March, 2010

ten ways to break through writer’s block (part one)

I had a story due (minimum 6,500 words) for an upcoming YA paranormal anthology called KISS ME DEADLY and for the longest time I could not get it written. Writing – or more specifically, not writing – the story hijacked my life, so not only was I not writing the story, I also wasn’t writing…

Mar 31, 2010 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

the dirty secret truth about talent — and how to grow it

1 A writing teacher told me that although it’s easy for her to recognize the students with “talent”, she’s learned that it’s impossible to predict who will develop and succeed as a writer and who will not (the “talented ones”, she said, “tend to disappear and you never hear from them again”). She told me…

Mar 17, 2010 · 41 Comments / ADD YOURS

5 ways to use minor characters to add depth and complexity to your protagonist

1. You can use different characters to bring out aspects of the protagonist you want to emphasize to the reader. Minor characters who have been involved with the protagonist for a long time are carriers of their own history with and memories of the protagonist. Minor characters can reference the past in handy ways that…

Mar 13, 2010 · 6 Comments / ADD YOURS

who is influencing you, and how? — three degrees of influence, your writing, and you

1 In his book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, authors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler examine the network effects that shape all of us. So many of our norms and behaviors hinge on what the people around us are doing, thinking and feeling — including whom…

Mar 10, 2010 · 5 Comments / ADD YOURS

the mysterious art that keeps your reader glued to every page

Few people know the ins and outs of fiction — and have a knack for explaining them — so well as uberagent Donald Maass. In his book “The Fire in Fiction” he dedicates a chapter to what he calls microtension. A writer who masters the art of microtension keeps a reader glued to every page….

Mar 7, 2010 · 22 Comments / ADD YOURS

the quality that makes your stories (and you) go viral

What makes a story go viral? In his blog post The Elements of Awe (check it out) Donald Maass draws your attention to a piece in the New York Times that describes how sociologists “have been studying data provided by The New York Times showing which of the paper’s articles are the most often e-mailed”….

Mar 5, 2010 · 21 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to give yourself permission to write remarkable fiction

1 Call up a picture of your Ideal Reader in your head. Write to (and for) that person and that person only. Maybe your Ideal Reader is someone you know personally. Maybe your Ideal Reader is a person you compose from the materials of your imagination. Maybe your Ideal Reader is a mirror version of…

Mar 3, 2010 · 10 Comments / ADD YOURS

theme, Theme, your writing and you: stuff your teacher never told you

Since I’m busy working on a couple of things — including a free little ebook about writing like a bad girl — I’m cross-posting the below, which was originally at Storytellers Unplugged. 1 Perhaps theme gets a bad rap. Its twin, Theme with a capital T, deserves all the potshots and ridicule and dressing-down that…

Mar 1, 2010 · 4 Comments / ADD YOURS
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