Thursday, January 17, 2019

Wants and Needs

By Ronda Simmons

In one way or another, all writers are storytellers, and all great stories boil down to the same essential elements: the hero or heroes want something, and to get it, they need something. Wants and Needs. 

There are two parts to every story: the plot is the thing that is happening on the surface with concrete goals and challenges; the theme is the thing happening below the surface, the spiritual journey. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Perfect Editing Strategy

By Brian Kaufman

Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.

Patricia Fuller

Writers have ticks. Those little muscle memory problems our brain slips into our drafts without us noticing. We may share similar habits or those habits can be wildly disparate.

Editing is a difficult but crucial skill. Reportedly, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Louis L'Amour never edited. They are fine authors but sometimes writing is a craft, not magic. In a perfect world, we are channeling both.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Regarding Rockets And Writing

By  Jack Matthews

We've reset the calendar. Writers, all of us, are making goals, ramping up projects, and looking to launch. It takes planning to make sure things don't blow up on take off.

We started with an idea and built a framework with all the necessary parts—a beginning containing a motor with enough thrust to drive the thing to apogee; a middle—or sustainer—to keep opening and end firmly in touch with one another; and an end containing all the ingredients necessary for a successful, satisfying, and perhaps surprising landing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

That Pesky Fine Print

by David E. Sharp

Time to talk about some of the nitty-gritty side of publishing. I'm talking contracts! You've landed the deal, you're looking over the papers, and you need to figure out whether this is the deal for you.

Quick disclaimer: I am no expert in contracts, legal ins-and-outs or any of the "biz" side of publishing. Thank goodness for literary agents in a confusing labyrinth of the publishing world. I cannot offer any legal advice.

But I can talk about my own experiences.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Jingle Bells, sort of

By Ronda Simmons

Writing Days

(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

(with apologies to James Lord Pierpont)

Dashing down some prose
On a three espresso day
To writer's group I'll go
Buzzing all the way

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

We are Us and They are We

by Laura Mahal (She/her) 

A short detour down a Rabbit Trail to a path called "Pronouns"

It’s okay if you don’t know who Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla, Rafaella Gabriela Sarsaparilla, and Albert Andreas Armadillo are, nor what their relationship is to one another or to a kangaroo, an aardvark, and a rhinoceros. 

If curiosity is going to keep you up at night, a Schoolhouse Rock video will happily dance off your screen and into your ears, if you click here: Schoolhouse Rock--Pronouns.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Writing inspiration comes from the pigskin

Image result for American football images

In the fall I have several literary routines:

1.     Read my New York Times
2.     Delve into one of the past issues of the New Yorker Magazine
3.     Review my writing from the work week
4.     Curl up with the novel I’m currently reading
5.     Spend copious hours watching college and professional football

Number five may not seem like a writerly endeavor, but football has more to offer writers than an excuse not to write.

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