10) “The Art of Subplot” by Amy Rose Davis on Fantasy Faction. Okay, so anyone who uses The Princess Bride as the basis for a write-tip article has me at ‘hello’. Plain and simple. What’s better is the fact that Amy has used the Montoya subplot to show how supporting characters and their stories are just as important as the main characters in our writing: they provide foils, reveal information, highlight themes and help drive the main plot. And like she also lists, they do provide some much needed comic relief. This was a great read for me this week and I highly recommend it to all writers…not just those who love The Princess Bride.
9) “Writing Wednesday: The Handy Book of Villainous Dialogue” by Anime on Anime’s Musings. Ahh, yes. The cliché dialogue of an antagonist that we as writers should stay far away from. Now that I think about it, I may have one or two lines that are little like this. *seriously considers shutting down internet to start editing again* I like how Anime mentions that we really need to think outside the box when it comes to our bad guys. I also like how she expands this article into steering clear of all clichés in our writing, not just the villainous dialogue. The use of the Disney villains’ picture was a great choice also! They’re my favorite, misunderstood characters of all time :0)
8) “Voice Is Not Everything (but it is vitally important)” by Lydia Sharp on The Sharp Angle. Agreed! Voice definitely is important, but it really isn’t everything. Story is what’s important. Even though I’ve always been able to find the voice of my protagonists, this was still a great article to read and it serves as a reminder: “You cannot have a good voice with no story, just as you cannot have a good story with no voice.” I think we all know this, but it’s always good to be reminded every now and then. Lydia also gave some great resources for those who may either struggle with voice or plot <- which is one of the reasons why I absolutely enjoy reading her blog every week!
7) “Writers – Develop a Thick Skin!” by Megan DiMaria on WordServe Water Cooler. First off, this is a great blog that started not too long ago by the clients/writers of WordServe Literary agency (Rachelle Gardner’s agency). I think their blog is a brilliant idea and I love how they’re always bringing new and fresh ideas to the table. Okay…back to the article. This was another article that served as a great reminder for every writer out there. We all need to develop thick skin. As much as I would like to believe ‘words will never hurt me’, I’m not there yet. Because they still do, to a certain extent. But I’m slowly getting there and I’m being helped along the way with articles such as this.
6) “Backstory: Where and How Much?” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View. We all know that backstory can either make or break your novel. It has the ability to keep your reader hooked while giving them important information, but if it’s in the wrong place and/or dumped on the reader, then it can bore them into closing the book and putting it back on the shelf (and said book might find its way into a yard sale shortly thereafter). Lisa explains, very simply, where and how the backstory should be introduced to the reader, and she uses an awesome example from Harry Potter. Well done, Lisa!
5) “Frustration: Your Novel’s Best Friend” by Angela Ackerman on The Bookshelf Muse. Hehehe…..frustration is a sinister little thing, isn’t it? But it’s a sinister little thing that I’ve come to appreciate….after the fact! The same can be said about our characters. One thing that makes a story believable are believable and relatable characters. Nobody wants to read a story about a girl and a boy who get together without any problems or issues that threaten to keep them apart. The same can be said about a main character not experiencing frustration somewhere along the way from point A to point B. Angela has written a great article here about what a character might do when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place and she also reminds us to make sure that the reactions match the character! <- That, my friends, is one of the many things that make a character and their story believable.
4) “Where Do You Get Your Ideas?” by Jami Gold. Yay! Jami’s written about the cauldron of ideas that every writer has hiding in their closet! I literally had to stop and think about where my ideas come from. This was just because once I get an idea, I run with it so fast that the original nugget it came from has snowballed into something greater than I ever could’ve imagined. So it’s hard to go back and find the seed among that growth. But alas, I was able to figure out the answer to Jami’s question: my ideas come from dreams and the “What if?” questions and my latest MS actually came from the character herself when she showed up after I finished a book and said, “I think me and that protagonist need to get together and have some coffee.” Hehe….I LOVE it when they sneak up on you like that!
3) “The Art of Avoiding Burn Out” by Danyelle Leafty on Query Tracker’s Blog. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that I had a big meeting earlier this week. I also had to present in front of 90 people on Tuesday morning, which was sooo nerve wrecking! But anyway, the reason why this particular post caught my eye is because one of the topics I presented about on Tuesday morning went something like this: “…now is the time to take care of yourself. We’re busier than ever now that we’re in our busiest season of the year and if you don’t take care of yourself when you feel the burn out coming, then it’s only going to get worse!” Danyelle’s article is spot on about how we as writers need to avoid burn out by taking breaks and scheduling in activities that “…allow your creative muscles a chance to relax, to heal, and to rejuvenate.” Similar to the advice that I shared with my sales reps, if you don’t take care, it will get worse, which means your story will not thrive as it should. This is a must read for every writer.
2) “Kate Hart on Dialect and Dialogue” on Adventures in Children’s Publishing, “5 Basics About Dialogue You Need to Know” by Marcy Kennedy on Girls with Pens, and “Say What? – Writing Believable Dialogue” by Megan DiMaria on WordServe Water Cooler. Most of you know that I’m in the middle of a month-long advanced dialogue course, and so I’ve really been wanting to highlight a writing article on dialogue. Well, go figure that there would be at least three awesome posts this week on this very topic! Obviously I couldn’t decide between them all, so you got two bonus links on this one! It never hurts to read up on articles about dialogue since there are so many creative ways that we can show a conversation happening between two people (or a group), and it’s always a great reminder that we should be writing believable dialogue.
*On a side note: I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned in this workshop in October…and it’s quite a lot! We have assignments that are due every Tuesday and Friday, so I’m busier than I thought I’d be with this class, but I wouldn’t trade what I’m learning for the world!
1) Here’s an interesting and funny video for you! My hubby showed this to me this week and I seriously could not stop watching until the video was over.
I’m a Metallica fan, and most of us may have heard this song before: Enter Sandman (if you haven’t here’s a link). These guys are so much fun to watch and I absolutely love their creativity of covering songs by playing the kazoo <- something so simple that not many people would think of doing! And it’s such a dark song that was made light by this creativity. :0)
I hope you enjoy!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!
Happy Reading & Writing!