Justine: A Few of My Favorite Sites

eight ladies writing, justine covington, favorite websitesThis past week has been a blur for me. I’ve been in the throes of calculating scores for the Diamonds in the Desert writing contest. Believe it or not, writers aren’t very good at math. One hundred sixty-two entries had to be verified…and I did them all. Thank goodness for Siri, because I could just summon her and ask her to calculate 4 + 18 + 12 + 15….you get the idea. She’s pretty accurate, too.

In lieu of an original post (because I burnt out all my brain cells doing math), I want to share a few of my favorite sites… Continue reading

Jilly: The Big Finish

The Big FinishI’m looking for recommendations and inspiration. Who do you think writes really great endings?

I’m not quite there yet – ask me again next week – but I’m close enough that endings are very much on my mind right now. I’m not the only one: check out this recent post by 8LW favorite Chuck Wendig, entitled ‘Why It’s Important To Finish Your Shit.’

As always, Chuck is spot on, but this time he’s preaching to the converted. I’ve had my head down, refused some really tempting social invitations, haven’t read a single new book in ages, because I really, really want to Finish My Shit. I want to enter the RWA 2015 Golden Heart contest for unpublished romance writers, which opens for entries in a couple of days’ time and closes on 12 January, though TBH that’s just an extra tasty carrot to make me push towards the finish line. More than anything I Continue reading

Justine: Five Weeks Analyzing Common Mistakes. Week 5: Get the F— Out of the Way of Your Story

Four weeks ago, I introduced the five common mistakes writers make in their first few pages, which Chuck Wendig originally posted on his blog, terribleminds. He identified these mistakes after critiquing several writers’ WIPs while at the Pike’s Peak Writers Conference. I then applied

to my current WIP.

This week is the last one…#5: Get The F— Out Of The Way Of Your Story

Chuck sums it up like this: “Get. To. The. Point.”

We’re merely the storytellers. What’s important is the story, so don’t bog the reader down with Continue reading

Justine: Five Weeks Analyzing Common Mistakes. Week 4: Make Something Happen

justine covington, chuck wendig, terriblemindsThree weeks ago, I introduced the five common mistakes writers make in their first few pages, which Chuck Wendig originally posted on his blog, terribleminds. He identified these mistakes after critiquing several writers’ WIPs while at the Pike’s Peak Writers Conference. I then applied #1: The First Page is Vital, #2: You’re Totally Overwriting, and #3: Character Above All Else to my current WIP.

This week is #4: Make Something Happen.

In his original post, Chuck said, “Your first page has bored me.” So we must endeavor to make it exciting by having our characters do something, not just sit around and talk (or, heaven forbid, think). However, he admits that this little piece of advice flies in the face of Continue reading

Justine: Five Weeks Analyzing Common Mistakes. Week 3: Character Above All Else

justine covington, eight ladies writing, chuck wendig, terriblemindsTwo weeks ago, I introduced the five common mistakes writers make in their first few pages, which Chuck Wendig originally posted on his blog, terribleminds. He identified these mistakes after critiquing several writers’ WIPs while at the Pike’s Peak Writers Conference. I then applied #1: The First Page is Vital  and #2: You’re Totally Overwriting to my WIP.

This week is #3: Character Above All Else.

Your characters are the most vital thing to your story. Without them, you have Continue reading

Justine: Five Weeks Analyzing Common Mistakes. Week 2: Overwriting

mistakes writers make, overwriting, justine covington, eight ladies writingLast week, I introduced the five common mistakes writers make in their first few pages, which Chuck Wendig originally posted on his blog, terribleminds. He identified these mistakes after critiquing several writers’ WIPs while at the Pike’s Peak Writers Conference. I then applied #1: The First Page is Vital to my own WIP. You can read that here.

This week, I’m taking on #2: You’re Totally Overwriting.

If Chuck had read my WIP, he’d have said I’m overwriting. A few of the Eight Ladies have told me to tighten. So have agents/editors. Even my aunt, who has published some non-fiction and poetry, said my work would be better if I would take out the second sentence anytime I described something.

*Ouch*

But they’re right. Continue reading

Justine: Five Weeks Analyzing Common Mistakes. Week 1: The First Page

justine covington, first page, writing, romance, novelI love Chuck Wendig. Well, not really. Rather, I love what he has to say. If you don’t follow his blog, terribleminds, you should. [In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that he uses quite a few…er… “colorful” words in his posts. I’m just warning you…]

Recently, Chuck wrote a post about some common mistakes writers make. He had been at the Pike’s Peak Writers Conference in Colorado and was asked to do blind critiques of the first page of several writers’ WIPs. He noticed five “themes” in what he read…the result was this amazing blog post. I suddenly saw with crystal clarity that I was doing Continue reading