Category: writer reminders

Facts in Fiction 0

Facts in Fiction

Grounding fiction with pertinent facts makes the story more beievable. To that end a writer needs to select facts that feel like they belong in the story. There must be a reason for their inclusion, a purpose that moves the story along. Examples: In the ballet trilogy (84 Ribbons, When the Music Stops: Dance On, and Letters to Follow: A Dancer’s Adventure) I used facts: real streets in real towns, real layouts of homes, real ballet music, and real scenery you’d see if you visited the places I had Marta and Lynne visited. I especially enjoyed my visits to The...

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WOTS: a Great Northwest Writing Conference

2017 Write on the Sound: October 6, 7 & 8 Everything you need to know about the 2017 conference is now available on the website: www.writeonthesound.com Keynote: NYT Bestselling author Kristin Hannah in conversation with author Megan Chance A former-lawyer-turned writer, Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbusters, The Nightingale, Winter Garden, Night Road, and Firefly Lane. Friend, critique partner and author Megan Chance will lead a conversation with Kristin about the writer’s life and the writing process. Megan’s critically acclaimed, award-winning novels include A Drop of Ink, Bone River, The Spiritualist, and An Inconvenient Wife. Dates to Remember… Mid-June: the...

Slow Motion – A Writer’s Trick 0

Slow Motion – A Writer’s Trick

Clive Matson got it right! In his book Let the Crazy Child Write: Finding Your Creative Writing Voice, he suggests that writers use slow action. When an important event occurs, slow the action down to freeze frame speed. That pulls readers closer allowing them to experience the physical tension with the character. Whatever the action looks like: a fall, a gun fight, or an ah-ha moment; it works. The next time you come across an action scene, see if the author has extended that scene through slowing down the time and movement. If it is a memorable scene, I’ll wager...

Impressions Notebook 0

Impressions Notebook

Summer time, winter time, all year ’round. It’s always a great to write down your impressions as you experience them. It’s almost too simple, so give it a try! 1. Keep a small  Impressions Notebook in your pocket and jot down what you see and feel at various moments in your day and across the year. 2. Record the weather: sky conditions and colors,the temp, the way you feel looking  around you or what you feel when you step out into the weather. 3. Outside, touch objects to record their impressive temperature. A chair in the sun feels different from...

INspiration 0

INspiration

Where do you go to get inspired? the beach, a park, a movie? Or, are you the type that of person to find your inspiration in talking with people, joining a club or maybe the solitude of a day alone with a good book. Does sampling a variety of wines or berries or vegetables inspires you? How about the touch of a luscious fabric? Regardless of where you find inspiration, a writer often uses what they see, smell, hear, taste and touch to make a story sparkle. They take the inspiration IN, mush it around a bit and voila! It...

Write on the Sound Conference 0

Write on the Sound Conference

Writers never stop looking for ways to improve their writing. One such way is conferences. Our local conference, Write on the Sound, is a perfect place to gain ideas and techniques while meeting with fellow writers. And, as good fortune would have it, we had a perfect weekend of weather, classes, and vistas from the Plaza Room at Edmond’s Francis Anderson Center (formerly the place where I began my teaching career half a century ago). Ouch. that sounds ancient; maybe it is! The conference strictly showcases writers as presenters with no agents or publishers making presentations. Listening to fellow writers...

Character Traits 1

Character Traits

What makes a good character? Here’s a starting list. Please send me your ideas so I can grow the list and re-share it with you. *  flawed with strengths and weaknesses, scars and oddities in their lives *  well-developed personality *  distinctive ‘voice’ (you often know which character is speaking without the ‘said’ tag) *  approachable yet filled with secrets *  has a story worth our time learning about as we read *  share both their inner and outer conflicts *  grow and change over the course of the story

Writing with Kids – Scolding Adult Authors 1

Writing with Kids – Scolding Adult Authors

I have the distinct privilege of working with third and fourth grade writers in two local school Working with kids writing using their creativity keeps my writing fresh. Their imaginations go to places we’ve long forgotten to explore. Watching them plan out their stories, watching them smile when they find a funny/curious/outlandish idea and watching them put their ideas down is a highlight of each week. My goal is to encourage them to add details, write complete thoughts and find endings that ‘close’ their stories. It only takes them a few minutes to grasp the idea of ending rather than...

Dialogue Hints 1

Dialogue Hints

Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks contains everything from planning to completion of a novel. Her advice works well for other genre books as well as YA. Here are a few of her suggestions about dialogue. 1.  Hedge real topics in favor of direct references. 2.  Use incomplete sentences; that’s the way we often speak. 3.  Interrupt speakers, like we do when we’re excited and talking with a friend. 4.  Don’t repeat character names; find another way help us keep characters separate. 5.  Use body language and tags that reinforce the character’s uniqueness. 6.  Make every bit...

Can you Feel the Tension? 0

Can you Feel the Tension?

Authors strive to put tension on every page. Can you feel it? Don’t always expect gut-wrenching tension. Certainly we put in some of that even in ballet stories. Instead look for the little moments where a character paces, stresses or pouts. You’ll also see it when unexpected mail arrives, someone doubts a character’s motive or when the car won’t start on the first try. The question is why do author’s place little moments like that in stories? The answer: would you keep reading if nothing exciting occurred? Probably not. And, if you think about it, your life is filled with...