I made it to my mostly annual homage to RWA for a hefty shot of fiction-writing craft. I, however, made it late as my flight was delayed for three hours. (Note to self – come a day early next year.) I missed the session I really wanted to hit today (Writing Emotion: Opening a Vein with Virginia Kantra) which was a double whammy because it isn’t a recorded session. But my first and only session for today was worth the price of admission. Michael Hauge’s Seducing Your Readers in Chapter 1 was exactly what I needed in the here and now for two reasons. The big reason is that I’m rewriting my first manuscript, which sucks because I wrote it before I had taken any craft classes. The bones are good, but it needs work and I’ve been working on the opening with some success. Today’s session gave me fabulous ideas and motivation and confirmation that I’m on the right track. Woot! The second smaller reason is that I’m reading an old Christina Dodd, and when I came back to the room tonight for some much needed down time (this conference is extremely intense), I picked it up and found a passage that is a good example of one of the things Hauge talked about. Continue reading
November, with NaNoWriMo, is a ready-made time to get some words on the page. Thousands of other people are writing at the same time, there is a tool to track your progress, and there are dozens of individuals, both on the NaNo site and on their own blogs, who are offering advice and encouragement. As a plus, it’s getting dark earlier and earlier these days, making curling up with a good story (your own, of course), an appealing choice.
Last year, there were 431,626 official NaNoWriMo participants, and since its inception, there have been over 250 traditionally published NaNoWriMo novels plus an unknown number of non-traditionally published ones.
Last week, once I realized that November was right around the corner, I Continue reading
Recently I’ve been working on the contemporary romance story I drafted during November’s NaNo writing blitz. One of the areas that I’m struggling with is making my hero and heroine’s happily-ever-after believable. I need both my characters and their relationship to grow and develop enough so that there is no doubt that they will be together long after the book is closed and put back on the shelf.
To do so, I need to answer the question: What do you need to “see” during the course of a story that will convince you two characters are going to stay together?
It’s not a trivial question. Continue reading
Well, you’re in luck. Fresh off the presses, it’s an early edition of Friday Writing Sprints. With Fall in full swing, the days getting shorter, and NaNoWriMo just around the corner, what better time than today to do a little writing.
Before we get started, let’s stretch our creativity with a few minutes of Opening Line(s) Improv.
The opening line(s) of a story have a lot of jobs to do. As the writer’s invitation to the reader, they need to set the tone, catch the reader’s interest, indicate the conflict, and more. That’s a lot of responsibility to put onto a few dozen words.
While it’s actually considered a story, rather than an opening, the line below is a great example of how to pack a world of meaning in just a few words. Continue reading