So I said I was going to re-cap what I’ve learned this year in my little writing world. I have done that and listed is as a Volume 2 for my 10 Writing Tips I Wish I Would Have Known. (If you’re looking for Volume 1, I have it right here!)
1. End a writing session and KNOW what is going to happen next.
I used to wrap up my writing sessions by ending a scene. I would then be stuck on where the story was going next so what did I do? I stopped writing. Ugh, do you know how hard it is to go back into your next writing session without knowing where the story is going? Try stopping in the middle of a scene where you know what will be happening next. It makes starting up again easier. Continue reading
Since 2012 when I began writing hard-core style, I have learned a few tips that I would have LOVED to have known when I was first starting out. I figure that this journey will be ongoing and I will never stop acquiring new ideas, so I decided to just label this as Volume 1. The next time I feel like I am bursting with awesome writerly wisdom, I will start in on Volume 2 pronto.
I am so excited to share so let us begin!
Hello all my fantastic, adorable, wonderful readers. I am in an amazing mood because my group writer blog THE WRITER DIARIES has gone live today!
Yep yep – so go on over the The Writer Diaries and say hi!! We have a lot planned for this year and some exciting surprises. Look around, check out the contributors’ bios, and see the first Song for a Scene post! Our schedule for the future is going to look something like this: Continue reading
I have heard from many aspiring authors and actual published authors (even some best-selling ones) who swear to using Scrivener while writing their novels. I have been using the trial version but I had a big decision to make as it was running out. To Scrivener or not to Scrivener? That was the question. Continue reading
Let me start off by saying this: If you are in the murky depths of about 20,000 words or so on your novel and are kind of lost between the middle and the end, then this post is for YOU. If you missed Part 1 on this subject, no worries! You can find it here! Start there and then come back and rejoin us here on Part 2.
Okay, you back? Here we go! Continue reading
I have never been a big believer of writing New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I know that I am made up of 10% ambition and 90% lazy. Well, at least when it comes to things unrelated to writing. You know the “I’m going to work out and eat better this year.” Yes, I would love for that to be actually plausible but let’s face it. I hate working out and I love to eat food that isn’t green. It is true that I will still probably subject myself to the treadmill and “salad only” phases throughout the year but I can promise you that it will not be consistent and it will not be fun.
I have never made a writerly resolution list though, and I think that making one and trying to follow it actually will be fun. Of course, there will still be times when I want to throw my WIP across the room and then set it on fire while my three cats pee on it simultaneously…but, I digress. The overall fun-ness level should stay relatively high.
Here are the resolutions I came up with this year for 2013 as it concerns my writing goals. I have first listed the goal and then in parenthesis the “ambitious” version of the goal. Really, the ambitious version is my actual goal but, as I said before, when you realize that you are made up of 90% lazy, you have to make yourself feel good when you exceed expectations. If I reach some of my “ambitious” versions of my goals, I will be thoroughly impressed and may reward myself with a cookie…or ten. Continue reading
I have read enough books on the craft of writing to know that building tension is everything to a story. The reader has to feel it growing so it pushes them farther into the story and makes his or her desire to know what is going to happen so unbearable that it is a race towards the end. When I started writing The Beholder, I definitely had a few ideas on what “bricks” I was going to use to build up the tension in order to make the climax the highest point it could be. Think of your plot as a huge mountain and the more tension you stack onto it the higher your climax point. The higher the reader has to climb to get to the climax, the more exciting the view will be from the top when they reach it.
After reaching the 20,000 mark (click here to relive my virtual happy dance about that milestone), this is a good time to reflect back on what those tension building blocks are going to be. There should be new ones to add, old ones to revise, and even ones to maybe throw out, depending on how your story has changed in this initial phase. I also think the 20,000 mark is a good place to do this because, at least for me, this is where I have already done some major writing at the front and back of my story, but the middle is kind of hanging them all murky and evasive-like. I need to know more about what I am building up to in order to connect my super hooky beginning with my star-studded ending. Without realizing it, I created a “building up” exercise that I think will come in handy for any future novel I write. Here is what you do:
No, I am not referring to the looming end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st. I am talking about the day that the winners of the writing contest are announced, you know, the one that I have been blabbing on and on about for the past month. I am sure those that follow this blog are glad to see it is finally over.
I thought long and hard about if I should post this before or after the winners were announced. I finally decided since I had already started this blog post with a promise to not mention said writing contest again that I guess I need to have the results to keep that promise.
So what happened? Am I about to victoriously do a virtual tap dance across your computer screen or do I need to end this post right now so I can wallow in my self pity and defeat?
I like to think that I have my head on straight when it comes to my expectations for a writing career. Ultimately, the goal is to do this full time and that has to involve making money, so I can’t say that I am in it just for kicks. I love it enough to want to devote many, many, many (many) hours to this craft. I do not expect to be the “next big thing” in the writing world but, yeah, sometimes I let myself dream about what it would/could be like if it did happen. The hubs and I have conversations that revolve around what our lives will be like when I am a household name and we discuss where we will have our vacation houses and what car he will drive when it’s raining outside as opposed to the car he will have for when he is feeling dangerous and, of course, we had to decide on a limit for the amount of cats I would be allowed to have on my cat farm.
However, knowing that I have not even gotten through one querying process yet (which will probably flat out kill me since I take criticism as well as a feline takes to water – so cold and wet and unpleasant!), even considering that future is kind of laughable. But it is still fun. I draw the line at fun though, as it will probably never be a reality. But just HAVING a writing career? Now that is a different story. Continue reading
So you want to know how to write great opening pages to your novel? Here is the secret: FINISH YOUR NOVEL FIRST.
Now, of course, this is an opinion, but I wouldn’t post this if I didn’t believe it to be true. You cannot fathom the amount of time I have spent in the past re-working and revising the opening few chapters of the many novels I have started. It is probably as astronomical as it is idiotic. Continue reading