Wednesday, February 7, 2018

10 Entrepreneur Quotes to Motivate and Inspire Writers

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I've always been inspired by success stories from famous entrepreneurs--Jobs, Disney, Hershey, George Washington Carver, etc. It's amazing how these men had a passion, a dream, and were determined to press forward, despite the obstacles. 

Aspiring authors can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs. Just as the path toward launching a business is not an easy route, the path toward publication is often long and filled with discouragement. As we strive to achieve our dreams, let's learn to mimic the traits that successful entrepreneurs possessed, such as ... ambition. Drive. Passion. Perseverance. Discipline. And patience. 

I've gathered entrepreneur quotes that will hopefully inspire and motivate you to develop these very traits. If there's one in particular that inspires you, I recommend writing it down on a sticky note at your computer; that way, you'll have a constant reminder to keep going.  

Here are 10 entrepreneur quotes to motivate and inspire writers:

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” 
Steve Jobs

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” 

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"Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." 
Robert Louis Stevenson 

“Done is better than perfect.”
Sheryl Sandberg

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” 
Albert Einstein

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."
Vincent Van Gogh

“The price of inaction is far greater than then cost of a mistake.” 
Meg Whitman

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"I would rather die of passion than of boredom." 
Vincent van Gogh

“Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” 
Seth Godin

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
Walt Disney 

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What's your favorite quote on this list? Are there any that you'd like to add?


10 Entrepreneur Quotes to #Motivate and #Inspire Writers @TessaEmilyHall #writerslife

"I would rather die of passion than of boredom." 
Vincent van Gogh @TessaEmilyHall #writerslife #motivational

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Quick Tips: How to Brainstorm & Research the Setting For Your Novel

The setting of a story should be treated with much attention as if it were a character in itself. Think of your favorite book--how would the plot differ if it were set in snowy mountains? Or in a dry desert? When a writer accurately portrays a believable setting for their novel, the reader becomes sucked into the story. This should be done in a way so that the story would not be the same if it were set in another location.

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For example: The setting is a crucial element in the movie The Titanic. It would be impossible to set that story in another location; the entire plot would unravel. People fall in love with books that present well-developed settings and story worlds. What would The Chronicles of Narnia be without Narnia? Or Anne of Green Gables without Green Gables? This is why us writers should never rush the process of brainstorming a setting.

So, when choosing a setting, ask yourself...

  • What is the mood and theme of this story? What kind of setting—a small town, big city, another planet, etc.—would best portray this?
  • How will the setting affect the plot of the story?
  • Will I use a real location or invent one?
  • What places—including my hometown—am I familiar with? Out of those, which one am I most passionate about?
  • How can I weave symbolism into this setting?
  • How does the setting influence who my protagonist is and what is his/her attitude toward this location?

Then, once you have chosen your setting, it's time to collect as much information as you can about this place--even if you've invented it. You should know it just as well as your characters do.  

Here's how you can research your setting: 

  • Take a research trip (if feasible).
  • Watch YouTube videos. Many times, people will give a “virtual tour” of a certain place. As you watch, pay close attention to the sights and sounds.
  • Research the location and its history through various online resources. (Keep in mind, however, that some websites, such as Wikipedia, may not provide 100% accurate information.)
  • Read books about the location, including memoirs.
  • Read the online newspaper of the location.
  • Find pictures via Pinterest. (Make sure to pin them to your storyboard as well!)
  • Interview people who have a connection to the location.
  • Research the city through This website allows you to explore a location and discover its amenities, housing and neighborhoods, population, economics, crime, weather, etc. It will even compare these results with another location as well.
  • Take advantage of Google Earth and its street view feature.

When researching (or inventing!) your setting, take note of the following:

  • What unique elements can contribute toward the personality of my setting? Have you chosen/invented a town that is popular for its rolling hills? Are there willow trees that form a canopy over a certain street? Farm animals held behind fences? (Cough ... Unwritten Melody reference.) ;) 
  • How do the locals speak? What is their dialect and popular slang?
  • Where is the place located geographically?
  • What is the climate in every season?
  • What is the history of the location, and how has it shaped the setting into what it is today?
  • What is the most popular religion? (For instance, have you chosen a town that's located in the Bible belt of the US?)
  • What are the socioeconomics?
  • What is the atmosphere? Is it a laid back town in the south, where people are accustomed to a slow-paced lifestyle--or does it take place within the hustle and bustle of NYC?
  • What is the popular fashion and hairstyles?
  • Where do people shop for food, coffee, groceries, clothes, ice cream, etc.?
  • What are the significant landmarks and parks?
  • Where do the teenagers hangout?
  • What kind of animals can be found in the location? Plants? Insects?
  • If it’s a small town, what big city is it located near?
  • What are the popular street names?


The setting of a story should be treated as if it were another character, so make sure to research it beforehand. 

Then, when you begin to write, highlight on the specific details that will breathe life into your setting. However, make sure that this is presented through the eyes of your POV (Point of View) character. 

Through proper developing and portraying your setting, you will give your readers the opportunity to become transported into the story’s location . . . and they’ll never once have to leave the comfort of their own home. ;) 

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What's your favorite way to brainstorm and research the setting for your books? 


Quick Tips: How to Brainstorm & Research the Setting For Your Novel @TessaEmilyHall #amwriting #writingtips

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sitting Down With Your Characters - Guest Post by Leah Meahl

We all know how it goes. Boy. Girl. Best Friend. Villian. Hero. Sidekick. 

One of the best things about writing stories is that we have the luxury of building a person from scratch. But once you’ve chosen the names, the hair and eye color, now it’s time to focus on their inner being. 

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Your characters psyche maybe easy to pinpoint at first, but when you start writing, you’ll realize that some initial ideas lack depth. Here are some ways to sit down with your character and get to know them. 

1 - Do your research 

As with all solid writing, research can go a long way. If your character has a medical condition, physical or mental disability, phobia, etc, you should have a good understanding of what those details involve. How will a mental disability affect one’s thoughts? How would a phobia affect a lifestyle? When you find the nuances of traits you want your characters to have, you may see or understand them better. 

2 - Solidify your image 

You may have a fuzzy idea of what your character looks like, but sometimes it’s better to look them in the eyes. One way to do that is to look up pictures that closely identify your character’s features. Pictures may help you establish vividness and consistency in your descriptions. 

3 - Ask them questions 

Interviewing your characters can be the most fun. After taking a playwriting workshop, I learned that even the most random questions can help you feel out your character. An example of some inquiries are: what genre of books would they read, what alcoholic beverage would they choose to drink, what is their go-to music? Even if these answers aren’t featured in the story, each fact helps mold who they are as a whole. 

4 - Find a real life example 

Some of the best models for characters come from the people around us. When you see the dark spots on a man’s knuckles or the bounce in a child’s step, your descriptions become accurate and relatable. When you have conversations with others, you can write natural dialogue. If someone reminds you of your character, a personality manifests before you. Your job is simply to observe and write down. 

5 - Practice hearing them 

Call me crazy, but we’re writers. Practicing your character’s dialogue out loud can be helpful. Not only does it open up ways for natural speech and choice of words, but also it supports the direction of the scene in your mind. From an editing point of view, reading aloud will confirm the fluidity of your words. So, get in touch with your inner actor and have fun with it! 

We writers have been given the gift of creating by the one and only Creator. He has woven so many beautiful and unique characteristics into His children and now we have the privilege in using His models to help with our own designs. 

If you have a project and a direction in mind, grab a cup of coffee, sit down one of your “friends” and start getting to know them. 

About the Author:

Leah Jordan Meahl is an aspiring author having graduated from North Greenville University concentrating in creative writing. She loves to share her experiences with Jesus in hopes that people will find hope, inspiration, and blessings while growing in a deeper relationship with Him. She helps people see God at work through her blog at On the side, she also has a love for the theater as an actor and singer. In her spare time, she likes to drink coffee while diving into a captivating story. 

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Thanks for stopping by, Leah!
Readers: What's your favorite way to create characters? Do you have any tips to share with us?