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“The difficulty of literature is not to write but to write what you mean.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Today, I thought about this quote a lot.  I’m sure the act of “just” writing would be easy for anyone. You could just sit down and start randomly writing things that made no sense that held no meaning.  But, it takes a lot of work to be able to write something meaningful and have that come across in your writing.  That’s always the difficult part.

If getting my meaning across correctly wasn’t so  important, I would have had the book written by now.  That is something that takes time and dedication.  You have to know the meaning of your book before you expect anyone else to understand it. The meaning behind my book is quite emotional. It makes you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and find compassion for something you possibly weren’t familiar with before.

What is the meaning behind my book? It’s all about discovering your own inner strength and learning that it’s okay to fall.  It’s okay to lean on someone else in order to  let go of all that pain you feel.  Life is really worth living.

Whether your meaning is heavy or light, it is never easy to get it to come across like it is in your head. Writing what you mean is very difficult and only a writer can really understand that. It’s not about sitting on your butt all day in front of a computer. Anyone who thinks that is going to think it’s easy to write.

Always write what you mean. Make sure that comes across in your writing. Read over your manuscript a few times and see if you can see it.

On to other things now! Guess what day it is. I’ll wait. 🙂

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It is Writing Prompt Wednesday! For all those that guessed that, congratulations and give yourselves a nice pat on the back! Let’s get started on this week’s writing prompt.

  • One day after waking up from a nap you walk out the door and find a huge castle sitting where a house once stood. Write a story about it.
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As Harry Potter week continues on this blog, today is going to be a discussion on the meaning behind the Harry Potter books and what they really mean to you.

There have been serious debates (no, really) about what the plot really means and what JK Rowling is trying to get across with these books.  Everyone has their opinions whether they feel it’s all about loyalty, sacrificing yourself for others, love..whatever you may get out of it. Personally, I think it deals with all of those.

You can get so many themes out of these books.  Loyalty and friendship is definitely one of them. Harry has so many supporters who have helped him gain the courage he needed to face the trials he had to face. Without them, I feel he would have given up. He also stuck by his friends by protecting them and making sure they were okay.

It’s hard to really talk about the themes and give examples because I do not want to ruin any of the books for people who haven’t read them. But, I will say that the theme of acceptance comes through in the last book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Harry has accepted his role as “The boy who lived” and what that means.  He has had to accept the fact that he may have to sacrifice himself so others can live a happy life.

My favorite kinds of books are the ones that you are able to notice a theme that makes you sit back and think. How does it apply to me?  What can I do to change the way I see this? These questions help people grow and I think Harry Potter does this.

People argue all the time that the Harry Potter books aren’t quality literature and children shouldn’t read them. They are bad examples of literature, they say. I think they’re wrong. These books are not only entertaining but they hold such strong themes throughout each one. Kids need to see a literary character be brave and stand up for the people he loves. They need to know that even when you may feel alone, you really aren’t. You have people who stand behind you and support you. Some say there are images and situations kids shouldn’t have to read about like death. What I say is kids see that all the time, whether on the television or in movies. Even in real life, kids see these things. These books can help kids see the power of love, friendship, loyalty, and family.

Isn’t that what makes literature so powerful?

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Today, I took the time to look back at some of my previous writings to see if their was a link to connect them all together. I didn’t know if I was going to find some treasured meaning behind them, but I did. Each story contained an individual message that meant a lot to me, whether it be treasuring time with loved one, or not judging people for what society may deem as “unacceptable.”  I talk about lost love and broken hearts; forgiveness and acceptance. These are things that mean a lot to me.

What I’m trying to say is I generally write from the heart. Sure, I use my brain to get the words on the screen, but that’s emotions in the reader.

I tend to write what I know, or somewhat know. Of course, there have been some attempts at fantasy (I am a JRR Tolkien fanatic, remember?).  There are just times when I know deep in my heart what I am meant to write. Currently, my W.I.P centers around a type of mental health issue that is still seen as “taboo” with certain people. If my novel can open up those lines of communications and get people talking, then I feel like I have succeeded.

Writing from the heart doesn’t cost you any money or take a lot of time. It’s about getting to know who you are and what life means to you. What bothers you? Is there something that has happened to you that has affected you? In order to connect with the story, readers need to believe what you’re writing. Sometimes, writing from the heart helps you achieve that. If a character is going through something that you feel you can connect with, don’t be afraid to dive in and let the readers see that pain. Remember, readers want to see that emotion. Another key is letting go of the fear that can hold you back. Sometimes, we run away from things that have hurt us in the past. We hide from the things that we don’t want to relive again.  I know it’s not easy. I struggle with writing certain chapters in my W.I.P.  It’s not an easy thing to relive, but it is therapy.

Trust your heart. It may seem scary to let your mind take the backseat for awhile, but in the end, it’s worth it.

“When you write from the heart, you not only light the dark path of your readers, you light your own way as well.”

-Marjorie Holmes

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I’ve always found the meanings of names interesting. For instance, my name, Melissa, means “honeybee” in Greek. Does that name really suit my personality? Not really, but of course, my parents didn’t really pay attention to the meanings of names anyways. It took them long enough to finally settle on the name I have (Seriously, I was told it was a serious debate..).

Anyways, back to the point here. As a writer, I feel I have a sort of responsibility towards my characters, which I have pointed out in an earlier post. That also goes for the name I give each one. I always think each one through, researching origins and meanings so they fit my character. Sometimes, it’s an easy task. Other times, I have to just throw up my hands and give them a name.

There have been incidences where I’ve changed names halfway through, finding something else that is more suitable. This can happen when my characters become more real and their personalities stand out. While I was writing a novel in high school, my main character’s name didn’t seem like it truly fit her. So, I changed it to one that helped her personality shine.

Name meanings are important. As authors, we have the ability to get to know our characters and give them a name that we see suits them.

Remember, it’s all in a name. 🙂

So, tell me, is there a character in any work of fiction that you think has a great name? Does their name suit their personalities?

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