Elizabeth: Beat Refresher

As I mentioned last week, I’ve recently been working my way though an iPod full of writing podcasts that I have accumulated over the past several years.  The most recent one was a 2014 StoryWonk Sunday podcast called Dodge ex Machina.  The podcast, which featured Lani Diane Rich, is now defunct, but the insights on story and craft and a whole lot more are still valuable.

This particular podcast provided a great example, via an improv session, on how to structure the beats in a scene.  I found the reminder very helpful, so I thought I’d share the information here, just in case anyone else out there would like a refresher.  It’s also a fun exercise that you may want to do on your own, or may want to try with an actual scene you are working on (or may be stuck on).

So, let’s get started. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Story Improv

writing_sessionMy To-Be-Read pile of books is eclipsed only by my To-Be-Listened-To collection of podcasts. In an attempt to make some headway, I’ve been listening to a podcast instead of my usual playlist during my gym workouts (bonus: it makes the time go by faster). Right now I’m working my way through the StoryWonk Sunday writing podcasts by Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens.  The podcasts ran from 2012 through 2014, but discussions about story and narrative don’t go out of style and there have been some really thought-provoking discussions.

Anyway, in one of the episodes I listened to last week they did an improv segment Continue reading

Nancy: Links, Learning, and Laughs

Surfer's View

While Jilly’s been building her TBR list for her staycation later this summer, I’ve been out surfing. Sadly (or on second thought, happily), this hasn’t involved a longboard or bitchin’ waves. I’ve been surfing the web from the safety of my own home, and I’ve run across some great writing- and story-related inspiration. Here are links to a few of the sites I’ve enjoyed the most this past week. If you’ve run across a must-see website for hopeless procrastinators writers, please share in the comments!

A different kind of writing book. First up is a link to a book. I’ve known about and been anticipating this release for months. No, it’s not a sweeping romance, a cozy mystery, or a great women’s fiction read. Continue reading

Kat: Featuring Lani Diane Rich, NYT Bestselling Author

Lucy March, Lani Diane Rich

“That Touch of Magic” by Lucy March

Today is Halloween (Happy Haunting, everyone!) . Even more exciting, today is the eve of the start of NaNoWriMo 2014. For these reasons (and more), I think it altogether appropriate to introduce you to the first previously unpublished author to publish a NaNoWriMo manuscript. Lani Diane Rich wrote her first book, “Time Off for Good Behavior” during NaNoWriMo. To top that feat, she won the Rita Award for “Best First Book” proving critics who said a good book could not be written in thirty days, wrong.

I came to Lani’s party late. If it hadn’t been for our McD professor talking about her BFF’s and writing partners, “Lani” and “Krissy” (Author Anne Stuart), I never would have picked up one of her books. Both Lani and Krissy sounded like funny, smart women. Women I could hang out with, but since asking for an introduction seemed inappropriate (read, stalker), I reached for their books instead. And really, isn’t that the best way to hang out with a writer? Continue reading