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.
What keeps you from writing the story that’s been tumbling in your head forever? What keeps you from posting your work? What keeps you from pressing that dreaded submit button on a contest or a submissions call?
Call it nervousness, apprehension or straight-up fear. Name it, claim it, and then conquer it.
Part of the whole writing gig is, well, writing. It’s pretty much a given that authors build a platform to market and promote their word-babies to the masses. Building your network with social media is great, but many opt to also use a blog as their home on the Interwebs.
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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’? Read 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? Read 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? Read 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: Read More
Here’s a wide open topic:
Do you choose a character’s name because it just sounds right or does it have to have meaning?
Is a strongman named Sampson and a betrayer named Cain?
Do you grab the nearest baby-names book, put on a blindfold and stabby-stab with your pudgy finger?
After some informal surveying with other writers, name generation falls in to one of the following two camps: Read More
Let’s start with a serviceable definition of plot:
A plot is the event or events that are used to insure that you get your story and characters from point A to point Z.
In the sense that all stories move a character along a journey, be it emotional or physical, then most stories have a plot. The plot accents the intersection of events and how they affect your characters. How they react, or, in the case of characters causing conflict, how they instigate that conflict in the first place. A plot should make the reader curious about outcomes. The moment a reader thinks they know everything that is going to happen, they stop reading. Read More
So, you’ve lovingly tapped out ‘The End’ at the bottom of your masterpiece. Huffing a breath of relief that you’ve done it: your word baby is born and you want to release it to the world. Pass out the cigars.
Post it to a community site for review! Submit it to your favorite e-zine! Post it to your blog! Facebook! Tweet it! Pin it! Read More