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Archive for the 'Writing' Category

Five Things for Friday

Let’s talk.

I keep getting anxious emails from all of you—am I writing, am I going to have a new book out soon, and why is this taking so long?????

All good questions.

I want to be honest with all of you because you are my readers, my dear friends, so here is how it is.

I finished the book last fall. After a bit of a delay, my agent and I decided to part company. I had suspected for sometime that this new shiny book wouldn’t be her cup of tea, and that would be her reaction, so it … Read more »

Five Things for Friday

Part of me wonders–do I post this sort of trivial list when the world is on the fire?–because I don’t want anyone to think I am not scared spitless about the state of things right now. Especially since I’ve been reading a lot of WW1 history lately and the parallels are like blinking billboards with spotlights. But perhaps five things that touch the normal, that place we can all agree upon, are also necessary. The more we can reach out and all find common ground, maybe we can see our differences without the harsh rhetoric.

One

Here a pic of … Read more »

Five Things for Friday

I am in a mad dash currently. I am speaking at two writers conferences in the next two weeks, so I am up to my neck in preparing workshops, figuring out how to present them online, and learning all the bells and whistles of Zoom.

As. We. All. Are.

So I shall just get the “things” going.

~ One ~

First, let me apologize for repeating myself last week. I knew it was going to happen eventually. And it finally did.

One of last week’s Things was a repeat from an earlier week.

Now I am not going to point … Read more »

Workshop: Research

I recently gave workshops on Research for Writers, (at Women Writing the West and Surrey International Writers Conference) and rather than do printed handouts, I am posting all the information here so it is readily available and clickable.

Library Love

Librarians to follow on Twitter: @surlyspice

, @superwendy

Bowling Green State University Pop Culture Library @BGSU_PopCultLib

BGUS also has an “Ask Us” feature on their website.

New York Public Library: @nypl and @askNYP

This hashtag on Twitter can be a great way to find answers to really obscure research questions: #AskALibrarian

Finding Research Books:

Read more »
Workshop: The Character Arc

In my recent workshop, The Character Arc, for Women Writing the West and the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, I referenced several books and a blog post/video that I would encourage everyone to check out.

Books:

Build Better Characters by Eileen Cook

Writing the Breakout Novel and The Emotional Craft of Fiction, both by Donald Maass

The Character Arc  by K.M. Weiland

Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell

Blog/Video post:

How to Plot Your Novel in One Page

More Books:

Because more books is never wrong. Am I right?

Here is a list of my … Read more »

Planning a Writer’s Retreat

A few years ago, I wrote this post and was looking it over recently as I found myself searching for a spot in my busy life to GET AWAY and just WRITE. The advice here is still relevant and if you can find a way to take time with friends and spend a weekend writing, I promise you will walk away with so much more than just pages…

Your Writing Retreat

I’ve listened to friends go on and on about writing retreats for years. Holing up in a hotel for a weekend to escape family demands and meet a deadline. … Read more »

Are You Over Halfway? Or …50 yard and 3rd Down

If not, no worries. Believe me, the second half of a book is always quicker to write, especially with that shining light of “The End” glowing ever closer.

And if you have absolutely no clue what I am talking about then you aren’t neck deep in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been dabbling in it this year, but only from the sidelines as a coach and teacher. No offense, but it is a lot more fun to watch from the sidelines like some NFL coach.

Here’s me:

“Yeah, Writer, I know that hit must have hurt like Read more »

3 Writing Tips to Crush NaNoWriMo

Are you ready to be off and writing? NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month–which challenges a writer to draft a book in a month–begins next week and so before you begin furiously writing your story, I have three tips to ensure your story keeps moving forward for NaNoWriMo success.

1. Before You Start

Prewrite. Over this weekend, consider jotting down an outline for your story. It can be as simple as setting up your Scrivener files and filling your Corkboard with all the ideas you have brimming around inside of you! You’ll find as you fill out your story, more ideas … Read more »

Your Best Writer’s Conference

Why are you going to a conference?

If the first thought that pops into your head is “to sell my book” then you are going for the wrong reason.

At least IMHO. I think I’m the only person I know who has ever sold a book at conference. Oh, and Gerri Russell with the American Title contest. And even then, the decision to buy those two books had been made weeks earlier–not at conference.

Believe me, editors do not wake up in a strange hotel, surrounded by hordes of ready-to-be-published authors and think, “wow, I could buy all the books … Read more »

Rock Your Pitch

When going to a writers conference, you need to pack more than comfortable shoes. You need to pack your best pitch.
Because when you get that face to face with an editor, you want to rock your pitch.

Here’s how to put your pitch together with all the right elements, and get it polished and packed for a writing conference.

Don’t Fret

A good pitch will convey your enthusiasm for your project, reveal the mood of the story and create enough excitement and curiosity in the editor to entice them to request a proposal. What pitching doesn’t need to be … Read more »

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