Michaeline: Let’s Have Fun With Writer’s Block! Strategy #2

Give your characters a new dimension through home puppet theater! (Photo: Michaeline Duskova)

Give your characters a new dimension through home puppet theater! (Photo: Michaeline Duskova)

Today’s strategy: Tunnel under writer’s block with home puppet theater!

Before I started writing for real, I made stories with my sister. During the long summer vacations in Nebraska, we’d watch soap operas in the morning, and in the afternoon we’d hang out in the cool basement with our Barbies and create new stories of betrayal and love and intrigue. We only had one Ken doll, which gave our stories a nice triangle status. After that, we were only limited by our imaginations and our crafting skills. (-: Fortunately, we had very good imaginations.

So, strategy number two for overcoming writer’s block is Continue reading

Nancy: The Value of Good Writing

Write a Good OneIn the years since indie publishing has gotten a toe-hold, there has been a debate raging in the industry about the quality, viability, and even the right of this form of publishing to survive. Traditional publishing has trumpeted the importance of selectivity, of professional gatekeepers who  keep unskilled or ‘not-ready-for-primetime’ writers from taking up readers’ valuable time and physical bookstores’ coveted shelf space.

Indie publishers, who are themselves authors, have decried a system that depends on just the right story in just the right genre crossing the desk of just the right gatekeeper on a day when said gatekeeper hasn’t had a fight with his/her spouse or child or family pet…you can see where this is going. The odds of getting struck by lightning often seem higher than those of being plucked out of writing obscurity and dropped into a publishing contract. It is not only poor writing keeping writers out of the market, indie supporters argue; it’s also publishers with myopic vision who tend to chase one trend to death, then drop it like a hot potato for the next must-have trend.

And even for writers who’ve made it past the gatekeepers once, what are the odds of getting struck by lightning twice, in the form of a decent marketing budget and time to build a name and a following? Not great, and getting worse by the day, along with the onerous terms and conditions of publishing contracts.

And among all this hub-bub and hallabaloo are the readers, who have taken a firm stand in the traditional versus indie Continue reading

Justine: Make Your Dream Happen

Note: this is a repost, but very timely as I settle in for a week of intensive learning at Margie’s Lawson’s Immersion Master Class in the lower peaks of Colorado. The goal? Learn the craft and learn it well. So I can do what I dreamed about almost a year ago.

sleepingI’ve always been jealous of Nancy and Kat and the other Eight Ladies who can go to bed thinking about their story and actually dream up things that will happen. I hardly ever remember my dreams.

Until last night. Continue reading

Jeanne: On (Not) Getting Published

On (Not) Getting PublishedThis post is for everyone out there who’s been writing for a while, but hasn’t gotten published.

It’s about dealing with the gnawing feeling that you’re this sad, pathetic person who has no talent, but can’t let go of the dream. It’s about feeling like one day people will be hanging around your coffin (a velvet-lined box containing a sleeping version of yourself that looks like one of those old black and white photographs someone has brightened up with colored pencils), talking about how you never gave up on writing even though it never got you anywhere. And because people don’t like to speak ill of the dead, at least not directly in front of your open coffin, they’ll say that in pseudo-admiring tones, but inside they’ll be thinking, a la Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon.”

I’ve been writing Continue reading