Thursday, August 11, 2011

This Week In Favs……….


10) “8 Pieces of Advice About Writing Worth Listening To” by Lisa Hall-Wilson on Girls with Pens. We’ve all heard this advice before, but we can always use a reminder of the best writing tips out there – ex: Keep Writing and Show Don’t Tell. I’ll be the first to admit that I keep a list similar to this on the wall behind my writing desk. Do you?

9) “The Art of Stringing ‘Em Along” by Katie Ganshert. As writers, we have characters or backstories that we want to get out there. We want to share all we can about them with the readers. This article reminds writers to hold back because holding back = hooking the reader. In other words….. avoid the info dump! I always find that when I start a re-write I’m deleting a TON of words, placing them in a separate word doc entitled ‘Excerpts for Elsewhere’, then weaving those details one by one back into the story to string along the reader.  

8) “Changing Scale: Looking at Your Story From Different Angles” by Janice Hardy. This is HUGE. I don’t know about you, but I’m so inside my own head that I fail to approach my story from a different angle. Sometimes I’m all about the micro, and other times, I’m all about the macro….and this varies from scene to scene, chapter to chapter. In other words, my focus flip-flops. I’m a pantser, so it’s not like I have the entire story plotted before I begin, so after reading this, I will focus on one at a time as I work through my WIP….as a whole and not chapter by chapter.  

7) “8 Ways to Write Better Characters” by Elizabeth Sims on Writer’s Digest. Ahhh….. I’ve been working on something a bit similar to these tips so I had to share this article with everyone. I’ve been working on getting to know my characters better. When we first meet our characters, we know nothing more than what they’re willing to share with us. I’ve been doing some character interviewing lately and I’ve been absolutely surprised by the many personalities screaming from within my head. They’re definitely making sure I hear their opinions, which in turn, means I have a much better understanding of each one and I can weave in a few of those discoveries as I edit.

6) “Sub-plots, Main Plots, and Digressions” by Beth Hill. This article is one of the best I’ve found in reference to plotting – a must-share. Please get over there and read this article. Other than Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, I feel I have close to all the information I need to create a successful main plot – and sub-plot…..but then again, as writers, we’re constantly learning so it may be too soon for me to say that, huh?

5) The next-to-last So You Think You Can Dance goodie! **Spoiler Alert** This week was the finale and congratulations go out to Melanie for winning the competition this season. She was my favorite from the beginning and is such a beautiful inspiration to watch on stage.
I’m so sad and don’t know what I’m going to do without my weekly dance fix. *tears up* But next week will be the last week I’ll post any SYTYCD clips, which will be from last night’s finale. This means I need to fill this space with another type of video. I’m thinking TOSH.0 clips?!? I don’t know….we’ll have to see what comes to mind. Until then, I’m open to your ideas :)

This week’s TOP performance – and it was hard to choose since we’re down to the BEST dancers in the bunch – comes from Marko (contestant) and Lauren (an All Star and last season’s winner). This is what happens when great dance meets beautiful music:



4) “10 Things I Believe About Writing” by Jordan Dane on The Kill Zone. Um….I’m a little late to the party on this blog since I’m just now discovering it, but that just means I have a lot of catching up to do and I don’t mind that. Especially not with the list of amazing writers this blog has! Similar to #10 this week, this is another list of advice that writers should listen to. The one that hit me the hardest was #7: “Trust Your Talent".” We ALL need to be reminded of this. Like Jordan said, we’re human beings and we’re going to have self-doubt, but we need to trust our talent!

3) “How Do You Deal with Difficult Characters?” by Jami Gold. I have to say something first: Thank you, Jami! As I mentioned above, I’m in the middle of interviewing my characters. I’m stuck on two characters in particular. Strapping these two guys down and torturing them will not open them up so I’m just frustrated with them. I knew they were going to be this way since they’re both incredibly evil and manipulative. This was a well-timed article. Now, I ‘m just going to either ask another character to interview them, or ask other characters to share what they know about these two stubborn-and-withholding characters. Who knows….maybe I’ll dream about them both tonight and wake up in a cold sweat with the answers.  

2) “The (Not So) Dreaded Synopsis – 5 Tips To Set You Free” by Roni Loren. FINALLY!!!!! A break down on writing a synopsis that’s not intimidating or overwhelming!!! The last synopsis ‘how-to’ I read left my head spinning, but this one? This one leaves me feeling pretty darn confident to where I‘m ready to sit down and face the beast. Thank you, Roni!

1) “Afterthoughts on the Epilogue” by S.P. Sipal. I translated this article into sort of a ‘How to Write an Epilogue’. It made me think on my own idea I’ve been tossing around for a while: adding an epilogue to both give a peek-in-the-box of my character’s future lives and to leave the story with an option to re-visit in the future. Which makes me wonder….will JKR re-visit the world of magic in the future?

Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post, “First Sentences…..And a Giveaway”. Please be sure to leave a comment and enter for the giveaway!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Happy Reading & Writing!
Melinda

9 comments:

Shain Brown said...

A great post. There is so much information I am going to have to sort through this when I have some free time. Thanks.

Melinda S. Collins said...

Thank you, Shain! :)

Roni Loren said...

Great roundup! Thanks for including my post. So glad you found it useful! :)

Jami Gold said...

I love your fantastic roundups! Thanks for including me, and I'm so happy I could help. :)

SP Sipal said...

Your Friday Fav's always help me catch up on good articles I may have missed during the week. And this week is especially true because I've been off Twitter so much working on another project.

Thanks again for including me! :-)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Love it!! I have to go visit so many of these to catch up! I'm so behind this week... ACK!

Melinda S. Collins said...

Thank you everyone!!! I'm so glad everyone enjoys these posts and that it helps you play 'catch up' after a crazy week :D

Koala Bear Writer said...

Oooh, great links... must go check them out! Thanks for sharing. I also loved the Girls with Pens link (they have such great advice) and really enjoyed SYTYCD. I'm hoping there's a new season of Live to Dance coming up as well... my husband and I saw the first season and really enjoyed that show (such a variety of talented people!).

Melinda S. Collins said...

Thanks, Bonnie! :)

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