Community Writing: #Critique Thy Neighbour

At the moment, I am actively involved in one critique group.  We call ourselves the Book Markers. Clever, huh?  🙂

It’s easy to write in a bubble where everything we write sounds good.  As Nthato mentioned, being a part of a group helps to vet story ideas, receive beneficial feedback, and build a supportive network with other writers.  These are essentials for good writing and helping to stay motivated.

 

A-Scribe To Describe

writing-group

I’m part of a writer’s group. Several in fact,  although I’m far more active in the more social group than the others and that’s just because it’s more convenient for me. The great thing about writing groups is being able to share writing and let others give insight as to what you wrote. A lot of times we talk through ideas, explain what an official sending address looks like, what sites are perfect for getting people’s names, and occasional debates about Twilight, Fifty Shades, and other heated topics. *I may have played the devil’s advocate on a number of occasions.

However, most importantly, we encourage each other to write. This include adding short excerpts and asking for feedback, because as a writer, feedback is important. Rachel Poli wrote a blog post some time ago about exchanging stories with her sister Kris, and how they critique each others work. It’s a…

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The Shack: When Your Favorite #Book Becomes a #Movie And Misses the Mark But Teaches a Valuable Lesson

Awhile ago I wrote about my writing observations from the novel, The Shack.  When I heard about the movie coming out, I got excited.  Not just because it was one of my favorites, but because it furthers my belief that dreams can come true.  So, my husband and I made a day of the movies, making sure to catch this film.

Like some book-to-movies, there are noticeable differences.  The plot is shortened, some characters don’t make the cut, or the storyline is tweaked.  Regardless, the significance of these alterations, for the better or worse, is up to the reader/viewer.

And so it saddens me

Continue reading “The Shack: When Your Favorite #Book Becomes a #Movie And Misses the Mark But Teaches a Valuable Lesson”

5 Reasons Why I Love The #Emotions Thesaurus

The Emotions Thesaurus has been the greatest tool in my arsenal.  Sometimes I know what emotion to write about, but have a hard time illustrating the body language. I rummage through my head for situations where I felt like the character, but the past actions I used escapes me. This handy book takes the stress out of guessing and remembering. 

It’s definitely helpful with showing instead of telling. The only thing I wish could be different is for new editions with added emotions such as grief. 

Paving My Author's Road

5-reasons-why-i-love-the-emotions-thesaurus

I didn’t get to do this kind of post, a review of sorts about writing guides/books. I’d planned to last year but better late than never, right? Besides, it’s long overdue to shout from the mountain tops how much I love The Emotions Thesaurus.

How much do I love it?

Well to quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ‘let me count the ways!’

I love how it reminds the writer all the ways a character can speak without the use of their mouth. When I got back into the writing game after a long detour, I admit my characters were one dimensional. They spoke but they rarely moved on the page. Literally and figuratively. And then I purchased this wonderful book and my eyes were re-opened. I remembered that body language too spoke volumes.

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The #Editing Style #Guide

Self-editing involves a lot more than correcting misspelled words or starting consecutive paragraphs with the same letter. A.C. Wyatt shares her observations on passive vs active voice, wordy sentences, and verb/subject agreement.  Knowing how to edit these, and other tips revealed, can improve the quality of the story.

A. C. Wyatt

Look, editing is hard. I’ve said it many, many times. When you’re starting, it can be incredibly confusing. One person tells you to do this, and another tells you oh God no. Do this. Do that. It’s hard. I can’t tell you what’s right for your story, but as far as I can tell, there are a couple basic things you need to know.

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Should You Self-Publish or Traditionally #Publish?

A.G. Young shares great questions and points to ponder for deciding a publishing route. Will you go the old-fashioned way or strike out on your own?

Photo: hartlandmartin Park Road via photopin (license)

A Writer's Path

Doors

by A.G. Young

So today we’re talking about if you should Self Publish or Traditionally Publish that baby you have been working on for months or years. This of course is no easy question to answer, and also very highly personal to each writer. So I am going to discuss my opinion on the matter. And a little forewarning, because of the topic of this post, this is going to be a long one.

Before you can answer this main question, you must answer a few others first. Let’s see what those are.

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#EDITING 101: 22 – Using Registered #Trademarks and #Brand Names…

In our everyday lives we use certain words as common speech, and think nothing about trademark or branding. However, when writing fiction, the complex of using these words can be a financial and legal matter. Sometimes sticking to general terms is the safest bet.

Image: Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Registered Trademarks and Brand Names

When you’re writing and your character uses a Kleenex, you’ve just used a registered trademark. Normally in non-fiction or business writing, you’d see it this way: Kleenex® or Kleenex™. To avoid using a brand name, you could say your character used a “tissue.”

You do not have to use ® or ™ in fiction writing.

The words aspirin, escalator, phillips-head screw, zipper, yo-yo, and vaseline were once trademarked but have lost that protection. They acquired such market dominance that the brand names became genericized. Companies want their products to become popular—but not too popular!—since there’s a price to pay for that popularity.

Kleenex®, Xerox®, Band-Aid®, and Plexiglas® were once in danger of losing their trademark…

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My creative process: writing the first #draft

My creative process seems random.  Either I’m awaken in the middle of the night with an idea, a dream sparks a story, or I’m driving along and a concept hits me in the face. Whatever the means, I write down the first things that flood my mind.  Then I go into planning mode to outline the story.

Once the outline is complete, I research the characters, locations, and any other relevant details.  For instance, I’ve Googled houses so that I could best describe the home of one of my characters.  Or if the character lives in a city or state I’m not familiar, I’ll look into the culture and atmosphere so that the story is authentic.

With the outline and research, the magic can begin.  I take a chapter at a time which is about 2000-3000 words (give or take).  I let my mind flow according to the summation listed in the outline.  Then I comb over it for adverbs and to be verbs, sentence rhythm, and sensory detail to add depth.  So I guess in a way I’m doing a first and second draft in one setting. 😉

Photos: Takeshi Obata, Carla Oliverira, Ida Auclond

Ida Auclond

01-obata-int-splshBakuman illustration by Takeshi Obata

Learning about people’s creative process or “watching them create” is one of my favourite things. I’ve spent hours watching  YouTube videos of Takeshi Obata just drawing (he’s the mangaka who drew Hikaru no Go, Death Note and Bakuman, among other things). So I thought today I’d talk about my own creative process, because it’s fun to share and because maybe next year or in two or three years I’ll look back to this post and be amazed at how much my process has changed. Or not.

The idea

It all starts with an idea. It can come from vastly different things: a passer-by can sprout a character, a feeling can become a theme, etc. You have ideas, you know what I mean.

The daydream

There is a kind of natural selections in my ideas. I almost don’t consciously “choose” which one I’ll pursue, I…

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