November, 2009

cool books giveaway #1

[wpvideo NbEn9O0g] I’m giving away books for free — used but in excellent condition — so if you’re looking for something to read, play the above and drop me a line at And please excuse the hugeness of the screen, I am still figuring out how to make and upload these freaking things. (You…

Nov 30, 2009 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

why you need to write like a bad girl, part one

1 A young woman described the memoir she wanted to write. The story gripped me: a bright and talented child struggling to assert herself against narcissistic parents, become the master of her own identity. Except every few minutes she would backtrack and say how her parents weren’t actually that bad, they had a lot of…

Nov 28, 2009 · 23 Comments / ADD YOURS

the writer’s show-and-tell: show us what’s important, and tell the freaking story

One of my earliest lessons in “show, don’t tell” — or, as I prefer to think of it, “imply, don’t say straight-out” — came from Stephen King’s novel ‘The Dead Zone’. A salesman walks along a country road and a dog gets in his way. The man kicks the dog. Point made. The guy is…

Nov 24, 2009 · 7 Comments / ADD YOURS

the happy death of “genre vs literary” in the world of the Technorenaissance

cross-posted at Storytellers Unplugged 1 I was hanging out in a writer’s forum and came across the age-old question of how do you define genre and literary? which always turns into genre vs literary: genre types bash the literati for lacking plot (which is absurd), while the literati bash the genre-ati for lacking everything else…

Nov 20, 2009 · 14 Comments / ADD YOURS

one of the most important traits you need to become a published writer

I’m taking part in a memoir/novel workshop that starts this Saturday, and I’m psyched. Although in general, I have mixed feelings about workshops. The right workshop can be a thing of wonders, but I never found the ‘right’ one: I found, instead, nooks of ‘right’ scattered both online and off. I would start a class…

Nov 17, 2009 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to figure out your novel ‘hook’, part two

1 In my last blog entry I talked about finding your novel ‘hook’ — the one or two sentence description that strikes at the heart of your story and sells it to the right reader. It’s useful to work this out early because it forces you to hone your sense of the story that you…

Nov 16, 2009 · 8 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to figure out your novel ‘hook’, part one

I’m writing a novel called ‘The Decadents’ and need to figure out the answer to the question people ask when they discover you’re writing a novel (usually after, ‘Are you published?’ and ‘Have I heard of you?’ and sometimes ‘Who is your publisher?’, which is another way of asking, ‘Is it a real publisher?’) They…

Nov 13, 2009 · 8 Comments / ADD YOURS

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER AND THE CREATIVE BRAIN: why a room of her own should not be near the mall

Originally published at Storytellers Unplugged. So if a woman is to write, she needs a room of her own. So I’ve heard, anyway. After years of experimenting with different kinds of rooms, from my teenage bedroom in Canada to my shoebox apartment in Japan to the back-store café of the Border’s in Century City and…

Nov 12, 2009 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

how a writer could get close and personal on twitter and facebook

The below is from Mark Cuban’s blog. He was thinking up ways you could use Twitter and Facebook as an incentive or reward: I would create a new, private account on twitter and you would be the only approved follower. You could ask me anything and I would respond for some period, probably 24 hours….

Nov 11, 2009 · 8 Comments / ADD YOURS

the burning desire to write & traits of creative high achievers

I’m reading Kelly L Stone’s Time to Write and I like what she terms “the burning desire to write”. She took the term “burning desire” from motivational speaker and author Napoleon Hill: This desire — a persistent vision that inspires action to reach an end goal — becomes the driving force that motivates a person…

Nov 9, 2009 · 9 Comments / ADD YOURS
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