Friday, January 29, 2010

Today's Quote

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Revising Fiction Book Review

A big thank you to Peg Hanchar for reviewing this book!

REVISING FICTION: Making Sense of the Madness/The Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Self-Editing by Kirt Hickman



Perhaps the reason Mr. Hickman has chosen such an endless title for this book is that he wanted to make it perfectly clear exactly how thorough his book is in the approach to self editing or maybe he just didn't follow his on advice on the subject. At any rate, his is an ambitious undertaking covering most everything to do with writing and editing a book. For easy and quick reference, he's broken the subject matter into chapters which cover the concept of theme, word building to case studies. In between he's crowded information such as character development, plot basics, building suspense, character arc, research, the purpose of a scene as opposed to puppet scenses, the pitfalls of static conversation, resolving suspense elements, enhancing your settings, chapter breaks, prologues, exposition and where to place your information to reveal plot and character in the best way, scene structures and openings, the difference between show and tell, showing emotions, ending a scene, length of a scene, building tension, point of view, character consistency, and introducing and describing characters.

Whew, everything we ever wanted to know about writing. An ambitious undertaking, indeed. At the end of each chapter Mr. Hickman provides and encourages the reader a chance to partake in a writing exercise to use the just learned information. The information hits the mark in many areas and should be a real asset for a serious writer. Although some of the 'stuff' as he refers to his information is clearly meant for the beginning writer, there's plenty for an experienced writer to learn as well, even if it's just to brush up on old skills that may have become sloppy.

Mr. Hickman thoughtfully provided a free copy to our writing group, which was a clever promotional ploy, but in fact, I would pay to have a copy of this book on my shelf.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Arianna Skye Book Trailer

Arianna Skye's "Wings of Desire" will be published Feb. 7th from Eternal Press. Find out more at her blog: www.ariannaskye.com. Until then, enjoy her book trailer:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Member News

Our authors have been busy!

Brynn Paulin's Blood Bought is on the front page of Fictionwise. See (and buy) it at www.fictionwise.com

Joselyn Vaugh is interviewed here:
http://lindamfaulknertips.blogspot.com/2010/01/author-interview-with-joselyn-vaughn.html

Arianna Skye discusses muses at http://musetracks.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/writers-inspiration-arianna-skye

Writers, Like Me has writing tips at www.writerslikeme.com

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are You Ready for the Challenge?

GRRWG's version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kicks off tomorrow, Jan. 9th. We've challenged ourselves to write 40,000 words between tomorrow and the February meeting. That equates to 4.57 something pages a day. AAACCCKKK! some of you say. That's more than I can do, it's more than I can think about, do I have to?

Stop whining. I've done 50K in 30 days twice now. It almost killed me, but it was good stuff (eventually.)

Here are some suggestions to help you make this goal:
  • Turn off your inner editor. Kill her. Stuff her in a box. Mail her to Alaska (it will take two weeks for the package to get there. Trust me, I know this stuff.) Don't let her peek at anything you've written.
  • Don't peek at anything you've written. Okay, maybe the last sentence, but not any further back than that, or you'll start correcting stuff and THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. The direction is forward, not backward.
  • Don't erase anything. Word count is word count. If you absolutely, positively can't stand the thought of it on the page, highlight it, go to Format->Borders and Shading->Shading and pick a color (gray, black) that will keep it from sight. But do it quick.
  • Look at the clock and mentally advance it 20 minutes. Give yourself permission to write for 20 minutes. That's doable, right? Piece of cake. Don't set a timer, though, you want to trick your mind into writing longer. It works.
  • Become a fan of XXX. Don't search for the perfect word. Or that piece of research you need. (Your inner editor is camping in the tundra, remember?) Instead, use XXX or namethischaracterxx or brandofsneakerxx or whatever will be easy to search later.
  • The same with a scene that isn't working. It's legitimate to use (insert sword fight herexx)
  • Even if you think you’re writing dreck, it’s good dreck. Not every building can be the Taj Mahal. Sometimes you have to start with a straw hut and make a lot of improvements. This is a vomit draft. Quality, not quantity is all that matters. Throw up all over the page, change plot direction, forget what color eyes your character has or what they wore in the last scene. It doesn't matter. Repeat after me - It doesn't matter.
Now, go forth and write. 40K in 35 days. I have faith in you.