Category Archives: Craft of Writing
by Victoria Howard
You’ve written a novel. Congratulations. Finishing a novel of 80,000-100,000 words is a major accomplishment. So give yourself a pat on the back, or if you prefer, pour yourself a large glass of wine.
Before you start what could be a very long process of querying a literary agent or publisher ask yourself these questions; is my novel really finished and is it of publishable quality?
by Karen McCullough
Here are five questions to ask yourself when you’re editing your own dialogue:
1. Is it boring?
What’s boring? How about this:
“Hi, Helen,” Joe said. “How are you doing today?”
“I’m just fine,” Helen replied. “How are you?”
“Great. How’s your daughter?” Joe continued.
“She’s fine, too. How’s your sister?”
Are you snoozing yet?
by Ken Barnett
With the contest not closing until the end of June and semi-finalists not being announced until late July, I actually pretty much forgot about it.
On July 20th I received notification that my novel was among the ten semi-finalists, selected by a judging panel of thirteen authors. Well, needless to say, that got my attention. Then, last Sunday, I received an e-mail advising me that Skeletons was among the three finalists for the $1,000.00 first prize and possible publishing considerations! Continue reading
by Karen McCullough
How your characters communicate can make or break a story. Even if the plot is strong enough to carry it, good dialogue can increase your reader’s enjoyment of a story, while bad dialogue can bounce her out of it.
Thought experiment: Consider the interactions between Han Solo and Princess Leia in the original Star Wars movie trilogy, then compare those with the interactions between Anakin and Padme in the prequel series. Which pair is more memorable?
by Maris Soule
I’ve been watching the Olympics, and I realized there are a lot of similarities between a successful athlete and a successful writer. Athletes who want to compete at the highest level practice. Most do this daily or almost daily. They don’t let illness stop them or family events. Because they want to improve, they find and hire coaches they know will take them to the next level. They watch videos of past performances to learn from their mistakes and find ways to improve. When they compete, they present themselves in the best way possible, either through their grooming or their uniforms or their attitudes. They do everything they can to look like and be winners.
Writers who want to succeed must do the same things. Simply wanting to write a book and have it published is not enough.
Have you wondered if you should attend a writers conference? How do you pitch to an agent or publisher’s rep? If you’ve ever considered signing up for a conference and pitching session, you’ll want to attend our next meeting.
One of our members, Ken Barnett, has just returned from the Las Vegas Writers Conference where he pitched to several agents. He’ll share his experiences, and, he has some exciting secrets and news to share.
Oscar Wilde said he took out a comma in the morning and put it back in the afternoon.
Long before I devoted endless hours going back over and over what I’d written, I laughed at that quote.
I’d recently completed another chapter in my wip and begun another, but something nagged at me.