The Turning Tales entries of @reneeschnebelinbooks tend to come with trap doors leading to the unfamiliar and uncanny. Her first standalone novel, “cHaoS!”, was published in December 2022. She has written and recorded short stories and scripts which have been featured on the ONCE Podcast. @reneeschnebelinbooks lives in Northern Ohio with her husband and her three furbabies Willie, Max and Gizmo. She is an Indie RPG girl, growing up playing the original NES, building worlds in The Sims for hours and watching all the TV shows. Probably too much screen time, but it helps her relax. You can find her other works at www.reneeschnebelin.com. We asked her to share some of her writing secrets.
And here’s her answer:
I have been writing stories and reading books since … well … forever. Always daydreaming in class … my mind would wander to all kinds of faraway lands. “Dreamland” was inspired by my work in progress, “Dreamwalker.” I’ve suffered from sleep paralysis, night terrors and sleep walking since I was a little kid. The Shadow Man was a frequent visitor in my 20’s and early 30’s. He hasn’t made an appearance in quite some time and honestly the sleeping issues have seem to come to an end after I turned 41… thank goodness.
Just like with any craft, writing needs to happen every single day. And you don’t really have to write anything poetic, you could just write a sentence or two about what you did the day before, or perhaps a quick paragraph about your walk around the neighborhood and how old Mr. Beasly shouted at you for allowing your dogs to walk through his mulch.
I seem to write best first thing in the morning. I’ve titled these writings “Morning Musings” or sometimes “Ramblings”. It’s the time of day to let the words flow out … although sometimes they only trickle out like a leaky faucet and that’s okay. I learned about these morning writing sessions while reading “The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron. She aptly called them morning pages and instructed the reader to write three full 8.5 by 11 pages worth of words. That’s a lot of words, so I decided to only write one page or perhaps a paragraphs worth of ramblings or musings each day. They seemed to work just as well … providing me with the inspiration to write stories, scripts, short screenplays, poems, and more.
With all that I would tell an aspiring or veteran writer that what you really need to do is, well, “Just write,” every single day and in all genres. Of course, picking a genre and specialising in that is a good practice as well. The other thing writers need to do is read: all the books, spanning across all genres. If you are lacking inspiration I highly recommend the above mentioned, “The Right to Write”, and also “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King. Both of those books helped me tremendously. Since reading them I’ve published three novels, written hundreds of stories, and participated in dozens of writing challenges. I live for a good writing challenge and was excited to learn that Papyrus Author was hosting one.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Papyrus Author writing challenge. As mentioned above I have joined many writing challenges. I also hosted one myself and called it “Prose, Prose (Prose!)”. It was so much fun coming up with the different prompts and I am considering publishing them for writers to use with hopes that they find some inspiration and motivation to well … write.
I have been so happy with how supportive and kind the Papyrus Author writing community has been throughout this challenge. So, cheers to all … now go write something brilliant!
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
– E. B. White
When is your time to let the words flow freely? How do you incorporate writing in your everyday life? And which books about writing held revelations for you? Please share your recommendations below!
This post is part of an ongoing series about our winning Turning Tales authors and the secrets to their writing. Previously, we had the pleasure to be let in on The Secrets of @RTGraver.