SHARE: DSF – Story Time by Laura Anne Gilman

This is a nice little story with great narrative voice...despite having almost no narration. The dialogue exchange really delivers that childish curiosity. And the revelation at the end is heartbreaking. That being said, the work is not without its problems. I question the choice of the word "youngling." Why not simply use "child"?  In this …

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SHARE: 5 Things Being a Journalist Taught Me About Writing Fiction

People come into writing from different places, and every author's unique experience reveals something about the writing process. Martinez offers several good tips here, but numbers three and four really stand out for me. Good dialogue can help keep a story interesting. You can maintain momentum by delivering background and exposition in dialogue, rather than …

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REBLOG: The #1 Rule Of Writing

Victor has some great thoughts here, presented in parable, which is always a useful technique. I fully agree with his point, though I don’t know if I have enough authority yet to demand others listen to my opinion. All I can say is that I agree that writers need to work up from the bottom, and it’s a rough struggle.

I don’t see myself as a Whitney or Flynn. I was top of my class in college, I know I am a decent writer. But I also know that I am entitled to nothing, that I need to prove myself the same as any other new writer. I’ve encountered people like Victor’s John, people just out of college that think having a degree means then are suddenly a professional entitled to professional work and pay.

My encounter was with a graphic designer. She had just graduated from art school. She never made a book cover in her life. Her online resume was only a dozen pictures, all or most being her school assignments. And yet expected me to pay her professional rates for a product whose quality I couldn’t begin to judge.

In my case, I started out targeting the bottom. I sent my work out to publishers offering little or no compensation, just to prove myself, get feedback, and make a name for myself. I’ve recently hit my twentieth acceptance. I feel like that is a pretty significant milestone. I have been at it for about 8 months, and have yet to get accepted with a professional-level publication. But I know my writing is getting better, and my reputation and fan-base is growing, slow but steady.

I already have a book deal, though is only a novella and with a indie publisher. I also have a job with a serial fiction company. I am making inroads into the fiction business. Sooner or later I will get that first professional credit, which I like to think will come sooner rather than later. I have a few good pieces in the submission cycle that I think can make it. I’ve had a lot of help revising and editing those pieces, which is critical. I also have my finished book, which will find a home eventually. I am not rushing it. I know traditional publication takes time and I am investing that time to ensure maximum success.

I believe that is what makes a successful author. Though, I’m not yet a proper authority on the subject. I’ll get back to you on this once I’m a genuine pro.

Victor Poole

shark small

As you may know if you read my blog, I went to acting school. I know, how decadent, right? One thing that puzzled me in my time as an acting student was the regularity with which Whitney got acting gigs. I was surrounded by eager and ambitious women who fought tooth and nail for the approximately three good female parts that came available each year (by “good part,” I mean in a respectable production, with costumes and a paying audience, and consisting of more than twenty lines of dialogue). Despite the overwhelming plentitude of women, Whitney always had parts. She flitted between community theatre productions, semi-professional gigs, and school projects like a saturated butterfly of small-time fame.

What Made Whitney Successful?

I knew several talented actors, both male and female, who could not get a part to save their life. Nobody in casting would touch them with a ten-foot pole…

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Tips Straight from the Horse’s, er Judge’s Mouth

One of my current goals as a science fiction and fantasy writer is to eventually get into Writers of the Future. This has been a target for me ever since one of my literature teachers in college won and was published by them. If you can survive the brutal competition and professional-level judging, you can proudly …

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SHARE: 8 Unstoppable Rules For Writing Killer Short Stories

So like the last share, this is another article I came across in one of my Facebook groups that I almost never pay attention to. The article 8 Unstoppable Rules for Writing Killer Short Stories by Charlie Jane Anders offers a lot of good advice. This advice is more applicable to genre stories like science fiction and fantasy, but if …

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REBLOG: How to Outline a Scene like a Pro

Such a great outline for checking your scenes, I had to share! Thank you for the advice, Amy.

Amy Walters is an author and blogger who often blogs about writing techniques and tips. It would definitely be worth your time to jump over and check out what she has to say on the topic of fiction writing.

Regarding this particular post, I think the checklist she provides for examining scenes is very helpful, particularly for those odd, tricky scenes that are hard to parse. Most of the points in the list are very useful, so it’s hard to isolate a few to focus on. Certainly POV is a big issue for scenes. Your POV should not be shifting in scene without a very, very good reason. It’s a common, unintentional mistake in the early drafts of new writers. Also, the POV should also be clear from the beginning of the scene. Who is experiencing this scene and what does that mean for the information the readers receive?

If I were to choose one point from the list as the best or most important (which I shouldn’t, as they are all useful, but I am trying to add my two bits here), then I would say “What do I want the reader to feel by the end of this scene?” is the critical question to ask when developing and evaluating a scene. This is your end goal, the target you want to hit with your prose. This goal is the idea of how the scene fits into the larger work, its purpose. The first way to evaluate your scene is to ask if you’ve met that goal.

But I don’t think you should only focus on that point and ignore the rest. I cannot reiterate enough that there are a lot of great points in the checklist.

If you’d like to know how to evaluate a scene, jump on over to Amy’s blog and see what she has to say.

Blissful Scribbles

Hello, lovely people, I hope you are well? You are? Great! I know I am, it’s Friday after all! The last few days I have been outlining my scenes so that I am ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.

I’m reading an amazing book by CS Lakin called The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction which I have found invaluable. Lakin gives a scene checklist which I recommend you get your hands on.

I have used this to ask myself set questions per scene, and they are helping me so much I thought I would share them with you. Let me know what you think!

​What is the action or revelation that is the high impact crux of this scene?

What new information will this scene tell the reader?

What is the purpose of the scene?

What do I want the reader to know by reading this scene?

What is…

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