus! Try to write with no edits or read overs 5+ chapters at a time. You will be surprised at how much you get done.
Reading your work over and editing when you are nowhere near finished takes up valuable time and can seriously hinder your progress considering you are going to edit at the end anyway!


Go you! You’ve completed your 30 day writing challenge and have one hell of a start on your novel.
Now it’s down to you.
Use what you’ve done so far to continue the process.
Persistence and commitment are key, write something daily and you will finish your novel in no time.

Happy writing.

J A Shaw

Follow J A Shaw on Twitter @JAShawOfficial

20 Most Inspirational Writing Quotes

1. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing - Benjamin Franklin

2. You can make anything by writing - C.S Lewis

3. You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have to say something - F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. If I waited until I felt like writing I would never write at all - Anne Taylor

4. I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things I am afraid of - Joss Whedon

5. There is no wrong or right - just write

6. A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit - Richard Bach

7. Every writer I know has trouble writing - Joseph Heller

8. No one can tell your story so tell it yourself. No one can write your story so write it yourself.

9. The worst thing that you write is better than the best thing that you did not write

10. If a story is in you, it has got to come out - William Faulkner

11. Writer’s aren’t exactly people… they’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person - F. Scott Fitzgerald

12. I will write my way into another life - Ann Patchett

13. You only learn to be a better writer by writing - Dorris Lessing

14. If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: Write a lot and read a lot - Stephen King

15. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart - William Wordsworth

16. There is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed - Ernest Hemingway

17. Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been able to speak about. Be willing to split open - Natalie Goldberg

18. I hate writing. I love having written - Dorothy Parker

19. A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity - Franz Kafka

20. As a writer, I have lived a thousand lives - J A Shaw

How to plan and finish your novel

One thing I struggled with for a long time was planning my books which ultimately meant I could never finish one. Ever since I was at school I always thought I was just ‘that type of writer’ who didn’t need to plan anything out because my ‘creativity wouldn’t be able to flow the same way’…. oh my, how wrong and naive could I be!
We all love a bit of freestyle writing but when it comes to a full length novel, I personally believe that it is pretty impossible to write one without planning, maybe not impossible but extremely difficult.
Think about it, in a novel there is so much that happens, so many twists and turns and subplots within subplots… surely it is impossible to keep up with them all right to the very end without ever sitting down and making a plan for how it all comes together?
If you can do that… bravo but if you’re like the rest of us, I hope that these next steps will help you with your planning process.

1. Use a whiteboard. Using a whiteboard is the single best idea I have ever had! Yes, my head is massive right now because as much as I know that there are bound to be other writers out there who use them… I am officially taking the credit because they are so fluffing awesome! I recommend hanging one on the wall in your writing space.
Whiteboards are brilliant for the planning process and those spur of the moment ideas.
For now, I am using mine for my storyline. It’s great for when the story takes a mind of its own and things need swapping and changing, a simple smudge of the finger does the trick.

2. Sticky notes.
Okay, here’s my big head floating into the picture again. I love sticky notes! Sticky notes decorate my wall like wallpaper because sticky notes are awesome!
Tying in with the next step, I use sticky notes to write down important questions about the book and one by one I will answer them.
It really helps with the writing process and is especially good when writer’s block rears its ugly head. When I’m finding it impossible to write I use the time to focus on the those sticky notes and honestly, you will be surprised at how productive my day actually is; even when suffering from writer's block.
3. Have a list of questions about your novel and do not start writing until you have answered every single one.
The biggest mistake 99% of wannabe writers make is writing a book that they know nothing about themselves. Yes, they create all these fantastic characters and story ideas but when they start to write and realise they have no idea why these characters are doing the things that they are doing or why what’s happening in the book is happening, the writing process starts to turn ugly.
A trick I use is Q&A. I ask questions like: What is the point of the book? Why are the protagonist and antagonist against each other? If the characters want to do this in the book, what is going to get in their way?
These are pretty basic questions that all writers should have answers to before they begin writing but you get my drift and after the basic questions are answered the questions become more in-depth. Why this setting? What does this character/action bring to the story? How will this action affect the reader/ the rest of the book? If I do this, what are the possible paths it could lead to?
Q&A is the single best way to plan your book and absolutely fantastic for planning those plot twists.

4. Journal your book. To check out my blog dedicated to journaling your book go to Overcoming Writers Block: Journal Your Book
Journaling will do wonders for your writing so it's definitely worth a read.

5. Know your characters. Write a back story for each character. If you don’t know them how do you expect your readers to?
Seriously guys? How can you write a book about characters you know nothing about? What are their likes/dislikes? What makes them tick? What was their life like before this story happened? What made them how they are now?
You want your readers to believe your characters are real so you have to make them real. Get to know your blinking characters!
Check out this post for a more in depth look at character creation and their backstories. 

6. Plan each chapter. Write a brief description of what happens in each chapter before your start writing. It will help to stop your writing spiralling off course and if the story changes somewhat you can always re-plan the chapters if needed.
Using sticky notes and a whiteboard will really help with this process.

7. Create a schedule. I believe I have mentioned this in every blog post so far along with writer's block - I’m sensing a theme. Scheduling is so important if you’re serious about writing so create a damn schedule and stick to it!
If you really want to finish your novel you have to create the time to do it.

So to sum up: Whiteboards and sticky notes = awesome! Scheduling, getting to know your characters and Q&A = Essential. Journaling and planning your chapters = makes your life a million times easier and a great way to overcome writer's block.

Happy writing.

J A Shaw