Archive for the 'CRAFT' Category

Take 5: Heather Webb and RODIN’S LOVER

We’re thrilled to have our own Heather Webb here today. A self-described writer, editor, blogger, foodie, and culture nut, she’s also the author of RODIN’S LOVER (Plume) out on January 27, 2015, as well as BECOMING JOSEPHINE.

Take 5: Heather Webb and RODIN’S LOVER

Q: What’s the premise of your new book?

In RODIN’S LOVER, Camille Claudel, collaborator, student, and lover to the famed Auguste Rodin, struggles against the male-dominated art world—and her burgeoning madness—in Belle Époque era Paris to make a name […]

Doing the Work

Today’s guest is Robin Antalek author of The Grown Ups (William Morrow, 2015) and The Summer We Fell Apart (Harper Collins, 2010) which was chosen as a Target Breakout Book. Robin’s non-fiction work has been published at The Weeklings, The Nervous Breakdown, and collected in the following anthologies: The Beautiful Anthology; Writing off Script: Writers on the Influence of Cinema; and The Weeklings: Revolution #1 Selected Essays 2012-1013. Her short fiction has appeared in Salon, 52 Stories, Five Chapters, Sun Dog, […]

Forthwringing Tonguishness

A client recently asked me why English is so bizarre.  She was trying to explain its quirks to a precocious, bi-lingual eight-year-old, and not doing very well.  Not that I did much better – English is a genuinely freaky language, with random spelling rules, no particular sentence structure, and far more words than any reasonable language needs.  Part of the reason it’s so confused is that it’s perfectly happy to steal useful words from just about anywhere it can get […]

What the Incredible Hulk Can Teach Us about Emotion in Fiction

Today’s guest is Harrison Demchick, an award-winning, twice-optioned screenwriter, and author of the literary horror novel The Listeners. Harrison came up in the world of small press publishing, working along the way on more than three dozen published novels and memoirs. An expert in manuscripts as diverse as young adult, science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, literary fiction, women’s fiction, memoir, and everything in-between, Harrison is known for quite possibly the most detailed and informative editorial letters in the industry.

Of his post today, Harrison […]

So Shall You Reap? Success and ‘Investment’ at #DBW15

Image – iStockphoto: PazzoPhoto

Shot Out of a Cannon

I’m told that there are people who find the holidays restful. I have yet to meet one of these extraordinary creatures, but I think they would find holding the publishing industry’s first grand-slam conference of the year in the second week of January to be a dandy thing. Bright-tailed and bushy-eyed, they’d dash out, we must assume, tinsel still in their hair, ready to take on the rigors of Digital Book World’s […]

Tolerating Uncertainty (and Inefficiency)

photo by Flickr’s Claire L. Evans

I love having a plan, a detailed goal that I can accomplish based on my own timeline. When I was seven, for example, I made a list of things I wanted to purchase. 1. Olivia Newton John record 2. Red clogs 3. Beaded moccasins 4. Mrs. Grossman stickers.

I included the cost of each item, as well as when, based on chores and allowance and collecting out-of-town neighbors’ mail, I’d have saved the money. I got that Olivia Newton John record. […]

How Much Has Changed in 13 Years

In my previous post, I wrote about how my first adult novel in thirteen years had been recently published. Since then, I’ve been observing first-hand just how much the literary landscape has changed for genre fiction writers since my last adult novel came out, in 2001. Some of these changes have surprised me, and not because I’ve been out of the publishing scene for 13 years; I’ve been right in it all along, only in the area of YA and […]

Take Five with David Corbett on The Craft of Character

WU contributor David Corbett, author of four novels (The Devil’s Redhead, Done for a Dime, Blood of Paradise, and Do They Know I’m Running), and a must-have craft book for writers called The Art of Character, is teaching an online class about The Craft of Character this month. David is no stranger to teaching, having taught for the UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program, Book Passage, 826 Valencia and numerous writing conferences across the US, and we know from his posts with us here that […]

Some Thoughts On Quiet Books, Timing, and the Ever Elusive Market

photo by afternoon_sunlight

This is a tricky conversation we’re about to have. For years we’ve encouraged you to dig deep and tell your most personal, individual stories using your unique voice. But once you’ve honed your skills and excavated your most powerful voice—then what? What if you build it and nobody comes? What if the stories you’re driven to tell are quiet ones? Or don’t hit the current market sweet spot? Or have already been done a hundred times before?

Because […]

Stirring Higher Emotions

“Pure Joy” Photo by Deborah Downes

What was the most emotional day of your life?  Google for people’s stories and you’ll read a lot that are probably like your own: birth, death, betrayal, trauma, marriage, divorce, miscarriage, failure, second chance, recovery, a dream achieved, a confession of love, getting a helping hand.

Now, those are events.  Let’s look at the emotions they evoke, for these are strong feelings and ones we’d like readers to feel as they read our fiction.  We’re […]

In Praise of Quitting

In our culture, being a quitter isn’t generally seen as a good thing.  We value determination, drive, commitment, and the willingness to carry a task through all the way to the end.  And rightly so.  Determination and commitment and all the rest are admirable qualities to have– and they’re essential to us as writers.  I’ve always felt that one of the deadly sins of the unpublished writer (ie the sins that will stop her from ever getting published) is to […]

Why We Write, Why We Stop, and How We Can Possibly Restart and Keep Going

photo by Sebastien Wiertz

I put out a call on Facebook a few days ago, asking writers who aren’t writing, why they aren’t writing. (I know some of my own reasons.) Of course, not writing because you know your creative process and the value of fallow fields is good. I’m interested in reaching out to those who’d rather be writing and aren’t or, for some reason or another, can’t. Here are some unrefined thoughts on the subject. (If I were […]