Writers Associations: Local And National Organizations For #Writers

Here’s a great list of writers associations, writers groups, and organizations for writers! Many local writers organizations have affiliations with national groups, but some writing groups stand alone within their communities. If you want to find national writing associations, look no further! If you’re interested to find local writing groups, check out this great list we’ve compiled of writing groups by state.

Writing organizations offer wonderful resources for writers. Some writers associations or organizations are free; others charge membership fees. These fantastic writers associations can help you find a literary agent, arrange meetings with editors, go to writing conferences, learn craft techniques, and keep up with changes in the publishing industry.

Before you join a writers association or organization, be sure to ask a lot of questions to make sure that the group is appropriate for you! Continue reading “Writers Associations: Local And National Organizations For #Writers”

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The Art of Negative Space: Leaving Some Things to a #Reader’s Imagination

I totally agree with the sentiment of this post.  Writers (me included) attempt to fill every gap so the reader does not misinterpret a thing.  We want the world to see the story thru the same eyes and imagination.  But why?

When I was a member of a book club many moons ago, one of the most fascinating aspects was discussing the different viewpoints of the story.  There were perspectives I didn’t consider or bonded with others who shared similar insight.  I believe that the reader’s imagination adds an extra spice that can enhance a story.

 

Kate Flournoy, Author

Hold onto your hats. We’re going to get theoretical.
In the past I’ve had a great deal of fun mystifying you with statements such as this:

Honestly, a good fifty percent (probably more) of any story is written entirely in the reader’s head. You don’t need to vomit the entire universe and all of humanity onto the page; you’re already writing it on an infinite human soul that will recognize it at a glance and fill in all the gaps.
Your job is simply to guide the emotions of the reader in the direction you want.

Well guess what. I’m going to mystify you further by expounding on how exactly one accomplishes that.
I call it ‘The Negative Space Phenomenon’. The more practical term for it is ‘reader engagement’. (My terms are so much cooler.)

So first of all, what is negative space?

Negative space, in art, is the space…

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#MotivationMonday: Don’t Give Up on Your #Dreams (Writer’s Edition)

Finding time to write in the midst of work, family, and household chores can be like oil and water.  They just never seem to meld sometimes.  But no matter how taxing or overwhelming it may seem, keep the dream alive.  Writing a paragraph a day is still progress and a step in the right direction.

Even if work/life balance isn’t the issue, hope of publishing may dwindle with each rejection letter or mounting critiques.  Turn the negative into a positive.  Just because there’s a “no” now, doesn’t mean there will never be a “yes”.  Take the experience as a learning lesson – not about writing, about patience.  Sometimes we want what we want now, when the better option could be later down the road.

This week’s infographic covers 20 writers who worked in industries quite different than what we’d expect.  It’s a great example to keep following our dreams.  How we start may contrast how we finish.  Hang in there!

#Writers Guide to Creating Realistic Characters

I’m always amazed at the wonderful tips, tricks, and insights I find thru Pinterest.  And today’s infographic adds to these exceptional tips.

Below is a chart based on the 5 P’s to developing a character – physical, psychological, personal, personality, and practices.  What’s creative and helpful about this chart is that it’s quick, easy to comprehend, and has enough facets to build a substantial character.  By the time, the writer is done, it should feel as if he/she’s known this character for a long time.

 

 

Life of a #Writer: Finding the Perfect Synonym to Replace Bland #Words

When I’m writing, sometimes I’m at a loss to find the right word.  A word that not only describes what a character is doing or feeling.  One that makes the character interesting, yet giving life to the story.  When the time arises, I reach for the almighty thesaurus…or resort to great lists like these found on Pinterest.

#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

There are moments in my life when I have so much clutter in my brain that it’s hard to think straight. Then there are other times a recent event reminds me of a fond memory, and I want to capture it. That’s when the mighty paper and pen come in handy.

Journaling has a variety of benefits:

  • Helps clear the mind
  • Serves as a visual reminder of things accomplished/lessons learned
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Keepsake for family members after we’re long gone

In Ruth Folit’s article Why Good Writers Keep Journals, journaling helps writers find their voice.  It opens a world through introspection and insight to people and things around them.  This peek into life can be beneficial for creating realistic characters and storylines.

The piece below from Writer’s Relief expounds on the above concepts in more detail, and provides a guide for effective journaling.

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Many of us keep journals to reduce stress or to record life’s events for posterity, and writers especially should make use of this creative outlet. Journaling can be a great tool for writers—the journal becomes a repository for fresh ideas and a safe place to write. Whether it’s a spiral notebook or a leather-bound book with a beautiful cover, a writer’s journal should be a source of inspiration.

There is an endless variety of journals to choose from. Select something that inspires you, that makes you eager to crack your journal open and turn to a fresh page. A beautiful diary with fun pockets or an elegant cover will make writing a pleasure. Invest in a fun or really fancy pen to use just for your journaling. Then, you are always ready to write!

Keep your journal handy for jotting down those whimsical ideas or brilliant first sentences that pop into your head at the oddest moments. If your journal is large or bulky, keep a spiral-bound pocket-sized notebook around. You can then transfer your ideas to the larger journal.

Write regularly and on a schedule. Get into the habit of writing each day, and you’ll be perfecting your craft at the same time.

A journal is meant for no one’s eyes but your own, so let those ideas flow unfettered. A little stream of consciousness is good for the soul, and no one will be looking over your shoulder, judging you on punctuation issues or your choice of simile. Sometimes when we let ourselves go and just write, we gain priceless personal insights—and these insights can help us to be better writers.

Later on, you can use your journal entries to write a memoir of your life before you became a famous writer!

If the ideas aren’t flowing, try some writing prompts and power your way through writer’s block. Sometimes the very act of writing will clear the path for new ideas and recharge your sagging muse. A Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux includes writing prompts applicable to either prose or poetry at the end of many chapters.

Some writers add newspaper clippings, sketches, or magazine articles to their journals—anything that inspires them. Others keep pictures or make lists. That’s the beauty of a journal—there are no rules, and this freedom is the catalyst that can unleash your creativity.

We can also go paper-free and buy journaling software, keeping a record of our thoughts and ideas on our personal computers. These programs have the standard word-processing capabilities, and most allow the user to add graphics, sound bites, and charts. If you’re thinking of buying, try the 30-day free trial period available with most of the software. If a trial period is not available, make the most of user-review sites like www.epinions.com. A few to check out:

Alpha Journal (www.alpharealms.com/journal/index.htm)

Digital Diary (www.ajebe.com)

The Journal (www.davidrm.com)

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.</span?

The Benefits of #Handwriting vs. #Typing: Why the Pen May Be Mightier Than the Keyboard

For awhile now, I’ve been using a combination of keyboard and handwriting.  Most recently, I purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro to make it more convenient when I want to switch back and forth between the two.

When I’m ready to handwrite, I use apps like OneNote or Myscript Nebo.  The beauty of both is the ability to convert the handwriting to text.  The former is the primary one I use because of how well I can organize my thoughts and writings into notebooks, sections, and pages.  I can also share the pages via email or the entire notebook via invitation.

Another perk of OneNote is the clipping tool (downloaded separately and installed as a browser extension).  If I find something on the web I want to save, all I have to do is click the icon in the browser bar and viola!  It’s saved to the location I choose.

Myscript Nebo is a great tool as well.  However, the sharing option is limited, and I can’t clip and save like OneNote.  A positive for this app is the bar that shows your writing as text and auto-corrects.  So even when my handwriting isn’t the most legible, Myscript figures it out.

Which do you prefer, handwriting or typing?  What devices and tools do you use?

Melanie V. Logan

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I LOVE infographics.  They offer a quick snippet of information in a visually pleasant manner.  So imagine my awe and delight when I ran across the one below.

Personally, I have noticed more fluidity of ideas when using my tablet and stylus to write compared to my laptop.

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