Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Links -- Volume 15

I'm still making progress on my story, so I have no complaints other than the cold weather up here in Michigan and the fact that we're supposed to get another six inches of snow tomorrow.  Arrgggh!

Enjoy the links and have a great weekend!

Fire up Your Fiction with Foreshadowing

In Defense of Pantsing

Creating a Professional Look for Ebooks

Dialogue From Start To Finish

Two Ingredients for a Great First Chapter

Promote Your New eBook Like a Pro

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Never Leave Your Character Alone

The bad news is that I’m already falling behind on my blog, having missed the last two Wednesdays in a row. (Bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger.) The good news is that I’ve been spending the time making progress (finally) on my story. And it’s not just because I now have more free time in which to write. It’s because I think I’ve finally figured out how to start my story. (It’s about time, too. I’ve only spent the last eight months trying to get it right.)

 I’ve come to the realization that my biggest hurdle probably came from the fact that all my previous openings suffered from the same problem. The main character was either discovering something or having something happen to him...

While he was by himself.

Chuck Palahniuk might have been thinking of me when he said this.

"One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering." 

Or in my case, “starts becoming boring.” Unless there’s so much going on in a scene that the scene practically writes itself, my prose turns clunky when there’s only one person around. With no dialogue, I have to carry the scene with descriptions and interior thoughts, and those are not my strong points. Having someone else around allows me to show stuff via dialogue, which I find much easier to do.  And this week, I figured out how to start my story with someone accompanying my MC. I’m not saying there won’t be major changes to the chapter before it’s finished, but I’ve got a framework now and that’s all I needed.

Hope you're all making progress on your stories.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Links -- Volume 14

Today is Friday Links Day, but since I spent last Wednesday’s post lamenting at how badly I’d missed 2013’s goals, it seems only natural I should announce my goals for 2014 first.

1. Finish my Hogwarts story! I’ve learned a ton about writing fiction by working on this story, but after five years, enough is enough. Of course, that's what I said last year too.

2. Finish the rough draft of my Wizard’s story. This is probably too optimistic, so I’ll be satisfied if I get the basic structure of the story down on paper.

3. Get more active on Twitter and Facebook. Nothing drastic, but I have to develop a schedule and stick to it. And if this means I have to rebuild my computer, so be it.

4. Keep moving up in the Insecure Writers Support Group Linky List. I’m currently at Link #45!

5. Switch over from Blogger to Wordpress. I’m listing this as a tentative goal, because it’s not critical. But because of Blogger’s Terms of Agreement, I’d rather make the switch before I started posting my fanfic story on my blog.

On to the links!  And have a great weekend!

The 100 Best Websites for Writers for 2014
Congratulations to Janice Hardy for making the list!

The Business Rusch: Pricing (Discoverability Part 7)

The Dreaded Synopsis

Simplify Your Story–Before You Lose Readers

Novel Construction Begins with Concept

Marketing is Easy, Writing is Hard

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Insecure Writer and 2013 Goals

Today is January's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

The fact that I failed to complete last year’s writing goals.

To tell the truth, I didn’t even come close.

My 2013 goals were fairly simple.  First, to finish the fan fiction story I’ve spent the last five years writing (mostly to teach myself how to write) and second, to make significant progress on the first draft of my own, original story.  Last January, I felt these were realistic goals as I had already finished the first draft of the fan fiction story and since I already had 30k words of the new story under my belt – thanks to 2012’s NaNoWriMo.

Progress on finishing up the fanfic proceeded at a reasonable pace until I made the fateful decision to work on both stories simultaneously.  This shouldn’t have been a problem – I’m good at multitasking – but I eventually became obsessed with the notion that I wouldn’t allow myself to do any more work on the fanfic until I was satisfied with the first chapter of the new story.  Thus began an incredibly frustrating three month period in which I must have revamped that first chapter ten times while searching for the right way to open the story.  So both stories stalled.  And then, to make matters worse, I began teaching a night course in chemistry in September and all writing pretty much came to a halt. 

The good news?  The class is finished and it’s a new year, which means I get to reset my expectations.  Oh, the relief! 

So what are my goals for this year?  Essentially the same as last year, although I plan on becoming more active with social media.  I might even get around to moving my blog over to Wordpress.  We’ll see. 

Anyway, a Happy New Year to all the Insecure Writers out there!