It was 5 years ago that I wrote a post for Writer Unboxed on using experiential description to add characterization to a narrative. Pause for HOLY COW, 5 YEARS!? Yep, it was 2007. My, how time gallops. I coined the phrase “experiential description” to express the blending of a character’s perceptions of a setting, person, [...]
Tag Archive 'CRAFT'
So you need to write. And you love to read. How do you find time for both? Some people don’t read for pleasure at all while engrossed in a writing project (such self-discipline!) Some limit what they read, steering clear of their own genre – a writer of historical romance might read true crime; an [...]
The title of this post comes from a (probably apocryphal) story about Oliver Cromwell asking to have his portrait painted without any of the flattering techniques of portraits of the time–he wanted to be shown as he really looked, ‘warts and all’. I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about what this phrase means to us [...]
Have you ever seen a plot turn coming miles away? It’s like knowing that the too large Christmas gift in the corner, the one with a blanket thrown over it, is really a bicycle. It’s nice to get a bicycle but there’s not much surprise. The same letdown occurs when characters act exactly as expected. [...]
“It sounds like your stuff.”—Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury I was talking to my friend M. Terry Green the other day about the extraordinary number of twentysomethings online in this virtual era, and she asked me, “Weren’t you too busy to blog in your twenties?” I said, “I was too drunk to blog in my twenties.” This [...]
Today’s guest is bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her second historical fiction novel, After the Fog, is set in 1948 Donora, Pennsylvania. The mill town’s ”killing smog” was one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, triggering clean air advocacy and eventually, the Clean Air Act. Kathleen’s debut novel, The Last Letter, sold more than 50,000 copies and garnered multiple awards in 2011, [...]
Kath here. Please welcome back L. B. Gale to WU. The response to her first guest post with us was so positive, we asked her back for another, and happily, she agreed! L.B. works in education as a literacy specialist in New York City. She studied comparative mythology and fantasy literature for her Master’s degree at the [...]
A couple of years ago my husband rediscovered basketball. He used to like it as a kid, but grew up and became a bookworm-musician and gave up the television. Like, completely gave it up. Coworkers of his once asked him how he could dislike TV when “it asks so little and gives so much.” He [...]
Actually, for a writer, the tomayto/tomahto thing doesn’t matter as it’s all in the pronunciation. But those of us who are published in separate US and UK/Australian editions do have to face a string of differences: got vs gotten, further vs farther and practise vs practice, for instance, not to speak of the Oxford comma [...]
Humble thanks to Jenna for yesterday’s priceless wisdom! I couldn’t agree more that superfluous forays into the past weigh a story down and should be slashed. And that writers should learn to recognize and kill off those darlings, no matter how painful. Jenna’s books are shining examples. But I’m also worried. It seems that an [...]
Brunonia Barry on Painting in the Blanks
It isn’t the blank page that I find terrifying. It’s the idea of beginning. I can easily put words on a page, that’s not the problem. I often begin a new novel by doing something I’ve heard described as “clearing your throat.” I usually write fifty to a hundred pages that I will never use, but within those pages I often discover the entire back story of each character and the journey those characters will take together.
I’m about to dig into the revisions my editor and agent have suggested for my next book, (How To Bake A Perfect Life, out in January). It’s a complex story with a fairly large cast of characters and a complicated time structure. The tale is set in a bakery, more specifically a boulangerie, which is [...]