Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day Four: Clarify the Goals and Motivations

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Four of Fiction University’s Month-Long At-Home Revision Workshop. This first stage is all about getting the story and plot worked out, and identifying any holes or problems to guide us in our revisions and let us know where we need to focus our time. We’ll be analyzing plot and narrative structure, and making sure the novel is working as a whole.  

At this point in the process, we should have a solid understanding of the story, plot, and character arcs. All the big plot holes have been filled, and even if some areas are a little shaky, we know what needs to be done to tighten them up—or at the very least, we know which scenes need strengthening. For the rest of the week, we’ll focus on fixing those trouble spots.

Today, let’s tackle any weak (or missing) goals discovered in our analysis, and make sure the character motivations are clear, logical, and moving the plot forward.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When Rejection is Necessary, or I Reject All the Fear

By Heather Webb, @msheatherwebb

Part of the How They Do It Series


Please welcome historical author Heather Webb to the lecture hall today, to share some inspiration on why some rejection, is actually good.And who can't use a little inspiration where that's concerned?

Heather is the acclaimed author of historical novels BECOMING JOSEPHINE and RODIN’S LOVER, published by Penguin. Her novels have been translated to three languages and have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, France Magazine, All You magazine, Dish Magazine, the Hartford Courant, the Houston Chronicle, Washington Independent Review of Books, The Portland Book Review, and more. Her anthology, A FALL OF POPPIES, centers on WWI’s Armistice Day and will release from HarperCollins in 2016 featuring eight other authors.

As a freelance editor, she enjoys sharing writing advice at award-winning writing sites WriterUnboxed.com and RomanceUniversity.org. She may often be found Twittering or at a local college where she teaches craft courses. When not writing, she feeds her cookbook addiction, geeks out on history and pop culture, and looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound

Take it away Heather...

Day Three: Analyze the Scene Structure

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Three of Fiction University’s Month-Long At-Home Revision Workshop. This first stage is all about getting the story and plot worked out, and identifying any holes or problems to guide us in our revisions and let us know where we need to focus our time. We’ll be analyzing plot and narrative structure, and making sure the novel is working as a whole.  

 Now that we’ve identified and strengthened the major turning points for both the internal conflict and external plot, it’s time to dig deeper and look at the individual scenes and chapters. Connect the dots so to speak.

Today, we’ll make sure our scenes are moving the plot we just worked so hard to refine, and aren’t just a string of loosely connected events.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Day Two: Analyze the Character Arcs

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Two of Fiction University’s Month-Long At-Home Revision Workshop. This first stage is all about getting the story and plot worked out, and identifying any holes or problems to guide us in our revisions and let us know where we need to focus our time. We’ll be analyzing plot and narrative structure, and making sure the novel is working as a whole. 

After yesterday's session, our external plot should be clear and defined. Now we'll look inward and analyze the character arcs, and how those internal conflicts work with the external plot.

Today, we'll focus on how the characters grow over the course of the novel. Consider making notes here on any weak characters to get a head start on the character development sessions next week.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day One: Analyze the Story Structure

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Stage One: Plot and Structure Issues

Welcome to Day One of Fiction University’s Month-Long At-Home Revision Workshop. This first stage is all about getting the story and plot worked out, and identifying any holes or problems to guide us in our revisions and let us know where we need to focus our time. We’ll be analyzing plot and narrative structure, and making sure the novel is working as a whole.

Today, let’s make sure the story foundation is strong and supports the individual scenes that make up the plot.

Friday, February 27, 2015

At-Home Workshop: Revise Your Novel in 31 Days

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

There's just a few days before the Month-Long At-Home Revision Workshop begins. There's still time to get your prep work done if you'd like to start on March 1. (If not, you can always join in at any time over the month at do this at your own pace).

If you're ready to revise, I suggest you take a few days off from writing and have a little fun, because next month is likely to be intense--in a good way. Stock up on writing snacks and treats, get out in the sunshine, and enjoy yourself.

If this is the first you're hearing about this workshop, then read on and see if you'd like to join in. The more the merrier! 

Workshop Prep:
Prepping for the Workshop: What to do to get ready.
Workshop Prep: Create an Editorial Map
Workshop Prep: Create a Revision Plan

Revision Steps By Day (Updated as each step goes live)
Day One: Analyze the Story Structure
Day Two: Analyze the Character Arcs
Day Three: Analyze the Scene Structure

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Dark Side of Digital

By Dario Ciriello

Part of the Indie Authors Series 

The Indie Author in the Data-Driven Digital Age

On my darker days, I wonder—and I imagine you do, too—whether I’m not just wasting my time with this writing gig, when I could be doing something that’s a lot less work and maybe a whole lot more fun. Hiking, strumming my guitars, playing games. Maybe even abusing substances to dull the pain that comes with the territory.

For most writers, and perhaps especially indies, we write because we want to be read. Money is nice, but I bet the vast majority of us are at least as interested in exploring characters and telling stories as we are in making some extra money; and though we might dream, the reality of making a decent living from our writing is, let’s be honest, likely to remain just that—a dream. And I’m okay with that.

But who’s reading?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Know Someone Who Needs a Little Revision Motivation? Tell Them About the At-Home Revision Workshop!

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Only three days until the At-Home Revision Workshop begins. If you have any friends who might need a little motivation to get their revisions started, please let them know about our workshop while there's still time to get some of the prep work done. The more the merrier!

Or if you frequent any writing forums, please share the At-Home Revision Workshop link with writers who might be interested in the free play-along-at-home workshop.

Leave no writer behind.

Follow the Leader: Moving From Scene to Scene

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Before I dive in today, just a heads up that my monthly post is up over at Pub Crawl, where I'm discussing the benefits of volunteering as part of an author's marketing plan. Come on over and say hello.

Moving on, this week we have a Refresher Wednesday, taking an updated look at a trick to see if your novel is moving smoothly from scene to scene. Enjoy! (First published on August 20, 2010)

Back when I was writing my third novel, Darkfall, I was skimming my chapters and trying to work out how to better weave all my various plot threads together. Since it was the last book of the trilogy, there were four major plot ideas that all had to be tied together and wrapped up, and I wasn't happy with how they were weaving together. Things felt too unfocused, even though I liked what was happening on a scene by scene basis.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Writing Workshop: Janice Hardy at the Dahlonega Literary Festival: 10 Ways to Kick Your Writing up a Notch

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

WHAT: Writing Workshop
WHEN: March 28, 2015
WHERE: Dahlonega Literary Festival, Dahlonega, GA
TIME: (TBD) 

Come on over to Dahlonega, Georgia at the end of March for my writing workshop at the Dahlonega Literary Festival. Come for the ten tips to kick your writing up a notch, stay for the great weekend of panels with a variety of authors across genres. (And the fried Twinkies)

If you've never been to the Dahlonega Literary Festival before, give yourself a treat and go. It's a great event in a charming mountain town, with lots of friendly people. The always fabulous gals from FoxTale Books (voted the Best Bookstore, 2103 by Atlanta Magazine) will be on hand to sell books, and authors will be available to sign them.

This year's line up:

Raymond Atkins | Susan Boyer | Mark Braught | Jackie K Cooper | Lynn Cullen | Delilah S. Dawson | Jessica Handler | Molly Harper | Kevin Hearne | Kathryn Hinds | Ann Hite | Vicki Lane | Erika Marks | Man Martin* | Frances Mayes* | Cherie Priest | George Weinstein

And Special Appearances by:

Tanya Long Bennett | John D. Cressler | Janice Hardy | Robb Helfrick | Renea Winchester