Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This Is Supposed to Be Fun

By David Sharp

Do you ever need to remember why you got involved with this whole writing madness anyway? It's fraught with setbacks and disappointments. Inspiration is fickle. Industry professionals often respond with silence, or otherwise with contradictory feedback. Readers run hot and cold on you. You read books that are leagues better than you feel you'll ever be. You invest your heart into a manuscript and then throw it out there to a world that can seem rather heartless.

If you're unpublished, you wonder how to cross that threshold. If you are published, you wonder how to increase your book sales. If you've won awards, you think about bigger awards. If you're a bestseller, you think about getting higher on the list. The next hill is always higher. But before you cycle into despair, wait! There's hope!

Why did you get started with all this?

It says here you have a high tolerance for rejection, little
common sense, chronic optimism and you are fond of coffee.
Mr. Sharp, have you considered being a writer?
I'll bet the first time you put the proverbial pen to paper was because you had a story to tell, and nobody else in the world could tell it. Most writers, I'd further guess, never sat down and thought, "Know what? I think I'm going to be a writer." Can you even remember the point you 'became' a writer? Or maybe story is coded in your DNA. You couldn't stop if you wanted to. If you lost your hands, you'd learn to type with your toes. You wake up at obscene hours to jot down story notes you fear you won't remember in the morning.  You may be nuts, but YOU, my friend, are a writer!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Collecting Family Stories

by Deborah Nielsen

Every family has stories. Usually told around the dinner table. Do you remember all the stories grandma told about growing up when you were little? Or the story about when your great uncle ran after the Model T yelling, “Whoa, damn you! Whoa!” just before the woodpile stopped it?

Memories fade, and people die, and the stories are gone along with them. That’s the problem with oral history. It has a tendency to disappear. Families can lose history and the threads binding them all together.

When I’ve attended a writers’ event of some sort over the years, I usually meet a person who is there because they want to learn how to preserve those family stories in writing. Then they say, “But I’m not a writer.” They take copious notes and end up feeling overwhelmed. In their mind, a writer is this mystical creature who can effortlessly put words on paper that everyone wants to read. “I just want to do a book for the family,” they say.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Benefits of Writing Groups AKA Join NCW

By Kathryn Mattingly

I have been an NCW member for 15 months and will continue while living in Napa, CA. Why might you ask? Because when you join a well run writing organization it becomes an invaluable tool in your writing world. If you are an introverted obsessive writer like me, it’s also important to crawl out of your cave and kiss your computer goodbye for short periods, while connecting with others in the community who are doing the same.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Merry HallowThankMas Or Cripes, October Is Over Already!

Check Out My Website
Follow Me on Twitter
Like My FB Page

By J.C. Lynne

Think back to the days summer was too long. Okay, in my defense when I was in school riding my T-Rex, we started the Tuesday post-Labor Day and ended for summer break the first week of June. Summer passed in a deliciously lazy haze until you just couldn't stand it any longer and clamored for school to start. 

I'm not talking parents here.

Yes, I've grown older, and my schedule is full year round. As a full-time writer, I'm guilty of feeling irritated when clerks and salespeople ask me if I have any big weekend plans. "Aren't you so glad it's Friday?" To be fair, I experienced the same thing as an air traffic controller...shift work. In my case, Thursday at 6:00 a.m. was my Friday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Importance of Scene

By David Sharp

If you think back to your favorite book, what do you see in your mind's eye? Is it the cover? Is it an outline of the plot points? The expert usage of punctuation, perhaps?

My guess is it's a snapshot of a memorable scene within the story. Bilbo Baggins riddling with Gollum, Inigo Montoya confronting the six-fingered man, Harry Potter seeking the snitch in his first Quidditch match, you get the idea. But it's very easy for writers to overlook the importance of scene in lieu of the more obvious elements of characterization, plot and setting.

Allow me to postulate: developing your ability to write in scenes is the most efficient way to elevate your writing. The scene is your reader's window into your story. What good are your immaculately developed characters if your reader can only see them through a brick wall of exposition? No matter what your story is, without proper scenes it has no opportunity to come to life.

So, what makes a good scene?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Just Singin' Along

by Deborah Nielsen

I’m on the road again and even though I’m not making music with Willie Nelson and friends, I listen to music when I’m on the road. Some people listen to audiobooks, but I’d rather have the radio, a few CDs, and my playlist.

There’s something about singing along to the latest new song or an old favorite. In my car, I can warble to my heart’s content, and no one is going to wince and tell me to stop that caterwauling!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stay in the Game!

Check out my  website
Follow me on Twitter

By Kerrie Flanagan

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, making us question whether or not we should stay in this writing game. But if you stay at the plate, sooner or later one is thrown right down the middle, giving you the chance to hit it out of the park.

For 17 years I have been in the game. I’ve experienced strike-outs, foul balls and bruises, along with some singles, doubles and triples. There have been many moments of landing on the base with my arms held in triumph knowing I did something right to get there. Whether it was getting an article published in a magazine, presenting at a local writer’s conference or self-publishing my books, I celebrated all these achievements.

Share a Post