Writers are cognizant of how important it is to include all of the senses in the narrative. This article explores how important inclusion is, for the author and the words.~
When I’m writing—these articles, for example—I often compose a kind of first draft in my head, and I usually do it when I’m out on a long walk with the dog. For this article, I knew I wanted to get across the idea that writers can introduce elements from one or all of the five…
If you write fantasy, you most likely have asked yourself a question along the lines of “What kind of world do I have and how can I keep track of it?” I can say I went with a completely fictitious world that my character passes through a portal to reach, but it starts in the real world here. This informational post has a few tips to keep in mind when you start to worldbuild.~
I wisely started the map and made the story fit. The above words, spoken by none other than J.R.R Tolkien, have been taken as sage advice by many an accomplished – or budding – fantasy writer who felt inspired to create their own world. While Tolkien, like many others, has been lauded for his incredible…
It is almost NaNo time again, hard to believe, but then again, no. I remember considering it last year and opting out because my mind was a chaotic mess. I had far less of an idea of the book I am writing than I do now. Will I this year? I am thinking hard about it again, but my reaction to the pressure of winning is now my concern. Perhaps I will modify the goal to make it attainable, yet still a challenge. This post outlines some great reasons why I, and you, may just want to hop on the NaNo bandwagon. Stay tuned for my decision 😉.~
Let’s not mince words: 2020 has been a real crap sandwich. COVID has caused all sorts of struggles, anxiety, and challenges. Some of you have had work disrupted. Others wanted to travel to see loved ones and couldn’t. All of us are feeling isolated or overburdened, and everyone’s schedule has gone off the rails. BUT.…
Here is a different take on the oft-asked “How long should my novel be?” or “Is x words too long?” Read on to hear what Mr. Maass has to say about this age-old query.~
“How long is too long?” The question comes up at every conference. How long should a novel be? It puzzles me that this anxiety persists. We are in a literary era that tolerates length. Game of Thrones, anyone? Even at 292,000 words, George Martin’s first novel in his epic series is not even in the…
Here’s another stellar post from the gals at WHW. If you haven’t checked out their author tools, do it now! (Well, after you read this post 😉).
When I think about some of my favorite protagonists, I can usually identify a trait that defines each one: Sam Gamgee: LoyaltyAnne Shirley: ImpulsivityJames T. Kirk: Boldness However, if each character was made up of only that one trait, they probably wouldn’t make many “favorites” lists because they’d be paper-thin—caricatures, rather than characters with depth…
How to address the continuum of time in stories is always relevant—we have to use the past to explain the present and future, right? Here are a few reminders on how to do just that from a fellow blogger and writer.~
In writing, especially a novel, it isn’t likely that everything you want to say is linear in time. It MIGHT be…but there is a good chance that you want to tell something that happened in a characters past–or flash forward to what might be in their future. Getting this back (or forward) story into the […]
The topic of using mental health in character construction comes up frequently in writer’s groups. This blog post, along with Episode 42 of The Rebel Author podcast, (which you can find here), outlines some of the considerations and research avenues writers should explore as they write characters to life.~
Giving a character a trauma or mental health backstory seems like an easy way to add internal conflict to our characters – and it is. But where do you start that research? What should you be looking for? No one likes to read a story and find the writer just plain got something wrong. It…
** The links should be live now for the contest and Contributed Occupation list**
Hi everyone! Today I have something fun to share…a special chance to win some help with your writing bills. Awesome, right?
Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!
Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?
It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.
Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles…or bringing you joy and helping you live your truth?
Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.
Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters
Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.
One of the most frequent tips I hear from writer friends is to have designated writing time. I have yet to get there. I know that I should, but with dogs, gardens, a farm, and household chores, I’m lucky if I can fit in half an hour for some cardio exercise in the pool I painted, since soccer is still in lockdown. There are the days when I get in a zone and have to finish a scene, so I take those days and run with them. Then I’m able to parse out that time spent over the next several days so I don’t feel guilty about not writing. Yeah, totally vicious circle. So see if any of this post resonates with you, and be a more time-organized writer than me 😉.~
Writing required commitment, but it’s not always easy to find time in ourbusy lives. Yet, if it’s something we want to pursue, it’s something we have to do. Recently, alongside fitting writing in whenever I can, I’ve set aside designated writing time. Two hours on a Sunday, when I shut off from the world and […]
Compiled from experience, this is a great article on everything to do with beta readers. Follow the link to Val’s page and the entire piece. Enjoy!~
What are they? People who read your polished manuscript (do not send them your shitty first draft) and give you feedback. Ideally they should be readers, NOT other writers, though that can be harder to come by. How many do you need? Depends on where you are in your writer journey. If you’re a newbie, […]