Archive for the 'CRAFT' Category

Take Five: John Vorhaus on his latest novel, Poole’s Paradise

We’re thrilled to have John Vorhaus with us today to tell us a bit about his latest novel, Poole’s Paradise!

Q: Please describe your book in 104 words or less.

JV: POOLE’S PARADISE tells the story of earnest young Alexander Poole and his imperfect search for purpose. As a college sophomore in a small New England town in 1974, Poole craves purpose. He doesn’t know what it is or where to find it, but he’s determined to get him some. Unfortunately, his […]

Outlining: Why I Made the Switch and Tips for Trying It

By Flickr’s Thiophene_Guy

Our guest today is Elizabeth S. Craig who writes the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, the Memphis Barbeque mysteries for Penguin/Berkley, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She shares writing-related links on Twitter and curates links for the free Writer’s Knowledge Base. Her most recent book is Death Pays a Visit. From ForeWord on Myrtle Clover: “The treat here is Myrtle’s eccentricity, brought to life with rich humor and executed…with breezy skill.”

If there are […]

The Gate We Should Have Kept: And Was Mystique That Bad?

 

One of the most perceptive regulars in #FutureChat, The FutureBook digital publishing community’s weekly live discussion, is Carla Douglas of BeyondPaperEditing.com in Kingston, Ontario.

And in a recent doing of the discussion, Douglas pointed out that writing, while once among the most isolated and solitary of careers has been made one of the most social by digital communication.

Douglas is always more graceful than I am in these insights of hers.

My iteration of her comment would be that the imperatives of self-promotion through social […]

The Point of Writing

Flickr Creative Commons: Jason Eppink

There’s a lot of talk these days about getting yourself a presence on social media, upping your profile, selling yourself, marketing your work, using every angle and every connection in order to “get out there,” hustle your product, hit the bestseller lists, make a splash.

This post is just to remind you that none of this is what writing is about.

Writing is about finding out who you are, what you have to say that is not […]

Everything I Need to Know About Character, I Learned From Buffy

Which is more important, plot or character?  It’s one of life’s great dichotomies, like the question of nature vs. nurture or Coke vs. Pepsi.  And like most great dichotomies, the answer is:  all of the above.

So it didn’t surprise me when last month’s column on Joss Whedon’s gifts with plot triggered a discussion that quickly strayed over into his gifts with character.  I thought the question deserved its own column.

To recap for those of you unfamiliar with the Buffyverse, Buffy […]

Writers, UnPlugged: Lessons from the Writer Unboxed UnConference

I’m writing this on the Saturday morning following the Writer Unboxed Unconference in Salem, still under the spell of the one of the most amazing weeks ever. It was the absolute best, hands-down, no doubt about it, most transformative writing conference I’ve ever been to – and I have been to a lot. I want to go on to say that other conferences had their fabulous moments, too, because sheesh, you don’t want to offend anyone, and it is true. […]

The Five Stages of New Writers’ Grief

© iStockphoto.com

Earlier this year, at an online forum for writers that I frequent, I watched a familiar scenario play itself out. A new member joined the forum, full of excitement (and not a small amount of hubris) about the novel he’d just completed. As he posted his early attempts at a query letter for others to review and critique, two things quickly became clear:

He was convinced the rest of the forum would be utterly dazzled by his unmatched literary […]

On Not Giving Up

This week, my new adult novel, first in a big new series called Trinity, is coming out.

I’m going to be celebrating even more than usual, because this one’s had a long hard road to publication, with nearly four years and several rejections before it was accepted. Even though I’m a well-established author with many books to my name, it looked like this one was fated to remain homeless. ‘Too different’ seemed to be the verdict. A mix of urban fantasy, […]

Creating Living Breathing Dialog

By Torley (Flickr’s CC)

Today’s guest is Sally Wiener Grotta, an author and journalist whose books include Jo Joe and just-released The Winter Boy. Sally’s a consummate storyteller, reflecting her deep humanism and appreciation for the poignancy of life; and she’s also an award-winning journalist who has authored hundreds of articles, columns, and reviews for magazines, newspapers, and online publications. Sally gives occasional writing workshops and speaks frequently on the business of writing, and she has co-authored numerous non-fiction books.

My fictional characters […]

On Reviews and How (Not) to Take Them

I got the call from my husband two weeks ago, the one you never want to get. While at the park, our oldest daughter (age 7) had fallen and broken her arm. (My girl is something of a tree-climbing-roller-skating-bike-riding daredevil. Yet she managed to get a fairly spectacular compound fracture–her first–falling less than 4 feet off the toddler section of the playground. Really? Yup).

She was absolutely incredibly brave about the whole experience, from the ambulance ride to the hospital to […]

The Meaning of Everything

Photo by Donald Maass

It was my son’s seventh birthday.  We asked what he wanted.  He told us.  And so…

…we got a puppy.

A boy and his dog.  Growing up  together.  How sweet.  How classic.  Our son is adopted.  He comes from a hard place.  He has struggled to attach, a long process of pendulum swings from safety to fear and back again.  What a perfect gift for this boy we love so much: a puppy all his own to love […]

Justifying Evil

 

Photographer Unknown

No, this isn’t another post about the Amazon-Hachette imbroglio.

I recently took part (along with WU’s Donald Maas) in the Surrey International Writers Conference outside Vancouver, absolutely one of the best literary powwows I’ve ever attended, and I’ve been to scads. (Sadly, I’m unable to attend the WU Un-conference beginning today. I have no doubt it’s even powwowier!)

One of the workshops I gave at the Surrey conference was titled Beyond Good and Evil: Using Moral Argument to Develop Plot […]