Thursday, December 12, 2013
No one likes bad reviews, especially those one-star kind. It's even worse when a bad review is based on something that isn't related to the novel--like bad service from the bookseller or shipping company. Dani Collins is here today so share some thoughts on dealing with one-star reviews and how you can learn to let go and let them be.
Dani spent twenty-five years dreaming of writing full time and finally made her first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. She’s still dreaming of making Romance Author her day job, but for now she writes around work, family, and enough exercise to keep her out of traction. For more information about Dani, you can visit her website at www.danicollins.com, listen to her interview with Nice Girls Reading Naughty Books, or watch her interview on GFTV.
Take it away Dani...
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Staying motivated can be hard enough for any writer, but it gets worse over the holidays (and right after NaNo) when work and family obligations demand more of our attention. Stacy Ennis joins us today to share a few tips on how to keep going and keep writing, so let's give her a big welcome.
Stacy is a book and magazine editor, writer, book coach, and speaker, as well as the author of The Editor’s Eye: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book from Good to Great. Her greatest joy is helping people achieve their book-writing dreams, and she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of authors in varied genres, editing several chart-toppers.
She was the founding managing editor of a lifestyle magazine. Later, she became the executive editor of Healthy Living Made Simple, a Sam’s Club magazine reaching over 8 million readers. She now works with a wide range of clients, from celebrities and corporate clients to independent authors and small book presses.
Take it away Stacy...
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Great writing tips can come from anywhere, and it's not unusual to find one in another creative form. Strengthening the creative muscles applies to all forms of creative expression, and today's tip comes from improv. Please join me in welcoming Bryan Cohen to the blog to share this interesting writing exercise with us. (And a writing contest!)
Bryan is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter.
In honor of his new book, Cohen is hosting the “1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars" Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter! You can also check out the rest of Cohen’s tour here.
Take it away Bryan...
Monday, December 9, 2013
When I was a freshman in high school, one of my best friends wanted the Dungeons & Dragons Red Box Set for her birthday. I'd always wanted to try it, so I bought it for her. It took one game for her to decide she didn't like it, but I was hooked.
I got to be part of the fantasy worlds I loved reading about. Even better, I got to create my own worlds and characters and tell my own stories. This unwanted birthday gift turned into a lifelong love of games for me. Especially role playing games (RPGs).
Sunday, December 8, 2013
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: Five
Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through January 18, so there's a bit of a wait for submission feedback. The Sunday diagnostics will shorten that some when my schedule permits, but I wanted everyone to be aware.
NOTE: There's a revised snippet up for A Wicked Beginning: Does This Opening Work? for those curious to see how the writer revised.
This week’s questions:
1. The opening is working? Does it hook the reader and make them want to read more?
2. Is it paced well?
3. Can you 'feel' the tension and does it climb appropriately/proportionately?
On to the diagnosis…
Friday, December 6, 2013
This year I finally did NaNo (National Novel Writing Month). I knew going in I wasn't going to hit the 50K words, but that wasn't the point. The point was to jumpstart my writing, which had gotten un-fun and was feeling stagnant. I knew I needed to shake things up a bit and knock all the cobwebs out of my creative brain.
It worked wonders, and even taught me a few things I'm definitely adding to my writing process from now on. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to do the Camp NaNo session in April and July.
(For those who don't know what NaNo is, it's a writing event where you write 50,000 words in the month of November. Thousands of writers participate so there's a great feeling of camaraderie to push yourself)
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
In October I had the honor and fun of being on a critique panel at our Haiku Society of America Southeast Region’s “Ginko Haikufest” in Atlanta. I’ve been running a series on my blog featuring our speakers and their haiku, with more to come!
One of our special guests was poet, Xavier University of Louisiana professor, Issa scholar, author, and current HSA president David G. Lanoue. (Might I add that my late-arrival Friday evening welcome to this group–the first time I’d met any of these folks in person–was to be handed by said president a cup of bona fide North Carolina moonshine brought by our NC contingent of amazing poets?)
Monday, December 2, 2013
Join me in welcoming author/blogger Bridget Whelan to the blog today to discuss writing exercises and why not all of them are created equal.
And on a special "Cyber Monday" note: Bridget's book, BACK TO CREATIVE WRITING SCHOOL, is available from Amazon for free on Monday December 2nd through midnight (This is international, so "midnight" might differ in your area)
Bridget has taught creative writing to lawyers and journalists, teachers and nervous beginners who haven’t written since they left school, business leaders rushing from the office and youth club members too cool to rush anywhere.
A lecturer in non-fiction at Goldsmiths College – the leading creative university of the UK – just two years after graduating from the MA creative writing programme, she is now teaches at many locations in south east England, including City Lit, the largest adult education centre in Europe. She has also been a guest writer in schools and Writer in Residence at a community centre serving the unemployed and low waged.
Her own writing career was launched when she won first prize in an international short story competition. She was granted an Arts Council bursary to complete her first novel A Good Confession set in 1960s Ireland and London.
Take it away Bridget...
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Please help me welcome T.L. Bodine to the blog today, to chat with us about one of my favorite things--world building. You might think this is something that's just for fantasy or science fiction writers, but every book has a world, be it a magical land or the next street over. And they all have to be brought to life for our readers. T.L. shares a few tips on how.
T.L. Bodine spent most of her childhood traveling with her blue collar family and living in the sort of small towns where horror movies are set. She received a bachelor's degree in English from New Mexico State University in 2007 and briefly pursued an MFA in creative writing before realizing that she was better suited to writing than talking about it.
She currently lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico with her boyfriend David and a small zoo of rescued animals including a toothless chihuahua, two cats, and several geriatric rats.
Take it away T.L...
Monday, November 25, 2013
Since it's a holiday week, I'm dusting off and polishing up one from the archives. Enjoy!
Whenever I’m not sure where the plot goes it’s almost always a goal issue. I've lost sight of what the protagonist was after and why she wanted it in the first place.
So let’s start there. Ask yourself:
What is the protagonist’s goal?