Looking for clarity in your writing career?
Check out Seven Days to Better Writing. Written by Janice Hannah Thompson and featured on the ACFW blog on July 6, 2012. Good for fiction and non-fiction writers, the daily exercises are designed to help you find personal vision for writing in as little as an hour a day.
This is a great resource whether you’re starting your first novel or article or just thinking about getting into the writing game or are an established author.
An artist chases the market by painting whatever subject is ‘hot’ in whatever style is ‘hot’, aiming for the next big sale or top seller.
A fashion maven spends hours shopping, buying the latest fashion fad in clothing, accessories or jewelry.
A writer researches market trends and writes accordingly, planning for the day when trend and finished manuscript collide and the royalties roll in.
What do these situations have in common?
There is within each of us the tendency to see something popular and want to get on the band wagon. It certainly lies within me.
Trend Chasing: Good or Bad? Read the full article.
Your potential reader enters the bookstore like a kid entering a candy store. So many wonderful, mouth-watering choices. Will it be a mystery? Women’s fiction or historical? Ooo! How about a romance?
Even if she has a favorite genre, she still faces as many choices as a visitor to the M&M Candies factory. So many authors. So many books. So little time.
This enthusiastic reader isn’t the only one awaiting her decision. If you’re a writer, you are, too, and you review sales figures with bated breath to see how often the decision went in your favor. Read the full article.
Working on Saving Grace has proven to be a learning experience for me—or perhaps a re-learning experience. I’ve been working with the characters from my own WIPs for so long that I can slip into their skin and write from their hearts at the drop of a pin. Saving Grace has given me the opportunity to brush up my skills at making the acquaintance of a new set of characters. Carrie’s center-stage cast, Anderson, Grace, and Jacob, have taught me two vital lessons so far. Read the full article.
For some writers—myself included—ideas run rampant. They have no respect for the story in progress, time of day (they seem to delight in disturbing sleep), or anything else. Not even each other.
Some days, they pop up like toadstools after a rain storm. They’re everywhere!
If that sounds familiar, what do you do to keep from being trampled? Or having your current work-in-progress trampled. Read the full article.
Why should you worry about long-term goals when you have short-term goals that are more urgent?
For the same reason riders on the Olympic Cross Country or show jumping courses look one or two jumps ahead instead of at the jump right in front of them.
And for the same reason water skiers look where they are going instead of where they are.
Focusing on immediate goals is good, but if there is no long term goal out there, it’s very easy to lose your way or get bogged down in the details of immediate concerns. Read the full article.
In Part I, we discussed an easy way to fill the gaps in your idea file by mining your own life experiences. But what about the opposite problem—too many ideas?
It’s easy to be distracted by everything that shines. Pretty soon, your whole story has run down a bunny trail and you’re not even sure anymore what it is you’re writing—or if you should be writing it at all! Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, the only tool you need to keep on track is the North Star. Read the full article.
by Danielle Hanna
Sometimes your ideas run fast and furious.
Sometimes they slow to a crawl. But if you’re going to finish a novel—and particularly if you’re ever going to be a prolific author—learning to manage the flow of ideas is essential.
In Part I of this two-part post, we’ll talk about what to do when you’re out of story ideas. Read the full article.
I’ve been thinking about characters a lot lately. I suppose part of that is because of the time spent with two recent blog posts authored or co-authored with Danielle Hanna, my brain storming partner (see Skin Diving with Characters and 6 Steps to Discovering Characters).
Part of it is due to personal attempts to utilize Danielle’s skin diving technique and comparing it to my usual method, which includes interviews with characters and putting them into stressful or high-tension situations and letting them react. Read the full article.
I’m working on single-sentences summaries today. It’s an assignment for a writing class I’m taking through The Write Practice.
Writing single-sentence summaries is one of my favorite things to do outside of writing the story itself. I’m not sure why because it’s essentially boiling a 100,000 word story down to 25 words or less. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really is a great way to get a firmer grasp on what my stories are all about.
A single-sentence summary is also a great way to tell people what my story is about without boring them to tears! Read the full article.