Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: novel writing

Writing Your Novel Tips! Worthless Advice that won’t help you in the least!

Well, I have no helpful writing tips for you and your upcoming bestselling novel.  This is my worthless advice blog, remember?  If you want some helpful tips, you might as well just click over to someone who is helpful like: Jenna Morcci.  She’s an author/writer/blogger I stumbled upon, while I was watching YouTube.  Before you judge me, my YouTube viewing is called “research.” While I was “researching” something…. (Truth be told, you know I was wasting time with Mr. Whiskers by my side, trying to figure out something on YouTube when Jenna Morcci’s writing videos came into my feed).

Let’s get to the point….She is hilarious!  Well crafted videos that are a bit sarcastic, but helpful on writing.  She’s informative, delightful, and has some great writing points.  Hmm, she could be more helpful than my worthless advice blog and that could be dangerous.  Perhaps, she could be my arch enemy?  Nah, that would involve me thinking too much of plot lines, character development, and how to write more than two sentences together and thus make something worthwhile.  One of my favorite videos is at the end of this post.

To combat her cleverness, I probably should throw together a witty list of “How to Write a Novel” tips.  Here goes my worthless advice tips list that won’t help you at all:

  1. Write in a Safe Space.  Yes, go to your safe space.  This could be an extra room in your house, under the stairs, the local coffee shop, or the pub down the street (see item #2).
  2. Consume large quantities of alcohol.  All the great, successful writer were drunks.  Why should you be any different?  Drink up!  You could even have a signature drink!
  3. Play music appropriate to your writing style.  Feeling romantic? Play some love songs.  Your story takes place at an all night rave?  Throw on some EMD trance music.
  4. Read.  Heck, you can’t write if you don’t read.  Read your genre or just read the classics.  Just don’t sit around and do nothing.whirlpool-1580294_1920.jpg  Pick up that Kindle and read!
  5. Soak in a Hot Tub – this is a wonderful way to relax, brainstorm, and not write.  You are in a hot tub, how could you write anything down?
  6. Surf the internet.  Remember I said not to sit around and do nothing?  Well, start surfing that internet and enjoy learning about how to snowboard in New Zealand.  It won’t help you write but you might end up with a great storyline, a blog post, or a new place to visit.
  7. Watch YouTube videos.  This is an awesome way to learn a new skill…how to change out a wheel bearing, how to paint your house, how to waste time watching You Tube videos about how to be successful.  It’s always just a big circle; watch a video and never write that next great American novel.
  8. Play with your cat!  What can you distract you more than your cat?  So cute, so cuddling.  It makes you want to watch cute cat videos on YouTube!  Am I right?  You know I am.
  9. Chat with your Imaginary Stalker Cyndi -You know you haven’t been paying enough attention to Cyndi and she doesn’t like that.  She will get you back….and she is your #1 fan!

Luckily, I know none of these tips will help you to become a better writer.  I know they won’t help you doing anything that moves you along to becoming successful, or happy, or the pride of your family.

Here’s a link to Jenna’s videos.  If you like a snarky attitude, you like to write, and you think I might actually have some good advice for you, just click on her video!  I don’t get paid to say how much I enjoy her videos, but she is pretty funny.  She should at least take me out to dinner for all of the web traffic my blog will be sending her…. No, I’m not in love with her…. (my wife will roll her eyes when she reads this part…).  Until Jenna comments on my blog….I bid you a fond farewell.

 

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Curriculum Night: How my Child will learn to Become a Mid-Level Management Suck Up

This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.

I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?

One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas.  Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?

Welcome back to School!

Welcome back to School!

My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?

Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?

“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?

Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.

Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.

What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?

 

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