Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Links of Interest

FORENSICS: Bruises on the body and what they show.


http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/q-a-can-the-bruise-patterns-on-my-victim-be-matched-to-the-attacker’s-hands/


PROMOTION: Using Goodreads to promote.


http://www.publetariat.com/sell/promote-your-book-goodreads-network


PROMOTION: Agents' advice on promotion.


http://magicalwords.net/lucienne-diver/2841/


CRAFT: Improving the middle of the novel.


http://juliemusil.blogspot.com/2010/08/spicing-up-middle.html


VIEWPOINT: Picking the right viewpoint in your novel.


http://beyondthemargins.com/2010/10/view-to-a-kill-finding-the-best-point-of-view/


SERIES: Starting a series.


http://lydiasharp.blogspot.com/2010/10/special-guest-post-debut-series-writing.html


NaNo WRITE: Choosing a good idea.


http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/10/nanowrimo-boot-camp-choosing-right-idea.html


CHARACTERS: Why a character shouldn't be too perfect.


http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/character-development-ken-and-barbie-vs-the-seven-deadly-sins/


NaNo WRITE: Ten things to do to make it easier.


http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2010/10/nanoten.html


GOALS AND OBSTACLES:


http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/10/nanowrimo-boot-camp-goals-and-obstacles.html


SUBTEXT:


http://jordanmccollum.com/2010/10/subtext/


POISONOUS PLANTS FOR MURDERS:


http://clarissadraper.blogspot.com/2010/10/mystery-writers-guide-to-forensic_26.html


WHY QUERY PITCHES DON'T WORK:


http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2010/10/after-200-webinar-pitches.html



~*~


Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information LInks

http://marilynnbyerly.com/workshopschedule.html



FINAL CHANCE TO REGISTER: "The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question" November 1-28, 2010. writersonline.com.


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you write a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON: "Deconstructing Jim Butcher's STORM FRONT" November 8-13, 2010. Savvyauthors.com


Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. I will analyze STORM FRONT, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. I will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The Reader and Writer Agreement

Any form of fiction is an agreement between the writer and the reader. The writer says, I will tell you a story, and you will believe it while you are reading it.


The reader agrees that, as long as the story remains true to its own telling and is interesting, he will keep reading and believe what he is reading. This is often called suspension of disbelief.


The writer can create the most bizarre rules imaginable for the way his world works and have creatures that aren't possible in the real world, but there are two rules he can't break.


He must have his humans behave as humans should, and he must not break his own rules. To do either ruins the story.


~*~


ROMANCE WRITERS 1, SHAKESPEARE 0

"Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love." William Shakespeare, As You Like It

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person can die from a broken heart.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/broken-heart-syndrome/DS01135

~*~


Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information Links

http://marilynnbyerly.com/workshopschedule.html



"The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question" November 1-28, 2010. writersonline.com.


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you write a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.



"Deconstructing Jim Butcher's STORM FRONT" November 8-13, 2010. Savvyauthors.com


Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. I will analyze STORM FRONT, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. I will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Links of Interest

ONLINE SECURITY: The importance of watching what you say online.


http://www.pcworld.com/article/207595/youve_been_scraped_feel_violated.html?tk=nl_dnx_h_crawl


GOALS: Sometimes, even a minor goal will do in a scene.


http://www.genreality.net/dramatic-tension


AGENTS: Links to posts about why agents do what they do with querying authors.


http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/10/agentfail.html


THE BEST WRITING ADVICE: Article 1 of 4. I won't link to the rest.


http://pimpmynovel.blogspot.com/2010/10/tip-o-day-part-1-of-4.html


SOFTWARE: Free programs for journaling. Most are MS with some Mac and Linux.


http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2010/10/journal-for-free-ten.html


BODY LANGUAGE: A writing cliche? How to avoid the cliche while using body language.


http://talktoyouniverse.blogspot.com/2010/10/body-language-are-there-cliches.html


MARKET WARNING: Primarily for the horror market. A plagiarist who solicits works for various magazines then publishes it under his own name.


http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2010/10/cold-iron-david-boyer-plagiarist.html


NaNoWrite ARTICLE RESOURCES:


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/10/19/MakeYourNaNoWriMoExperienceCount4ExcellentPosts.aspx


YET MORE RESOURCES:


http://writingwhilethericeboils.blogspot.com/2010/10/research-links-for-writers.html


EVEN MORE NaNo RESOURCES

http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2010/10/nanofun.html


BAD OPENING PAGES: Why those first page are bad.


http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-do-those-opening-pages-fail.html



~*~


Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information LInks

http://marilynnbyerly.com/workshopschedule.html



"The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question" November 1-28, 2010. writersonline.com.


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you write a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


"Deconstructing Jim Butcher's STORM FRONT" November 8-13, 2010. Savvyauthors.com


Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. I will analyze STORM FRONT, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. I will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Layers of Meaning, CRAFT

QUESTION: My college lit instructors always annoyed me by saying there were levels of meaning in most novels. How can they know these things. They aren't the author. Can't a story just be a story? When I write, I just write a story, not layers. Am I doing something wrong?


If you saw AVATAR, I bet you didn't see everything on the screen. There were simply too many things going on visually to see everything, but you still understood the movie.


A really good book is like that. It has a simple layer that almost anyone can understand, but there are other layers that others can see, as well, which add a richness and depth to the book.


Some of those layers the author creates deliberately, others the author has put in subconsciously, and others are created in the imagination of the reader who brings her own world view and experience into the reading experience.


Some genre books are very simple with just plot, character, and description, and that's okay. Other genre novels can be as layered with meaning as so-called literary novels, but they are fun to read, too.


If you are interested in creating layered books, my course on "The Big Question" is primarily about that. I'm teaching it again in November.


~*~


Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information LInks

http://marilynnbyerly.com/workshopschedule.html



"The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question" November 8-13, 2010. writersonline.com.


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you write a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I?ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


"Deconstructing Jim Butcher's STORM FRONT" November 8-13, 2010. Savvyauthors.com


Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. I will analyze STORM FRONT, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. I will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Media Reality and Writing, CRAFT

On a recent blog, the writer complained that the heroine in a novel didn't react as she thought she should. The heroine had a chance to shoot one of the villains but took cover when an unknown shooter shot the gun out of the bad guy's hand. Instead, she took cover.

Obviously, according to this blogger, whoever had shot the gun out of the bad guy's hand was on the heroine's side, and she finally had a chance at getting him.

I argued that in the real world, unlike the movies and TV, a trained marksman would never shoot the gun out of the hand because it is a near impossible shot. As my dad who was a trained marksman with a military background told me, "The Lone Ranger can shoot the gun out of a bad guy's hand. The rest of us mere mortals should aim for the center of the man's body."

In the real world with bullets flying, a smart person with even a little training would get the heck out of the way because it's likely that bullet that took out the bad guy's gun was a miss, not deliberate, and she would be betting her life by not getting out of the way.

In the real world, most people are bad shots with no training. Even in the Old West, very few people would die in a gunfight and then only after an incredible amount of ammo was used.

I've always believed it's wiser to go with fact, not media nonsense, because I'd rather not have readers snort and toss the book down because they caught me in a stupid error. There's nothing I can do about people who don't know any better so I don't worry about them.

~*~

Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information LInks


"The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question" November 8-13, 2010. writersonline.com.

Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.

How do you write a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I?ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.

"Deconstructing Jim Butcher's STORM FRONT" November 8-13, 2010. Savvyauthors.com

Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. I will analyze STORM FRONT, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. I will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Links of Interest

CHARACTER ARCS: How to use them.


http://talktoyouniverse.blogspot.com/2010/09/character-arcs-how-characters-change.html


CHARACTERS: A character's reactions must make sense.


http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2010/09/for-every-action-there-is-equal-and.html


FREE CONTEST for agent critique. Write an alien vampire bunny story.


http://greyhausagency.com/Alien-Vampire-Bunny-Contest.html


STEAMPUNK RESOURCE: Check out the whole site. Here is a blog link to a steampunk character type, the suffragette.


http://freetheprincess.blogspot.com/2010/09/steampunk-character-type-suffragette.html


ONLINE SAFETY FOR WRITERS:


http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/10/online-safety-and-presence.html


ALIENS/WORLDBUILDING: Two scientists discuss what a real alien would look like.


http://sciencefictionbiology.blogspot.com/2010/10/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-richard-dawkins.html


PROLOGUES: The Seven Deadly Sins of Bad Prologues.


http://ht.ly/2Km0p


STAYING SAFE ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR WRITERS


http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/5-ways-to-stay-safe-on-social-media/


BODY LANGUAGE:


http://clarissadraper.blogspot.com/2010/09/writers-guide-to-reading-people-expert.html


PROMOTION: Cheap marketing ideas for ebooks.


http://www.thewmfreelanceconnection.com/2010/09/3-more-free-and-cheap-marketing-ideas.html


CRAFT: Getting the writing right is more than just practicing skills and writing. A very interesting article on how to get to a publishable level in craft.


http://www.sfwa.org/2010/10/guest-blog-post-how-deliberate-practice-can-make-you-an-excellent-writer/


BUSINESS OF WRITING: Jim Hines analyzes his royalties. Very definitely worth a look.


http://jimhines.livejournal.com/531881.html


HOW TO MAKE YOUR CAREER LAST:


http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/10/in-it-for-long-haul.html


CRAFT: If you have a goal, you need a motivation.


http://www.genreality.net/know-your-why-intent


~*~


Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information LInks

http://marilynnbyerly.com/workshopschedule.html



"The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question" November 8-13, 2010. writersonline.com.


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you write a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


"Deconstructing Jim Butcher's STORM FRONT" November 8-13, 2010. Savvyauthors.com


Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. I will analyze STORM FRONT, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. I will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.



Monday, October 4, 2010

A Writer's Quiz: Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Writer?

Do you have what it takes to be a fiction writer? Here's a true or false test to find out.


Be brutally honest. The only person you will be cheating is yourself. Choose TRUE if the statement describes you or what you believe, FALSE if it does not.



1. I don't need to know grammar and spelling. That's the job of the editor. My job is to tell the story.



2. Most authors make lots of money. That's why I want to write.



3. I want things NOW. I'm just not a patient person.



4. Friends or family want to watch a movie you really want to see, but you haven't written your quota for the day. You usually stay at the computer and write.



5. If I don't write every day, I get grumpy or edgy.



6. There's one secret to writing a publishable story, and when I learn what it is, I'll succeed.



7. Criticism really hurts me. If someone criticizes my work, I feel like a failure.



8. If someone criticizes my work, I will change it immediately.



9. I love to read a certain kind of story, and that's what I want to write.



10. It's easy to write and sell a novel. All I will have to do is sit down and write it, then I will sell it.



BONUS POINTS QUESTION: I dream of stories to tell, or characters demand their stories be told, or I envision whole scenes, and I want to find out what happens next.




ANSWERS


1. FALSE Editors are busy people, and they don't have the time to correct simple mistakes. Simple mistakes indicate a poor writer, as well, and usually brings a fast rejection. WORTH 10 POINTS


2. FALSE Most authors are very poorly paid, expenses are high, and the time required is intense. The average writer can't support herself or her family on several books a year from a major publisher with good distribution. WORTH 10 POINTS


3. FALSE Publishing is an excruciatingly slow process. First you write the book, then you wait for months as you send out queries, more months for them to look at a portion of the manuscript, and even more months to look at the complete manuscript. And if they want to publish it, it will take a year or more to see print. WORTH 10 POINTS


4. TRUE You have to create writing time and that means you have to give up other things. You have to want to write, or you'll never succeed. WORTH 10 POINTS


5. TRUE Writing is an adrenaline addiction. WORTH 10 POINTS


6. FALSE There is no one secret to creating a publishable novel. There are, however, a few things you need to do. The first is sticking your rear in a chair in front of the computer with some consistency and writing. WORTH 10 POINTS


7. FALSE A tough skin must be standard equipment if you want to be a novelist. Every step along the way will be filled with criticism and rejection. The trick is to realize that they are talking about your work, NOT you. WORTH 10 POINTS


8. FALSE Writing isn't a project by committee. You know your work best so you must decide if a suggestion has value or not. The trick is determining what changes are part of learning craft and what changes force your voice or story in the wrong direction. WORTH 10 POINTS


9. TRUE You have to enjoy, respect, and read the types of stories you write. This gives you a good basis for knowing what works and what readers want.


Nothing is more obvious to a reader or an editor than a writer who doesn't read in her field. This is especially true in romance. A reader can spot someone who is writing for the money really fast. WORTH 10 POINTS


10. FALSE Writing is a craft that must be learned. You are as likely to have the natural skills to be a publishable writer as an amateur basketball player would have the skill to play professional NBA basketball.


The first novel rarely sells. Most published writers write several before they sell. Some can write up to a dozen novels before selling. WORTH 10 POINTS



Bonus Points Question: TRUE If this doesn't happen to you, you really aren't meant to be a fiction writer. All the other things above can be learned, but this can't. WORTH 100 POINTS





SCORES


0 to 99 A writing career isn't for you. Do a happy dance because you have escaped such an evil fate and go read instead.


100-145 If you're willing to change and work hard, you can become a professional writer.


145-190 Congratulations. You are completely insane and the perfect candidate for being a professional writer.