This Week In Favs……….

10) “On Distractions” by Nathan Bransford. “You can’t write if you don’t live.” <—This is some of the *best* writing advice I’ve ever heard! As writers, we set schedules for our writing so as to ensure we’re writing everyday to get something on the page – myself included. But Nathan’s post runs right along with the schedule I set forth for myself last week in taking 30 minutes during the work week to write while using the other free-time to spend time with my hubby, sister, work-out, and/or read. My weekends have a bit more time allotted for writing, but I still carve out time to spend with my friends who are always a source of inspiration for me. Okay, so yes, when we’re deep in the writing we want to grab onto it while the Muse is singin’ loud and proud, but what happens after the Muse’s song is over? LIFE!!! That’s what happens. A chance to recharge your battery so you can come back to your Muse when they’re ready, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and recharged to take down the next part of the story.

9) “How to Be a Better Writer: Today” by Angela Kulig at Angela WRITE Now. This is a new series by Angela that focuses on how you can be a better writer TODAY – or as Angela put it: “…how you can be more gooder!” :0) Angela left us with five points on how you can make yourself a better writer and each one holds a nugget of truth on what we as writers should do. My fav? #2 ‘Learn a new word that means the same thing as another word you already use too much.’ I’ve been trying to use different words in my WIP lately. Thesaurus.com has become my best friend. This even made me start thinking about how I use the word ‘awesome’ too much in my daily life and don’t realize until the hubs says something. My new word to replace that one? ‘Stupendous’! <—I can’t take credit for finding it though…he did the legwork for me. :0)

8) “How to Write a Query Letter” by Rachelle Gardner. Ah! The ever important query letter that stands between you and obtaining representation. I have to admit that I haven’t even thought about my query letter yet. I’m still in the editing process, and frankly, it’s a little daunting. If you’ve read the posts on QueryShark, then you may understand why I say that. Countless books have been written about how to write a query letter (I have two sitting on my bookshelf), but I rather enjoyed reading Rachelle’s quick and easy tips for a great query. Somehow, they’re not as intimidating to me anymore, which means that I may just start writing one as soon as this next round of editing is over. **Rachelle has more posts on Query letters and they can all be found right here. 

7) “Why Prologues Don’t Work” by Kristin Nelson. This struck a chord with me because I’ve been thinking about turning the first chapter of my WIP into a prologue. After reading these points from Kristin, I am definitely re-thinking that idea. While I’m still *considering* the idea, I now know what definitely doesn’t work so I can aspire to write a prologue that does. This is a list I believe every writer should have saved somewhere just in case their story calls for one. Ya never know…by having these tips handy, you could be the one to break the mold by writing a fabulous prologue one day!

6) “Conflict vs. Tension” by Becca Puglisi on The Bookshelf Muse. I love reading about other writers’ epiphanies! Becca’s is especially important as it points out the difference between conflict and tension. You may have conflict written all-over your MS, but that doesn’t mean the page-turning tension is there, does it?? Nope, not one bit! Becca’s tips for writing a MS full of tension are spot-on: Conflict in every scene, primal stakes, and clear emotional responses. This is yet another post that made it into my ‘book of knowledge’ (aka: three-ring binder full of printed blog posts with tips and tricks for a writer about the craft).

5) You guessed it! Another So You Think You Can Dance goodie! I bet you’re wondering why I chose to include these dances on my list. Here’s why:
Inspiration can be found in many different ways, people, songs, books, etc. For me, inspiration can be found in both music and dance. The young dancers of So You Think You Can Dance are 100% purely inspirational to me. Their dedication, their ease of movements and their infectious personalities all inspire my writing in some way, shape of form. Most Wednesdays, it’s a new song to add to my writing playlist because of how it was expressed on stage, but other times, it’s the emotion that the dance evoked inside my heart.

Ok, enough of that…bring on the dancing!

After seeing Sasha dance the 2nd routine of the night with All Star Kent – last year’s runner-up – the show was O-V-E-R for me. I was just absolutely….done! This dance was all about two people and the wall their relationship has hit and all the emotions they feel as they’re fighting to get to the other side of that wall. Tyce Diorio, the choreographer, is another one of my favorites and I just…I just love his work to pieces. I really really hope you enjoy this routine:

<\/param><\/embed><\/object><\/div>“;” src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-uTjZwJJ6xmE/TjtPl6YqI5I/AAAAAAAAAIg/pxGu6ge-hvE/video4fc559433328%25255B38%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800″>

BUT! Another something-magical happened! The very last dance of the night featured contestants Caitlyn and Marko and WOW! If you remember, the song, “Heavy In Your Arms” was one of the Songs of the Week here on the blog. The interpretation of that song here was AMAZING!! Here’s the premise: Marko is an over-bearing, controlling man and Caitlyn is trying to escape him so she can find her own voice. I’ll let their dance tell you the rest:

<\/param><\/embed><\/object><\/div>“;” src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-SwV1baOc2b0/TjtPmRJS_OI/AAAAAAAAAIk/yyUOhKS3ghA/video6b13d560536d%25255B36%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800″>

4) “Things I Never Considered About Being a Writer” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View. Learning from other writers is one of the many things I LOVE to do and Lisa’s post hits all the other highlights of why I enjoy being a writer (other than the magic of writing). Everyone is so open and willing to share their knowledge: my family and friends are behind me 100%, I welcome constructive criticism and/or rejections and strive to learn from them, and the people I’ve met and connected with are absolutely amazing at what they do.  I’m proud to have been able to interact, learn from, and call them a ‘writer friend’. In regards to learning, there’s a similarity in writing and practicing yoga: you’re always learning, always a student. You may be able to teach others about a few things along the way, but there’s always room for us as writers to grow and learn from one another.  

3) ”The Flaw in JKR’s (Brilliant) Plan” by S.P. Sipal at Harry Potter for Writers. So….I guess there’s hope for me? LOL! Seriously though, when it comes down to it, I agree with Susan here: “…noting these mistakes JKR made gives me hope. It reminds me as a writer that I don’t have to be perfect (though that is no excuse to not strive for excellence). What is absolutely required, however, is to thrill my reader as JK Rowling did that these imperfections just make the work sparkle more brilliantly.” Nobody and no story is going to be perfect….but we sure can try and rest easy at the end of the day if it isn’t. Don’t you agree??

2) “The First Sentence as an Amuse-Bouche” by Therese Walsh on Writer Unboxed. We’ve all experienced and dealt with the pressure of trying to come up with that amazing first sentence. One that’ll hook the reader from the get-go and never let them go. But, unfortunately, sometimes we stare at a blank page and watch the cursor while we try to think of how to start our next WIP. My advice? Scrap thinking about how you’re going to start the next project. Just start it! Once you’ve reached the end, that perfect first sentence will come to you and hint at the fabulous character arc the reader is about to experience. The first sentence of my WIP didn’t come to me until the moment I typed The End: “Today was the day I wish I had the immortal gifts of my characters.” <—Is it making you go ‘hmmmm’?

1) “Meta-Emotion: How We Feel About Feelings, and How it Can Affect Our Writing” by Sarah Fine on The Strangest Situation. This post was a wonderful insight into how we as writers feel about feelings and how it leaps into our writing. This is one of the many reasons why I feel like I have to become my characters when I’m writing them. I’m pulled into their minds and feelings, leaving my own on the door step as I take a walk in their shoes for a day and witness a vastly different set of emotions and thoughts. If I didn’t, there would be a whole lotta author intrusion going on and that’s just not attractive. No one feels the same way or handles situations the same way I do. Not my family, not the reader, and most certainly not my characters. This post reminded me of that.

**Bonus Link!!**
Here’s a little humor to start your weekend off with. It’s a ‘Public Service Announcement’ that gave me a fit of giggles while I was reading it though mostly that was because I was nodding my head as I read through most of Patti’s signals of the condition.
I’m on the road to recovery. :0)

Here are a few updates to go along with this week’s favs:
Off the Blog: Overall, this was actually a great week! On Monday, I went back to work (after a 7 work-day vacation) and I wasn’t nearly as overwhelmed by emails like I thought I would be. I’m still behind on a few things, but they’ll get done sooner rather than later. I even started my new ‘Finding the Balance’ schedule and so far, so good there!
On the Blog: It was an awesome week for writing. I had a hard time picking a ‘Top Ten’ – or top nine if you remove a space for a SYTYCD clip. I even had a stroke of inspiration this week and wrote a post on writing with multiple POV’s. I’m crossing my fingers that this will happen again over the weekend so I’ll be all set on posts next week! :0)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Happy Reading & Writing!
Melinda

One thought on “This Week In Favs……….

  1. Melinda, I’m so glad you put up the wall dance! I’ve been hearing people talking about it, but only caught a snippet elsewhere. How powerful!

    Stuff like that dance and people like Paul Potts who come on stage on these kind of shows as an underdog and then blow everybody away really inspire me with my writing. They remind me of how powerful you have to hit the readers with emotion, and like with Paul Potts, how showing a come from behind underdog with amazing talent is such an emotionally strong thing to write.

    And thanks for mentioning my post! 🙂

C'mon! Don't Be Shy ... Talk to Me!


© 2013-2016 Melinda S. Collins - All rights reserved.

Site graphic by Julie Wooten - Email author for information.

Any reuse of content on this site must receive written permission from Melinda S. Collins.