Somewhere on my writing journey, I’d read that when you think you’ve finished, cut 10 percent of your manuscript to make it sing.
Here are five lessons we can all learn from the master of the spy thriller.
Candace Havens teaches a method called Fast Draft and I use it to this day. You write the entire novel in a matter of two weeks. No stopping, no looking back. No editing. This is my preferred method, because I am notorious for editing stuff to death.
You must infuse your descriptions with emotion. Put your characters in the scene, and don’t just show us what they see—show us how they feel about what they see.
The very first National Story Planning Day took place on October 25, 2015. I hosted a free four-part live virtual workshop on Periscope, and created a free workbook to go along with the event.
Steampunk straddles some of the dividing lines between fantasy and science fiction as it looks to the re-imagined past with nostalgia. While no specific elements of steampunk are absolutely essential, there is a generally understood group of features, at least some of which should be included for a work to be recognized as steampun.
There will always be something in the back of your mind, a little troll to remind you that you are a fraud; that you are in fact as weird as you were as a kid, no matter how cleverly you have learnt to hide it. What if something happens to bring those feelings out of the dark and into the light?
Pitching is one of the most important parts of a freelancer’s career — it’s how we get the gigs that make us money, as well as how we form relationships with editors and publications.
One thing I’ve noticed through critiquing and judging contests (and from personal experience), is that writers have a difficult time finding balance when it comes to showing versus telling. In fact, I’ve noticed two phases: over-telling and under-telling.
Authentic characters are usually modeled after real people. I don’t mean pulling traits and quirks from those we know. Rather, I’m talking about mirroring the human experience in the fictional world, giving readers a character who has desires they can relate to, and who struggles, fails or succeeds all in turn.
A scene is self-contained section of the story. Characters come into a scene with a goal and they either reach their goal or not. The scene should have a beginning, middle and end. And, according to THE SCENE BOOK by Sandra Scofield, your scene also needs a pivot point.
Self-doubt. Don’t you love it? Well it sure loves you. It must, since it’s hanging around so often, whispering sweet nothings in your ear when you try to focus. Try to write. Try to plan. You’re a terrible writer. People will judge you. Do you even know what you’re doing? Or whatever that voice tells you.
We’ve all been there. That exhilarating time when brilliant ideas strike at stoplights and snatches of dialogue write themselves in our heads while picking up the kids from school or attempting (and failing) to fall asleep.
Happy endings and romance—they go together like strawberries and cream. I should add that, in the twenty-first century, it’s as okay to have a happy-for-now ending (HFN) as it is a happy-ever-after (HEA), just as Mr Maybe can be the hero as much as Mr Right; love and happiness are the point. But, of course, whatever the degree of happy, sadness or ambiguity just aren’t part of the end deal.
When I read writing craft articles when I was just starting out, they were definitely helpful for everything from character creation to pace to literary elements. But they didn’t seem to give me the general compass I was looking for. The how.
Take a moment to think about the best book you have ever read. Why were you so hooked on it? You couldn’t leave it for days… you sympathized with every emotion the main characters went through. You laughed, cried, and suffered with them. That’s what distinguishes a brilliant author from a mediocre one – that author builds an emotional connection with the readers.
When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound.
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
- Creating Character: Bringing Your Story to Life (Red Sneaker Writers Books) (Volume 2)
- 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters, Revised Edition
- Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish
- Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene
- SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: Scott Morgan Talks About The Emerging Chinese Film Market For Screenwriters, Script Mag | Tweet
In this week’s episode I talk with director, screenwriter, and producer Scott Morgan about the emerging screenwriting opportunities in China.
I’d just published my first novel. I had a zillion stories yet to tell. Question: Why the hell would I want to lock myself into a singular book series? Answer: Because I hadn’t met a character yet that made me want to write a multi-book serial. At least not until this story happened.
There are lots of product placements that would make sense in a movie about the world of fine dining like Burnt. Burger King is not one of them.
The first rule of a good pitch is very simple… Convey the right information in a concise and compelling way.
Laying eyes upon the blank page provokes a catch in your breath, a twitch in you muscles, that special tightening in your sphincter. Fear. But fear of what?
Attention, filmmakers: Read this insider info before you make your film.
Here are 5 things that the Back to the Future movies can teach screenwriters of today.
Back in 2009, I was up working in the middle of the night, as I always do, when I was inspired to write this reflection.
There’s never a dull moment in digital publishing. Some businesses are closing their doors while others are broadening their horizons. Expectations are being challenged and legal tensions continue to run high. Here’s the latest…
When you begin marketing your book it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. It makes sense that you would want an endorsement from a high-profile person in your field. It can provide a huge boost of much needed visibility for your book or product.
About the only thing that remains constant in e-book publishing is that it changes—everything from the services to marketing strategies. Here, I’ve attempted to round-up all the good resources I know of related to (1) how to publish an e-book, (2) finding the right e-publishing services, and (3) staying on top of changes in the industry.
It’s coming up on that time of year again when authors start to wonder if releasing their book now makes any sense. Isn’t a late year release a bad idea? The answer to that is: it depends.
One big hurdle in translating self published books and ebooks has been the expense. There is no doubt that the market price for translating a full length novel is out of financial reach for most self published authors.
Dean Crawford won the ‘literary lottery’ with a fantastic deal with traditional publishing for his first book – but now he is an outspoken indie. In this podcast interview, he explains why and we also delve into some virtual reality fun!
Here are some of my most talked about Tweets of the week – don’t miss out on the latest in book marketing & publishing!