Diversity in Writing

Last week we spent quite a long time talking about how to use diversity “correctly” in our writing. All to often when we try to be inclusive we end up being judged as pandering, detrimental to the cause or just plain wrong and even offensive to the group we are trying to convey. We went over using race, economic background, disability, sex, religion, cultural differences and more but one thing we did touch on was age. Writing about an age that you aren’t anymore of haven’t been yet can be very difficult. As someone creeping slowly toward “middle age” it … Continue reading Diversity in Writing

The Workshop

Why: Writing happens in a bubble, but if you want your writing to improve, it can’t stay there. In a few short months we’ve seen how talking about our writing in a group has inspired us to write more, to push our limits, and to think critically about our writing. But because writing is so personal, it’s impossible to be completely objective about our own work. Sharing your work with other writers and being open to their feedback can make a huge difference in the quality of your writing. The format: The writer receiving feedback does not speak. Readers take … Continue reading The Workshop

Query Writing Craft Talk Notes

Query Writing for Beginners The world of publication is always changing but the thing you need to remember more than anything else is that It’s a Business. These people make their livings on writing- it’s not a hobby and they are only interested in words that are going to sell and sell a lot. You are providing a product to them that they can change, package, market and distribute. With that in mind, you have to convince them that your story is worth investing in because in the long run it will make money. You should finish your story because … Continue reading Query Writing Craft Talk Notes

Dialogue

This week’s discussion was all about dialogue. If you missed the meeting and didn’t get the handout, you can find Thomasa’s tips for writing good dialogue over here, and here’s the rest of what the group came up with: How your characters speak is just as important as what is said. Be descriptive, but resist the urge to get too fancy with your dialogue tags—”said” is perfectly fine, and leaning too heavily on more interesting synonyms and adverbs can clutter up your writing; basically, make them count. Realistic speech isn’t grammatically correct, so dialogue doesn’t have to be and can … Continue reading Dialogue

The Power of Voice

Hello Creative Writer, In the vein we’ve been in, character, over the last few weeks I’d like to offer up one other important character in the story that as of yet we haven’t mentioned. You. Or more specifically the voice in which you choose to tell your story. Now, this can be pretty interesting especially if you aren’t telling the story in 1st person, from the point of view of a character within the story. When you are “outside” the story telling and  showing the reader what is happening, what people are thinking and doing, you become a character as … Continue reading The Power of Voice

Writer’s Block

We have all been there haven’t we creative writer? You are plugging along pretty speedily on a story, the plot is progressing and everything feels great then suddenly without warning, like the entrance of a villain in a horror movie, it starts to loom. You can feel the creative river start to dry out until it is barely a stream and then BAMMMMM! Nothing. You stare at the screen or the page and you want to put words there but nothing is happening and nothing will come out. You look at your story boards, outlines, character sketches and plot maps– … Continue reading Writer’s Block

More on Character

We’re all hard at work on our character trait lists (or interviews, or spreadsheets, or whatever route you’ve chosen) for Friday. I can’t wait to meet everybody’s characters, but I’m having more trouble than I expected boiling mine down to traits on a list without going off on a lot of tangents. So I started looking around the internet for useful tips from established writers. Here’s Chuck Wendig on two nifty visual aids for writing characters: the mind map—a sort of visual-meets-textual reference of multiple characters’ basic traits—and a purely visual collection of abstract images that call to mind who a … Continue reading More on Character

My Top 5 Rules for Good Characters

Everyone has their own rules for writing.. here are just a few of mine. 1) Layer. No person in reality is just one thing. Not just “The Funny Guy” , just “The Villain” or just “The Love Interest”. They aren’t always happy, disagreeable or kindhearted. People have lots of facets so give your characters dimension by letting them have lots of sides that we get to see. Where you come from and how you were raised have a huge impact on who you become. Carefully layer details that create a rounded character. 2) Relationships. People do not exist in a … Continue reading My Top 5 Rules for Good Characters

How Important is Character Development

Hello Creative Writer, We all know as writers that the act of telling a convincing and compelling tale is quite the difficult balancing act. We have to make sure the pacing is right and that the plot makes so as to avoid the dreaded plot hole. We need to make sure that the setting is believable and that there is a satisfying conclusion that lets the reader know that the story is over; whether it’s left a little open for a sequel or not. One of the hardest things to do in story building is to build up our characters. … Continue reading How Important is Character Development