Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Writing A Novelette: 5 Myths Debunked

By Lesley J. Vos

Part of the How They Do It Series

With the explosion of the ebook market in recent years, writers have a lot more flexibility when it comes to word count--both in the larger novels as well as smaller. The shorter format has been growing almost as fast, and is rapidly gaining fans and sales. To debunk some myths about one such format, Lesley J. Vos visits the lecture hall today to chat with us about the novelette.

Lesley J. Vos is a blog writer for Bid4Papers company. She also works as a private educator of French language from time to time. Lesley enjoys the process of writing and essays proofreading itself, and you can always contact her at Google+.

Take it away Lesley...

Monday, August 18, 2014

One Road at The Pen and Muse: How to Trim Words From Your Manuscript

Just a heads up that I'm over at the The Pen and Muse today, sharing tips on trimming words from your manuscript. If you've been looking for tips on how to slim down a manuscript (or just tighten one up), pop on over and say hello.

Painting a Scene vs Dramatizing a Scene

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

As writers, we strive for beautiful writing, but a novel is more than just pretty language. It's a story about characters overcoming obstacles, and to capture that action (and readers), it's important to dramatize our scenes and bring them to life. If we only focus on painting word pictures and describing the scenes, we miss out on the chance to show that scene in action. Just as we miss out on opportunities for engrossing pictures if we only focus on the drama.

Let's take a look at the two sides and how you can use both to create novels that are both vividly painted and well dramatized.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Real Life Diagnostics: Showing Emotional Subtext in Your Scenes

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and I diagnose it on the blog. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: Three

Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through September 6. The Sunday diagnostics will shorten that some if my schedule permits, but I wanted everyone to be aware of the submission to posting delay.

This week’s questions:

I'm focusing on the relationship between the MC (Eli) and the GF (Tanya). I want to show that they could be close, but that Eli's reluctance is causing cracks. Does this give the impression of love under tension? Also, is there a legitimate writing reason to hate that paragraph about the trauma survival network, or are my personal issues interfering with my objectivity? If it truly doesn't work, how can I fix it?

Market/Genre: Paranormal or urban fantasy

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, August 15, 2014

It’s an Improvement: Five Ways to Kick Your Writing up a Notch

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week's Refresher Friday takes another look at a few easy ways to improve your writing. Enjoy!

Revisions and edits are all about making a novel and the prose in it better. I’m sure I’m not alone in my quest to better my writing, and I bet authors who are successful also share this trait. I’m probably also not alone in sometimes staring at my screen and thinking, “Okay, what do I do now to become a better writer?”

Here are five ways you can give your writing a boost:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

10 Tips for Shooting Your Own Cover Photo

By Julie Musil, @juliemusil

Part of the Indie Author Series


When Jeff Fielder created my cover for The Boy Who Loved Fire, he used stock images. When it came time to design the cover for my next release, The Summer of Crossing Lines, we hit a roadblock.

My protagonist infiltrates a theft ring and crosses moral lines. I envisioned a teen boy and girl...plus police tape. Try searching for that on stock photo sites, and you’ll see some strange images. Seriously. None of it worked for me. While my designer explored other options, I worked to create the image I saw in my head.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unrequited Writing Love: When You Can't Write What You Love to Read

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Pulling from the archives today, with a revised look at incorporating elements from other genres and markets  into your own work. Enjoy!

I’m a fantasy writer, with a little science fiction thrown in, but all the story ideas that come to me have some kind of speculative element. As much as I love these kinds of tales (I wouldn’t write them if I didn’t), I also love contemporary novels set in the real world with real problems. Dark problems, really, tragic problems I hope no one I care about ever has to go through, but I love reading about them. I’ve tried to write contemporary stories like those, and they never work. I'm just not a "real world" kind of writer.

The adage is, “Write what you love,” but what do you do if "what you love" doesn’t love you back? Don't worry, there are ways to mix what you love to read with what you love to write.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Have You Read Lately?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

As writers, we often spend so much time writing we forget to stop and enjoy the reading side of things. Summer is a great time to sit back and find some new books, and maybe even try a genre or author you've never read before. Expand your reading horizons a little!

I invite you to share your recent reads and even give a shout out to some of your favorite books if you'd like.

Here are some great books I've read recently:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Why Should Anyone Help Your Protagonist?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

I have a small pet peeve in fiction, even though I do it myself--characters who are always willing to drop everything and help the protagonist when she needs it. I'm not referring to the best friends (that's kind of their job), but the random people your protagonist runs into over the course of a story. The characters who have no good reason to answer questions, or agree to turn their backs at the right moment, or even take any risks for a total stranger, yet they do time and time again.

It's a plot thing, I get it. That's the way the plot needs to unfold and it's exhausting to have every single thing in an entire novel be a fight of some type. There are times when things need to go the protagonist's way. From a plotting standpoint, it's easy--this is where the protagonist learns X and this character will tell her.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Real Life Diagnostics: A Look at a Fantasy Opening: Would You Read On?

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and I diagnose it on the blog. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: Three 

Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through August 30. The Sunday diagnostics will shorten that some if my schedule permits, but I wanted everyone to be aware of the submission to posting delay.

This week’s questions:

Does this work as an opening? Would you read on? (Is there a strong enough hook based on what you've read?) Does the genre come through based on what you've read so far?


Market/Genre: Fantasy (YA-Adult. I don't think there's an in-between age group)

On to the diagnosis…