10) “Finding the Heart of Your Story: A Tip from Donald Maass” by Martina Boone on Adventure’s in Children’s Publishing. This article was all about finding the theme of your story……the heart. Using a tip from Donald Maass, which is someone I don’t think I’d be able to write without the knowledge and tips we obtain from his books and/or blog posts, Martina shows us how we can look for the heart of our story by picking the one scene that you would never, ever cut from your story. Once you’ve got the scene, you can pull it apart to find what speaks to you. Be it an emotion or an idea that you really want the reader to connect with. Martina even gives us links to other great articles on theme, which made this particular article a winner this week…hands down!
9) “Setting – Adding Dimension to Your Fiction” by Kristen Lamb. Oh….soooo creepy to open this link and have Hannibal Lector’s face as the first thing you see. Kristen did a wonderful job in covering the many things setting can do for your novel and/or scenes. They help your characterization, amplify the mood, and can also symbolize something deeper within your story rather than just being a background for the characters. Kudos, Kristen!
8) “Forcing a Story to Evolve – From First Draft to Finished Draft” by Jami Gold on Writers In The Storm blog. In this article, Jami approached the types of ‘big picture’ revisions that we should be paying attention to as we’re editing. Voice, tone, point of view and theme are just a few types of ‘story evolution’ that she’s basically handed to us on a silver platter. Print this one out or write it down so you can refer to them when you’re in the middle of revisions. If we’re watching for these and ensuring they’re being properly developed, then our polished product is going to be a heck of a lot better when it’s querying time!
7) “Keep Your Dream Alive: Avoiding Despair at a Writer’s Conference” by Barbara Scott on Rachelle Gardner’s blog. I chose this particular article since it served a much-needed reader for all of the unpublished authors out there to continue to strive for the ultimate goal of one day being able to call themselves a published author. It’s a very tough world out there and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged – whether you’re at a writer’s conference, or in a chat room with other writers. As you can probably imagine, I’ve already printed this one up. Whenever I’m feeling a little down, I’ll be pulling this one out so it’ll turn that mood around OR push me to use those emotions in my writing.
6) “The Grammar Hokey Pokey” by Ash Krafton on QueryTracker. Hehehe….I love this article. And here’s why: my hubby edits my blog posts and has often referred to me as ‘the comma whore’. LOL! This is only because I overuse commas throughout my writing. I used to pride myself on my grammar in writing and now I see that’s only because I know more than most, but not enough to not require someone to read behind me and make sure I’ve got everything right. Ash’s hokey pokey article is very similar to what me and the hubs are doing while I’m putting together my blog posts, but I’m getting better…I can assure you that :0) Bottom line after reading this article: learn grammar! If you can’t, find someone who knows it better than you and ask them to do some grammar edits for you – and learn from their edits!
5) “How to Make Deep POV Enrich Your Internal Dialogue” by Lisa Hall-Wilson on Girls with Pens. I was on an author chat the other night, entitled “The Subtle Art of Show, Don’t Tell”, and when it came time for the Q&A portion of the chat, there were about 5 other writers in the chat whose questions were about deep POV: What exactly is it? How does it help? How can I do this? Well, needless to say, I pointed them to this blog with the mention that the Girls with Pens have enough articles about deep POV that you should fully understand the why’s and how’s of this concept. This particular article was wonderful for me because it gives a great list of guidelines on how to use deep POV to your advantage: by pulling the reader closer to the character so they will invest in the character’s story.
4) “Does Your MC Get the Best Lines?” by Jeannie Campbell, The Character Therapist. And here’s the article that really had me thinkin’ this week! I’m loving this line: “When we put our characters on such a high pedestal, we run the risk of not being able to write the very good scenes that show them falling off!” So, as I’m going through my MS one last time before sending to my CP, this is what I’ll be looking for. Our characters need to be relatable to the reader. Not bland. Go check out this article then take a look at your MC’s and secondary characters. Be sure the secondary characters are not stealing the spotlight from your MC with their snarky comments. Save the best possible lines for your MC.
3) “What Comes After a First Draft” by Jami Gold. Jami hit another home run this week with this post! Like I said, she can always get you to think…even when you don’t really want to. ;o) Jami brought up something in this article about using Microsoft Word’s Compare function. Hmm…. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’m most certainly glad I know now because I’d love to go back and see how my stories have grown since their first draft (after I get over a fear of seeing how ‘green’ my stories were in the beginning). It’s a lot like life: We have to know where we came from in order to not only begin to understand where we’re going, but to also see how far we’ve come when the road begins to get rocky.
2) “How Our Relationship With Our Characters is Like Dating a Vampire” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View. OMG I looooved this one. So, obviously I’m a big vampire fan, but this is something I’d never thought of: comparing our relationship with our characters to dating vampires. Very original, in my opinion, and a wonderful analogy. Genius, Lisa! Thank you for the great post - and for another pic of Damon which I just can’t get enough of either! ;o)
1) Ready for some Friday fun? I hope so because a new Simon’s Cat video has been posted and this one goes out to all my writerly friends who also have cats. I believe we all know how aggravating it is to try and get some writing done with a cat walking all over your keyboard, monitor, lap, mouse, etc. You name it, they’re on it! Am I right? So I really enjoyed seeing this being perfectly depicted by the artist.
Hope you enjoy!
Happy Reading & Writing!