Category: writing process

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...

Tools for (Personal) and other Writing 0

Tools for (Personal) and other Writing

Whether you’re writing letters to friends, creating a remembrance book, or writing a longer work, you need certain tools nearby to enable your process. Consider these ideas: 1.Start with a notebook and pen or pencil. Handwritten ideas come from a different place in the brain than ideas composed on a computer. Consider writing your thoughts long-hand first. Then transpose them onto the card, journal. or computer for your finished piece. I think you’ll find the exercise enlightening. 2. Gather your resources: a thesaurus, dictionary and one of my favorites, The Synonym Dictionary by J.I Rodale (Rodale Press). That way you...

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Writing Warm-up Ideas

Like sports, it’s a good idea to warm-up before you begin writing. Here are a few 5-minute suggestions to use to wake up your writing brain. 1. Scribble. Write nonsense ‘words’ to free your mind of thoughts. 2. Write all the words you can think of that begin with “a”. Another time try other letters of the alphabet as well. 3. Think of a favorite character to describe without using color words. 4. Describe: your work space                      the weather outside a favorite food                         your best friend a childhood pet                       the best meal you ever ate a tearful experience               a stranger...

Unusual Book Styles 0

Unusual Book Styles

You may read a lot and have found many of these unusual ways authors share their stories. If not, be aware that all books are not straight forward. Here are a few tricks that may entice you or, if you are unaware of what is being done, these methods may cause you to close the books or even toss them across the room in mild anger. **  Books with no paragraph separation **  Entire books in poetic form (E Hopkins) **  Books with excessive punctuation (E.E.Cummings) **  Books without quotation marks to alert you to who is speaking (C. McCarthy)...

Writers VS Editors ? I Think Not! 0

Writers VS Editors ? I Think Not!

Authors may feel the relationship between themselves and their editors are contentious times. I’ve had only great experiences so far. For me, the time I spend with my editors is invigorating. We share our concerns about my work: word choices, punctuation errors, pacing on the page as well as whether a sentence or paragraph progresses the story. We discuss my ‘why’ verses their ‘concern’. Often I concede that what I meant and what I wrote are not in harmony. Then we work through the section, make adjustments to help the reader understand my meaning, and move on. In the process...

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...

After the Music Stops, What Do you Do? 1

After the Music Stops, What Do you Do?

[Now that When the Music Stops-Dance On is available in bookstores everywhere (hooray!!!), I thought you’d enjoy reading a typical press release.] Edmonds, WA – September— How does a dancer who’s spent her entire young life training to dance and perform, step away from the choreography, the costumes, the music, and the bright lights? Award-winning author Paddy Eger says, “Most dancers do not make that transition easily. Marta Selbryth is no exception.” In When the Music Stops— Dance On, book two of her YA trilogy, Eger addresses Marta’s roller coaster of emotions as her career faces steep challenges. “Her life...

Write On! 3

Write On!

Starting a new book, (book 3 in my series) I’m beginning to get into the rhythm of organizing myself. I know, it took me a long time, but I’ve hit upon a system that works so I’m feeling jazzed! Oh, it’s nothing special, but it works for me. Without it I’m a scattering of note cards, post-its, scraps of paper and articles. I can spin and spin going through my scatter so you can understand why I love my new, old-fashioned planning, a notebook with dividers, collected info, maps, character sketches, plat ideas and blank paper for moments I get...

Part TWO: The Editing Process (formal edits) 0

Part TWO: The Editing Process (formal edits)

I am fortunate to have excellent editors helping me refine my books. The first editors offer informal feedback, the second editors are people I pay to work out the kinks. Both serve an important purpose. Let me introduce you to my second level of editors, my formal editors. After my critique groups suggestions are incorporated into my writing, I contact and pay for edits by people who help me ‘fix’ errors in story line, overuse of favored words, punctuation, etc. Usually they are not familiar with my story which is a distinct advantage for me; they do not know anything...

Part ONE: The Editing Process (my critiques groups) 0

Part ONE: The Editing Process (my critiques groups)

I am fortunate to have excellent editors helping me refine my books. The first editors offer informal feedback, the second editors are people I pay to work out the kinks. Both serve an important purpose. Let me introduce you to my critique groups first. My informal editors are my two critique groups. The members of the groups are fellow writers who are willing to share their writings, their time and their advice on my writings. We meet at least once a month to critique each other’s work. If truth be told, my first days attending the groups were wrought with...