A few months ago I was sitting down with an E3C member to help them work out some ideas surrounding blogging. They were looking at starting to blog as a companion to their work as a designer and illustrator but they were stuck on one detail; where to start.
Let me tell you a story.
When I was in high school, I remember when typewriters became computers and document processing a la touch typing became the darling-do.
Yes, I dated myself there. Cope and deal. I did a long time ago, you whipper-snappers. It could be worse: I could have regaled you with the brief fascination with daisy-wheels. We had 52 letters, 10 digits and a smattering of symbols. Tab-stops and the black-red ribbon were a goram innovation! I also remember cursively writing my middle-school creative writing assignments.
Why are you staring at me? I did it again. Damn.
When I was in Grade Ten, I performed in a one act play. I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it was called. Checks Google. It was called ‘He Done Her Wrong‘ by Anita Bell. Thank you, Google. All hail.
Anyway, it was a melodrama full of all the classic tropes. I played a villain called Fleetwood Dashaway. Complete with tophat, cape and twirly moustashe. He was a very fun character to play, equally shallow and cardboardy as the rest of the cast. It worked because of its nostalgic approach to vaudeville theater.
My friend Anisa hinted, prodded, poked, goaded and shamed me into entering the 3 Day Novel Contest back on Labour Day weekend. It was her second time and I surmise she wanted to share the experience. You know, pay it forward and all that jazz. (more…)
We’ve all been there: staring at the screen or notebook wondering how to write the middle of your story. You’ve built a wonderful world and crafted some deep characters. You might even have done a great job at setting the stage and have a great idea on where you want to end up. You’ve written down a few scenes and they are glorious. But still the flashing cursor looms.
Have you ever had to push a car? It’s not a lot of fun, but it is possible. But you have to make sure that the person inside the car, the person responsible for steering doesn’t do something stupid. Like hit the breaks. That’s what happens when you stop blogging. It is the end of momentum. And in a lot of ways, momentum is your best, and possibly only, friend. (more…)
Image by zero-.
Hello, fellow quill-bearers! For your mind-bending pleasure, here is another open-ended dilly of a question:
We’re often told that to be great writers, we must read voraciously. Does the same hold true for television and film? Are there different writing lessons to be learned from watching sitcoms, dramas, and their ilk? What magical insights of word-craft mastery, if any, have you gleaned from the proverbial ‘idiot box’, ‘idiot’s lantern’ and ‘boob tube’? (more…)
Oh, this is going to be fun! A couple of months ago I wrote ‘The (Not So) Definitive Guide to Romance Novels‘ for Reader’s Carnival . It got me to thinking (I know, a dangerous thing):
What is the difference between a romance novel, erotica and outright porn? Is it simply age group boundaries? Explicitness versus love? Where are the boundaries? Has this changed over time? Putting quality aside, what separates Danielle Steel from E.L. James? (more…)
Part of the writing game is marketing (talking about your work) and publicity (getting others to talk about your work). And that generally means using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and their ilk. Establishing an ‘author platform’ are bons mots du jour.
So which network do you use? Do you have to be on all of them? (more…)
Writers, like many artisans, love to talk about the tools and techniques of their trade. Honing and tweaking their systems becomes a near-obsession in itself.
I asked a number of writers their opinions on what they use and received no shortage of information. The tools used roughly fall into three buckets, reflecting the larger workflow process from mind-to-notes-to-draft-to-refine: (more…)