February, 2010

8 things you need to know to write a gripping scene (and keep your reader hooked)

Ground your reader in space and time. Imagine the reader as this ghostly presence hovering over your story, soon to drift away….if you don’t grab him and ground him in your storyworld.  If you’re telling a story in first-person, it’s easy to turn too inward and go on about what that character is thinking and…

Feb 27, 2010 · 8 Comments / ADD YOURS

online audience development “crucial” to your future as a writer: not to worry about it is “bad advice”

In her blog, one writer urges other aspiring writers not to worry about establishing an online presence or building an author platform until they actually have a book to sell. Jane Friedman, who is the “community director” for the Writer’s Digest brand (the online community, the magazine, the books), thought it was so important to…

Feb 24, 2010 · 19 Comments / ADD YOURS

a writer’s starter guide to twitter (or: everything I wish someone had told me when I first started using twitter)

Publishing is changing. “It’s not an evolution,” Jane Friedman commented recently, “but a revolution…And it’s not going back.” Part of that revolution involves the still-evolving notion of author platform. A key part of any author’s platform is Twitter. It forms what I consider the Golden Triangle of blog/facebook/twitter that forms the heart and home of…

Feb 22, 2010 · 49 Comments / ADD YOURS

find the secrets to your novel in your beginning

Accomplished writer and teacher (and all-around interesting dude) Les Edgerton tells of some advice he gave to a student who didn’t know how to end her story. “Go back to the beginning,” he said (I’m paraphrasing), because often the beginning of your story holds the clue to the ending. The opening of your story establishes…

Feb 19, 2010 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

cool books giveaway #4-6

(Ah, my adventures in vlogging continue. This time I was so busy trying not to look at the screen but into the actual camera that I didn’t get the book covers fully in frame. So the titles are: THE MAGICIANS (Lev Grossman), SEXY (Joyce Carol Oates) and A GATE AT THE STAIRS (Lorrie Moore). I’m…

Feb 17, 2010 · 5 Comments / ADD YOURS

if you make this mistake, you just might bore your readers to death

I saw the movie LEGION today and thought it was a fun popcorn movie with some great action scenes. There were also a lot of boring parts. The movie lacked conflict. And I’m not talking about the Big Conflict between the people trapped in the diner and the hordes of the possessed who want to…

Feb 15, 2010 · 21 Comments / ADD YOURS

write an opening that hooks your reader (or: how to raise hell and cause trouble)

1 Rules, of course, are made to be broken. Here are a few rules about how to open your novel: DON’T open with description. Description is static. Static means boring. It doesn’t matter what you’re describing: description is passive and inert and sits on the page. You need to emotionally engage the reader and get…

Feb 12, 2010 · 24 Comments / ADD YOURS

to create and connect: defining ‘author platform’

1 I’ve come to hate the term ‘author platform’. It sounds concrete and specific – like something you buy at Home Depot (“Excuse me, miss? Where can I find the author platforms?” “Aisle 3, beside the snow shovels”). But the term itself seems to be a bit vague, meaning different things to different people. Here…

Feb 10, 2010 · 15 Comments / ADD YOURS

tribal writer cool books giveaway 1-3

I have too many books, so I’m giving 100 of them away, for the fun and good karma…. If you’re interested in the chance to get any of the 3 books mentioned in the below video, send me a note at soulful@me.com.  I’ll choose the winners on Monday. Subscribe?

Feb 6, 2010 · 9 Comments / ADD YOURS

the key to a strong middle act (and what I learned from my mistakes)

The middle act is a bitch. The middle act defeats many a formidable writer. I’m approaching the middle of my own novel-in-progress THE DECADENTS. I was reading James Scott Bell’s book PLOT AND STRUCTURE and it occurred to me that I need to think of the middle act as a crucible. A ‘crucible’ is a…

Feb 4, 2010 · 19 Comments / ADD YOURS
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