Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

Four Ways to Pre-Write Your Scenes from The Other Side of the Story is an informative approach to planning before you begin to write. I use a combination of all four suggestions. Have a look.

The Inevitable Ending You Know Is Coming from Live Write Thrive discusses an approach to creating the ending of your novel.

Time Marches On from The Other Side of the Story discusses how to deal with the passage of time in your novel.

The Old Man and The Pen is a 'story' from Copyblogger that's well worth a read for any writer.

Give It Time from Writerly Life suggests that it's a good idea to take your time over your novel.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks

January has not  gone to plan. So far it's been a month of coughs and colds, snow and rain, and administrative annoyances. Destiny, fate or whatever you would like to call it has decided that my writing should go on the back burner while I tie up a whole orchestra of strings left dangling from 2012.

I'm recovering from a chest infection and walking in a rather wonky fashion because of an injured back so I have decided to put off starting the third draft of my novel until February. In the meantime, I will tighten my chapter plan and seek inspiration from my favourite writers by revisiting their novels.

One of these writers is Terry Brooks. I found Brooks through his novel 'Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold' and later through his contemporary fantasy 'Word & Void' trilogy. Brooks has a subtle voice that never distracts from his stories and his characters are as flawed as the rest of us. Visiting his website, I found that he had also written a non fiction book called 'Sometimes The Magic Works - Lessons from a Writing Life'. I bought it immediately.

Three days later, in the midst of deep snow, the book arrived. It was Saturday. My husband was home. My children were engrossed in a computer battle. I settled down on the couch, wrapped in the shawl which my husband had given to me for my birthday at the turn of the year, with a Lemsip steaming on the shelf beside me and my new purchase on my lap. A few hours later, I removed my reading glasses and reluctantly closed the book. I had read the entire thing in one go. As I've said before, I don't often finish a book so quickly, rarely in one session. but this one was too good to put down.

This is part of the back cover text for this book,

"Writing is writing, whether one's setting is a magical universe or a suburban back garden. Spanning topics from the importance of daydreaming to the necessity of writing an outline, Brooks draws from his own experiences to share the hard lessons learned and delightful discoveries made in creating the beloved Shannara and Magic Kingdom of Landover series, The Word and the Void trilogy, and the bestselling Star Wars: The Phantom Menace novel."

If you're like me and prefer instructional works that also tell you a story, then you'll love this one. Brooks doesn't lecture us on what we should do as writers. Instead he shows us what he did, explains why it worked for him and suggests that his approach 'might' work for us.

One of my favourite quotes from the book is from the first chapter which is titled 'I am not all here',

"So what am I talking about when I say I am not all here? I mean that if you are a writer, you really can't be. Writers are not all here, because a part of them is always "over there" - "over there" being whatever world they are writing about at present. Writers live in two worlds - the real world of friends and family and the imaginary world of their writing."

I fully intend to wave that page at my husband the next time he accuses me of ignoring him.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

6 Best Marketing Tips for Authors ia guest post by author, Heather Webb on The Other Side of the Story.

Worldbuilding Revisited, part III - Writing Worldbuilding into our books is an article by David B Coe ont he Magical Words site.

Faith Hunter is back with the The InfoDump Scene, Part 3 on the Magical Words site.

I enjoy the TED taks but particularly the writerly talks. This is one from the writer and illustrator Jarrett J Krosoczka.

Convey Descriptions in Action is an excellent writer's tip from Jacqui Murray's WordDreams.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

Why Your Story Shouldn't Be Too Tidy from Write It Sideways suggests that there should always be a central mystery in your stories.

Why Story Endings and Beginnings Must Be Linked from Wordplay presents an interesting and useful approach to writing your novel.

I've applied the 7 Point Plot System from Julie Musil to my current work in progress and thankfully it fits. See if it's the same for you.

The 6 Unique Traits of All Remarkable Writers from Copyblogger is a great checklist for writers of all genres and models.

The InfoDump Scene, part 2 from Magical Words is the latest in this series of worldbuilding articles.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

What the Heck Am I Going to Do with 100 copies of My Book? from Bookbaby is a useful list of how to distribute your book.

Need to Get in the Head of Your Character? Try a Mask Poem from The Other Side of the Story provides a useful writing exercise.

Send up the (Red) Flag: Telling Words That Often Sell Trouble from The Other Side of the Story is another excellent article on how to polish our writing.

Learning to See the Good in Bad Writing from Write It Sideways suggests that no writing is wasted or worthless.

How Much Of Your Story Should Be On Stage? from Writerly Life discusses how much of your story should happen 'off stage' and how much on.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Small Stones 2013

Today I return to a writing challenge that I first discovered last year, the Mindful Writing Challenge from Writing Our Way Home.

Write a small stone every day of January - it's as simple as that. If you haven't come across the writing form of small stones yet, you can find an explanation here.

I'll be posting my January small stones on my Tumblr blog but here's my first one.

Happy New Year

Children in bed.
Fireworks cease.
Champagne pops.
My love and I.