by Ellen Plotkin Mulholland
Opportunity. Events. Writing a good story involves opportunities and events. It’s how you combine the two that moves the story along. I like to write with an event in mind and bring in opportunities to move my plot.
My nephew reminds me of another recipe for writing. Children see the world two ways, it’s obvious, it’s mysterious. When it rains, carry an umbrella. When you see a puddle, jump in it. It’s obvious. But why does it rain? How do clouds manage to float in the sky and not fall on our heads? Continue reading
Recently the good folks who run the Indies Unlimited website asked me to start contributing a monthly column on the writing profession. They suggested I talk about my experiences and feelings on being a writer. I mentioned that might cause severe depression leading to mass suicide among the site’s followers. But the webmasters don’t care whether you live or die, so here we are.
Like many people who make their living as writers, I have a love/hate relationship with the craft. While you sometimes love the feeling of turning out a piece of finely phrased prose, unless you are one of the tiny handful of writers who are vastly successful, you pretty much hate everything else about the business. You don’t make much money, frequently have to write on topics that don’t interest you to make any money at all, often have to deal with editors who either don’t have the time or the interest to give your story the attention you feel it deserves, suffer bouts of writer’s block, feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, jealousy, and have to deal with massive amounts of rejection. And that’s all on a good day. Continue reading
by Deb Borys
You’re driving a manual shift vehicle up a steep incline. The engine is laboring in high gear, choking and sputtering. If you don’t do something soon, you’re going to stall out. So you press down the clutch, flip the shifter knob into first gear, and slowly ease the pedal up to engage the engine once again. If you do it right, you’re home free, but if you miss the gear, if your foot slips or moves too quickly or slowly, you’re dead in the—well, on the hill.
Wait, you thought this post was going to be about writing? You have an automatic transmission, right, or take the bus? You don’t need driving lessons, but inspiration or insights into the mysteries of a writer’s world. Continue reading
by Jacqueline Hopkins-Walton
Do you get hung up on rules about writing? Rules that everyone in the writing industry is telling you that you must follow in order to get a book written and even published?
Lin Robinson wrote five blog posts about breaking the rules (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5). I pondered if his list is why I am struggling with my writing lately…or for the past fifteen years.
Now if you did a google search on rules of good fiction writing, you get a long list of rules. From seven rules to ten rules to sixteen rules; from rules on short fiction writing to writing fiction to writing historical fiction, novel, poetry, and creative writing, and I have a feeling the list goes on and on and on. I didn’t click on Google’s next page of lists, I don’t have time to read about more rules since the ones I hear about now or have known about years ago are keeping me from writing and completing the next book. Continue reading
Good morning Minions. The Evil Mastermind asked me to speak to you today on a subject that is close to his heart –
Now I know the P-word can strike fear into the hearts of the bravest of you, but it is a subject that must be addressed. We are all writers. Writing is how we produce prose, and prose is how we earn our daily gruel.
But what happens when our Muse refuses to co-operate? What happens when that gender-neutral beast sits in its cage, sulking and refusing to come out?
We get no gruel, that’s what.
I can see by your faces that most of you know what it’s like to own a stubborn Muse, the kind that forces you to stare at a blank screen for hours on end, or goes on strike mid-way through a piece, leaving you to face a deadline on your own.
It is well documented that such Muses can play havoc with a writer’s life. But what, if anything, can we do about it? Continue reading