Summer is the perfect time to start on your dream of writing your novel! It started out as a writing class I created for a class I taught at my kids’ school. Now I’m excited to announce the release of my “Release the Novel in You” workbook. I’ve taken the best of what I’ve been learning over the years and put it in one workbook to help you get your novel from idea to final draft. You don’t have to wait to take one of my courses, though that’s the best way to get the most out of this course and I’ll be teaching it later this summer and in the fall. (More info. to come!)
Here’s a little excerpt on “Showing vs. Telling” from my new novel writing workbook.
Readers want to be transported to another world and to experience the characters thoughts, actions, and emotions. If you don’t hook your readers (draw them into the story so they can’t escape,) they may get bored and not care about your character or what happens to her. When it comes to hooking your reader it’s important to avoid telling them what’s happening by a lot of narrative (where your main character sits and ponders what’s going on…) To hook your reader, you want to get to the action fast. You want to engage them through emotions in the story. The best way to involve them is to show them what’s happening!
You’ve heard it before, there are no overnight successes. Well, there are a couple I know of, but thankfully we’ve remained friends to this day. For the rest of us publication takes years, sometimes decades to achieve. And here’s a secret not part of the three needed to get published: those overnight successes spent years learning the craft of writing and most likely implemented the 3 secrets to getting published. Once I divulge the secrets will you become an overnight success? No. Sorry to disappoint you. Knowledge is NOT the key to achieving your publishing goals. It’s following through with the secrets that will ultimately land you that book contract, or perhaps send you over the cliff to join the other successful self published authors.
Are you ready for the 3 secrets to getting published? ( I say in a whisper.) Lean in… a little closer and get ready to… Continue reading
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. But it’s what we do with those 24 hours that separates the productive from the unproductive. So how can writers simplify their life so they can find more time to write?
Think of the three most important things in your life. The three things you can’t live without. Now contrast the top three things you spend most of your time doing. Do they match? If not, something is wrong and you need to re-evaluate your priorities and where you are spending your time. If your priorities don’t match your actions, then something has to change.
If you’re a busy writer with other thing on your agenda, then it’s important not to waste your writing time. Here are 3 simple ways to help you be more productive when you write.
Go with the Flow
I’m not talking about the words that should flow from your fingers. I’m talking about the crazy life we lead as interrupted writers. If something else takes precedent over your writing time, then let it, unless of course you’re on a deadline.
When I contracted my first novella and had to cut 30,000 words off my book, I knew it was going to be hard. In fact, I almost bailed on submitting the anthology to Barbour because I knew that would mean cutting more than half of my story. The pain of deleting my brilliant prose aside, I knew it would be difficult to edit this mystery whose characters and clues were tightly woven together.
But I signed that contract, took a deep breath, and said a prayer. I could do this!
You may not even realize it yet, but you’re already a writer. The simple fact that you’ve picked up pen and paper—okay, tablet and keyboard, and pounded out words, albeit messy words (been there, done that) means you’re a writer. Don’t doubt it.
Why is it important to get to know your main character before you dive into your story? Because without knowing specific things about your character you won’t have a story.
When you first get a spark of an idea, you may not know anything about your main character except her name, and that’s okay. Maybe if you’re like me you have to write out the first couple of chapters to get to know your character and story, but once you do I suggest you go back and really work through her characterization.
I see it all the time. A writer has talent. Real talent for story telling. Story structure comes natural to them, and if they’re voracious readers, than that’s not a surprise. But the biggest problem I see in these talented writers is they don’t know how to paint a picture for the reader using active writing because they write in the passive voice. Passive writing can be good story telling, but active draws your reader into to story world and takes them on that emotional roller coaster ride they’re looking for.