Tag Archive 'CRAFT'

The Art of Creating Memorable Villains Whatever Your Genre

Today’s guest is Lisa Alber, author of Kilmoon, A County Clare Mystery. Lisa describes herself as “ever distractible,” and you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging round out her distractions. Lisa received an Elizabeth George Foundation writing […]

The Arts and Crafts of Writing Fiction

It’s A Bungalow? Are you familiar with the Arts and Crafts Movement? For many “Arts and Crafts” refers to a reproduction Morris chair in their den. For others it might evoke Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style or an antique Stickley dining set. Each of these is born of the A&C movement, but none of them […]

Why Are You Here?

It was the best of spring breaks, it was the worst of spring breaks. Two weeks. Yep, my kid’s private school takes off not one but two weeks. Did I mention it was two weeks? In March? When public schools aren’t out? When there’s only one week of sports camp offered? When babysitters–such as but […]

Pram in the Hall

You know that question everyone always asks writers? The one about what we do all day? In my experience most writers spend their days doing a lot of nothing — interspersed with trying in vain to organize vast teetering piles of books and papers, totally forgetting the thing we swore blind we’d be doing this […]

Gone

Only one machine stood between us and our goal: bringing our hockey-obsessed son to his first NHL game (Devils vs. Sharks) in Newark. The machine was a New Jersey Transit ticket kiosk in Manhattan’s Penn Station. No problem. The machines are fast. Slot your card, punch the screen and you’re on your way by rail […]

Anything for the Story: Tension

Today’s guest is Clayton Lindemuth, with a post about tension and author integrity because first, they are linked, and second, learning to let go of our nice selves is critical to good writing. If the reader doesn’t perceive the reality of the challenge or conflict facing the protagonist, the story is weak. His debut, Cold […]

Mentoring: Two-way Learning

Being a full-time writer means not only working every day on my novel, but also performing the multiplicity of tasks that go with the profession: book-keeping, research, editing, publicity and so on. As an established novelist, I also get asked to present workshops, participate in writers’ festivals, judge competitions and give talks in schools. The […]

Frog Marching the Muse: Eighteen Tips to Get Words on the Page

Two days ago, I turned in a manuscript that I truly feared I would never finish. That has never happened to me before, and to have it happen when the final installment in a trilogy was DUE NOW, was as potentially disastrous as it was unacceptable. Keep in mind that I am one of those […]

Further Down the Writer’s Path

Writers often find themselves confronted by the question, “What is emotional truth?” and the further question, “How do I put it on the page?” As someone who has taught and trained writers all over the world – and of course struggled with these questions myself – I find that writers go through predictable stages in […]

Characterize through Experiential Description, Part 2

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, […]

Learning from Old Favourites

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 […]

Warts and All

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 […]