A day in which you write something is a day well-spent

Posts tagged ‘advice’

Critiques All Around

The two writing critiques I attended last week were so amazing! The Woodlands Writers Guild had some insightful and praising comments as well as helpful pointers about my sequel, and I look forward to attending another one at the end of the month.

If anyone is a writer and doesn’t have that support group to tell you if you’re “writing in the right direction,” go find one right now! It is so important to have people who can keep you accountable for writing, so you don’t fall into a the never-ending pit of writer’s block.

I thought the first chapter of my sequel was impeccable until my new colleagues tore me a new one. (I was told that my grammar was indeed impeccable, though.) So I’ll be making changes to scenes, setting, and characters because of their input.

I’m so excited to have this support group, and I know that my writing will greatly improve because of it.


Writing Frenzy

National Novel Writing Month is here, folks! November is the time to crank out that novel you’ve been “working on” for the past eight years.

I won’t be posting much this month since I’ll be focused on finishing Firestorm, the third book in the Saga of the Answering Storm, so don’t be sad! Be writing!

My handle on nanowrimo.org is BooksAreLife, so send me a message or buddy me, and we’ll talk about all things writing. I’m pumped up this month because I’ve been holding off on the third book, waiting for November to roll around.

The 1,667 daily word count is tough to manage, but write everywhere you can and whenever you can. Finish early if you can. Write in between classes at school, on your lunch break at work, on the toilet (been there, done that), on your porch, in your car, on your bed, and even on the floor if you have to! WRITE

Love you guys! Stay awesome and keep that word count up.

Reading Writers’ Digest

I have recently subscribed to Writers’ Digest, and I have to say that I’m really impressed and inspired by the information and tools that the magazine offers.

In the November/December 2013, Volume 93, Magazine #8, I found myself fascinated and excited by the writing techniques to fuel creativity during what I call a “word drought.” These techniques were developed by Leigh Anne Jasheway

Dialogue: If you’re having trouble with dialogue, exercise #3 may be good for you. It’s called “Four and 10.” All you have to do is write two pages of dialogue in which one character only speaks in four-word sentences, and the other speaks in ten words that can be one or more sentences. According to Leigh, this helps make sure your characters don’t all sound alike.

For all my followers, I recommend subscribing to Writers’ Digest for your writing needs.

What to Do “between” Novels

Okay, I got a some really great advice the other day (for the life of me, I can’t remember where).

When you finish a book and you are working on a sequel to it, it was recommended that you writing little “in-between” stories with your characters to keep your readers from losing interest in the series. I’m avidly considering doing so with mine. They would be simple, maybe 2,000 word shorts of “a day in the life” of one of your characters or a group of them. You could even use them as a prologue to your next book! How exciting!

I’m so interested to see if any authors I know have done this. Though I do know that Robert Jordan did that after the 11th book in his series just before he died in 2007. He came out with a prequel to his series centered on two of the characters from the story, called “New Spring.” It really angered a lot of his fans, though, (including me!) who wanted to read the promised conclusion to the epic series, not a back-story.

So, with regards to that terrible idea from my favorite author, I recommend “in-betweeners” or prequels only if you have a smaller fan base.

Intro to Theatre, helping with the writing process

I recently started my last class at my community college, Intro to Theater: “Theater Appreciation.” Little did I know when I registered for it that the topics covered would have relevance to my writing process.

Of course, being a playwright is a lot like being a novelist, only the characters and plot are brought to life instead of trapped on the page. I’ve given script-writing a try before, in high school, and loved it, though I wasn’t used to not describing every little thing, seeing as my audience would be seeing it played for them on a screen. Being a playwright is also similar to screen-writing.

Among the topics covered in my Drama class was the plot structure, and even though some of the titles of the sections were different than a novel’s, it was generally the same as you would use when outlining a book; i.e. prologue, climax, resolution, conclusion.

I would think that someone who was a big fan of the theater arts would be more capable when turning to writing novels than someone who just comes in with no experience. If anyone has trouble with this sort of thing, like character development or plot structure, I would recommend starting with a drama class. It’s been really helpful for me.

The Self-Published Fiction Award goes to…

Well, Writer’s Digest has a whole bunch of writing competitions going on write now, including the Self-published e-book award. Personally, I don’t usually do competitions where I have to pay a fee, but for those of you interested, there’s a pretty awesome reward for winners. I recommend that those of you who have published an ebook already submit it to the competition. You’ll get notoriety and a mention in the magazine (i think).

For poor people like me, I recommend checking out the other writing competitions on the Writer’s Digest page. I’ve done a number of them already.

Have fun, my fellow writers! Please, feel free to comment about this post on which competitions you’ve entered, I would love to hear about it.

Natural Reader

Well, folks, I think I’ve found my answer to the struggle of editing. Its name is NaturalReader.

With a click of a button, the program will read your work to you while you edit it, though I recommend using the “floating bar,” so it doesn’t choke up when you pause it to edit.

I know what you’re thinking: “Every reading software I ever bought sounded dumb and didn’t read very well.” However, NaturalReader had excellent readers that sound like real people reading your book, and you can choose to have a male or female voice reading it. Remember what I said in one of my previous posts about the importance of getting someone to read your book to you (other than you)? This is the solution, it works, trust me.

Best part is, it’s free!

Get downloading that program, guys. It’ll save you a lot of frustration when you read your published work and see grammatical and punctuation errors that you hadn’t noticed in the editing process. Believe me, I’ve been there.

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