Last Week’s WW: Resolutions
See that cover? It’s got my fella‘s name on it. This will be the first thing that he’s published, and I’m very proud of him. But I didn’t just come here to brag. I came to offer a little advice: Publish!
It’s not an easy thing to do. Emotionally, any way. Publishing a work means letting it go. It’s putting it out into the world, hoping no one hates it, but accepting the possibility that they might, and being okay with it. It’s understanding that something you created isn’t yours anymore. It’s splitting open your chest and placing it’s contents out for all the world to see. It’s you at your most vulnerable.
It’s also you at your strongest. It’s showing the world and yourself what you can do. It’s proving that you’ve created something from nothing. It’s wearing your iron armor and walking otherwise naked into the streets. You’re strutting your stuff, and you want everyone to look.
Okay, fine, we’re bleeding and naked and we feel okay about it, hopefully. It still doesn’t answer the question: How do I publish? Continue reading
Last WW: Make Them Keep Reading
We’re already 13 days into 2016. They say that a new year is a new chance. That it’s an opportunity to reset your life, or at least work on improving yourself in the ways that somehow eluded you the year before.
Many people pledge to eat better, exercise more, get a better job, and even write more often… Those are all great things to strive for. Most resolutions are.
We’re just about 2 weeks in. Many people at this point think that they have either lived up to your New Year’s Resolutions or already blown them. I believe that way of thinking will only set you up for failure.
If you’re keeping up with a resolution, that’s awesome. Good job. However, once you get it into your head, “well, I did it” then you might have a problem keeping that momentum going. You might find that later you’re saying, “well, I did it for awhile.” Then you’re right back where you started, not doing the thing you wanted to do.
If you’ve already messed up your resolution, then I have good news: tomorrow is another day! You don’t have to wait for a new year to come around to do the things you want to do. Depending on your goal, every day, every hour, every week… is an opportunity to get back on track.
Did you want to lose weight and eat a whole pizza by yourself? Well, you’ll have to eat again. And that’s an opportunity to do what you set out to do. If you want to write more, write more. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been going strong for weeks or haven’t typed a word. If you want it, you’ll find a way to do it.
Don’t let resolutions trip you up.
Last Week’s WW: Social (media) etiquette
Yesterday, my fella and I were out writing, and he asked me: “How do you end a chapter?”
This got me thinking. I’ve been learning about and focusing on tension lately. I think that a good way to end a chapter is by ending it with tension. You could do this a number of ways. You could end it with a big cliff hanger. Or you could go smaller, more subtle. However you do it, that last paragraph, especially that last line should intrigue the reader. There should be something to it that either screams or hints that there’s more to come. It has to make them wonder. It has to make them need to know what happens next.
That’s my opinion on how to end a chapter.
Last Week’s WW: Keep The Creativity Flowing
If you plan to be an author, some day you will publish. Maybe it’ll be with the Big Five, or perhaps you’ll self-published. Maybe you’re already published. However it happens, it’ll happen, and you’ll probably want to shout it from the roof top. You should do this, well, maybe not from the literal roof top, that could be dangerous. But you’re excited, and you have every right to be. Publishing is a huge accomplishment, be proud.
The thing is, not everyone will be as excited as you. Continue reading
Last Week’s WW: Structure
Sometimes, I have a lot of ideas. Occasionally, too many. Other times, they just won’t seem to come. Lately I’ve been feeling all of this. I’ve been letting my writing anxieties build. I’ve been avoiding writing. I stopped the creative flow and I feared that the well had dried up. It seemed like the harder I tried to think of an idea, the further away I got from it. Maybe I was trying to hard. I just hated feeling like I had nothing to do. I hated having a bunch of ideas, but no passion and no real insight into any of them.
How do we over come this? Continue reading
Whether your a planner or a pantser, a story needs to have structure. The first thought that comes to mind is: beginning, middle, end. Sure, a logical story goes in that order. Even one told out of linear progression still, at its heart, has a beginning, middle, and end. However, if you want to go beyond basic, you should really have four parts.
Part One: Continue reading
Last WW: Deadlines
I recently wrote a story for the upcoming The Z Chronicles. My story is titled The World After. (and if your’e on my mailing list, you’ll have an opportunity to get a free copy of the book!) Writing this story took more effort than any story I have written before. Part of it was because of my character being a bystander in her own story. Continue reading
Last WW: The All Important First Draft
Love them or hate them, at some point, you will have a deadline. Maybe it’ll come from a publisher, or maybe it’ll be self-imposed. Either way, sooner or later, it’s something every writer must face.
Why we hate them:
- Deadlines are scary. Many writers feel like they have to be in the mood to write, that a muse takes hold of them and lets the words flow. I know I write my best when I’m writing because there’s an idea inside of me that simply must come out. Sometimes, however, we have to find other things to motivate us. Deadlines are one such thing.
- It feels awful to miss it. In many cases, it’s not the end of the world if you miss a deadline. If it’s a contest, yeah, you’re probably in trouble. But in most situations, the person who gave you that deadline will be lenient. Unless that person is yourself. When I give myself a deadline and I blow it, I’m really angry with myself. It sort of destroys me and I have to take a few days to recover, which often pushes me even further off course.
Why we should love them:
- They speed things up. It’s great to write when the inspiration takes you. But if you only write when it does, then it could be years, if not decades, before your book is finished.
- They’re necessary. If you go traditional, expect a lot of deadlines. But they’re equally important if you’re indie, and for the same reasons. It allows you to plan for marketing and promotions. It enables you to give your readers answers, and they are usually a hungry bunch eager for your next book to come out. It lets you know when you need to buckle down, and when you need to crack the whip.
- It’s professional. Going from Writer to Author requires a lot of follow through. If you want readers to stick with you, they have to know that they can trust you. This means making plans, like deadlines, and delivering on them.
They’re are many more reasons why deadlines are both good and bad. In the end, I believe that they are a good thing. For example, I have a story due on Friday. While I am a bit of a procrastinator, I’ve been working on it. It’s actually already gone through two drafts, and I’m finishing the third, which is more of a rewrite than anything. There’s a lot that I need to do on it between now and then. But rather than spending all day tomorrow watching reruns or movies, I’ll be butt in chair and working. Why? Because I have a deadline to keep.
Last WW: The Tortise and the Hare
I’ve talked before about how it’s important that you complete more than one draft. I just finished up a short story that I have for the upcoming The Z Chronicles, and learned this lesson all over again. I thought that I had a good story that would only need minor tweaking. I was wrong. Turns out, all I have is bones. There were a lot of things that needed to be changed.
Problem: Continue reading