Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tuesday Choice Words is changing

I've enjoyed bringing you writing advice gems over the past few months but recently my writing workload has gone into overdrive, reducing the amount of time I have to find 'choice words' to share. Tuesday Choice Words is therefore changing tact. Each week, I shall bring you one link and either an image, podcast or a YouTube clip. They'll still be the best I can find. Here's this week's offerings.

The Shape of a Story is a useful discussion on the Writers Musings site. How do you 'shape' your stories?



Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

Synopses: The Nitty and the Gritty is an incredibly useful article by Mindy Klasky on the Magical Words site. I'm keeping it at hand for my own synopsis.

How Ian Fleming Turned James Bond Into A Bestseller is an interesting article on the Write to Done site.

Novellas and unconventional routes to publication is a podcast by Iain Broome.

World Building Tips Learned at the Louvre is a useful article on The Other Side of the Story.

Finally, a wondeful film of Fay Weldon and her thoughts on writing.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sharing Our Writing

As writers, we often get very nervous about sharing our work. A cutting critique can frighten us back into our caves while our reaction to praise can occasionally be disbelief. Baring our soul (through our writing) can be a torturous path to walk.

Friends and family may be diplomatic in their response or we can feel their over-the-top reaction of 'wow' or 'well done, this is wonderful' is not heartfelt or earned. On the flipside, if they are critical of our work, we can feel hurt.

Other writers can be incredibly critical because they are approaching our work from the way they write which isn't necessarily the same as ours. Their voice is their own as our voice is individual to us.

Even a professional critique can leave us heartbroken or confused.

The problem is often with our own attitude to our work rather than that of other people. We have invested so much time and emotion in our writing that it has become an extension of ourselves. We want everyone to love it and understand it and appreciate it as much as we do. The problem is that adoration and praise, although wonderful in themselves, are not as helpful as they may seem.

The value of constructive criticism is that it shows us where to go with our writing, which sections work, which don't, which are almost there but need to be improved. That is much more helpful than a "lovely" here or a "well done" there.

If we can remove our emotional reaction from the equation and ask for honest feedback then there really is nothing to fear or lose. At its most useful, feedback will arm us for the next re-write. At the worst, it will inform us that we can't please everyone with our writing.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

Take Two: When to Start a Sequel is an interesting post on the Other Side of the Story.

When just write is not enough talks about breaking through your insecurities to write. It's from Em's place, the website of writer, Emma Newman.

Help! My Book Isn't Selling is an informative article by Joanna Penn on her site, The Creative Penn.

“Don’t be afraid to write out of order. I used to write every book from first sentence to last, but the ideas don’t always come that way. Rather than hope you remember what you want to write later, enter down on your manuscript and write whatever scene is speaking to you at the moment. And if you use Scrivener, just create a new section and type away. The ideas come out best when you go with the flow, even if that flow is out of order.” Kelly Hashway, writer

Finally, a video, 'Top Ten Writing Rules From Famous Writers'.


Friday, 10 May 2013

What I Live For

Today, I'm taking part in 'What I Live For', an online event organised by author Satya Robyn. People like me all over the world will be sharing what gives their lives meaning. In Satya Robyn's novel, 'Thaw', Ruth gives herself three months to decide whether she can find a reason to carry on living.

When I initially thought about what gives my life meaning, I instantly thought of my family. My children and my husband are what I live for. That seemed like the right answer and yet something was missing. Life carried on as normal, school runs, family meals, bills to pay, and still that 'something' eluded me.

During a writing session, the 'something' tapped me on the shoulder with a cheerful 'ta-dah' and I wondered why I hadn't seen it in the first place.

What I live for is not only my family, those three souls who have dragged me through a roller coaster of house moves, tantrums and laughter over the last decade, but for what we are together. I live for the memories we have built and revisit every week. I live for the things we share, good and bad. I live for the stories we have written together and the hardships we have overcome. I live for the stories we 'will' write in years to come, the paths we will walk and the future we will build together. It's a cliche, I know, but we truly are more together than we are as four individuals.

I live for the rich, enchanting experience that spending my days with my family brings. What do you live for?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

Three Keys to Writing Memorable Fiction is a guest post by Ruth Harris on Anne R Allen's blog.

Why Writing Had Made Me An Emotional Wreck is a fascinating read from Joanna Penn on her site The Creative Penn.

How to Write a Killer Space Adventure Without Breaking the Speed of Light is an excellent article on sci fi writing from io9.

Steven Pressfield explores the concept of perseverance in "In the End, We'll Succeed".

How Practicing My Pitch Helped Me Write a Better Book is a fascinating and informative article on the diy MFA site. Well worth a read.