**Due to NaNoWriMo, my Friday round-up posts are going to be fairly short, sweet and to the point – at least until December 2nd. To all my fellow NaNoWriMo participants:
Playing on the Zune (MP3): In My Head by No Doubt <— Lurve this song! 10) “Guest Author Cheryl Rainfield: Bringing Tension and Conflict to Your Novels” on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy. For newbies and veterans alike, it’s always good to be reminded to start your story with some tension and ensure that you not only have conflict, but good conflict that will keep the reader until the end. I rather enjoyed reading Cheryl’s tips for creating both within your writing.
9) “Stop, Collaborate and Listen: Plot Building for the Character Driven Writer by Ashley March” on Roni Loren’s Writing Blog, Fiction Groupie. Ice ice baby too cool, too cool…. okay seriously, every time I’ve looked at the title of this blog, I couldn’t help but sing a little Vanilla Ice. These are some of the best tips I’ve come across for the character-driven writer. But these can also be good for the plot-driven writer – for example: “…listen for ideas from your characters for scenes you might want to include. If you come up with a great idea for a twist of the ending, be prepared to ditch it if the characters don’t lead you down that route.” <—This is incredibly true for the plot-driven writer because who’s to say that you’re characters won’t start dictating your plot once you’ve gotten to know them better?
8) “Scaring Your Readers” by Lisa Hall-Wilson on Girls with Pens. Even if you don’t write horror (and there are some UF & PNR novels with a small element of horror in them), you could still learn a little from this post. Regardless of the fiction genre, your plot might could do with a little scare for the readers, especially if you just want to make sure they’re really paying attention. ;0) But in all seriousness, when I’m reading a book, what scares me the most is the honesty, and the fact that what I consider to be the worst possible thing that could ever happen is happening to this character that I’ve come to know and love. Go forth and read this one and realize that it’s okay to scare your reader a little…or a lot!
7) “Bad Dialogue – Bad, Bad Dialogue” by Beth Hill on The Editor’s Blog. Want some examples of what not to do in dialogue? Well, here you go! Some of these had me snickering a little since I totally got busted doing one or two of them in my own dialogue. 😛
6) “The Publishing Biz: Will it Break You?” by Rebecca L. Boschee on WordServe Water Cooler. I’ll let the following quote from this post do the talking: “You can be paralyzed by the changes of today and uncertainty of tomorrow, or you can refuse to dwell on the reasons ‘why not’ and learn what works and what does from trial and error and from those working alongside you – those who keep putting themselves out there so others can keep dreaming.” ‘Nuff said? Go read it then decide that you won’t let it break you.
5) “Backstory: A Lesser Known Reason Why Not to Dump it Upfront” by Jeannie Campbell on The Character Therapist. What a great, real-life example of why it’s best not to have the backstory up front and center! “It can be off-putting or color the reader’s entire perception of the character.”
4) “Writing: Mastering the Balance” by Ava Jae on Writability. I rather enjoyed this post about balance…mainly because it didn’t talk about the balance of the day-job, home life, family life, blogging and writing – instead, Ava addressed the tricky balance of the author having a voice while allowing the characters to have their individual personalities. In other words, finding the sweet spot where you don’t have the wicked author intrusion.
3) “When You’re Too Close to the Book” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View. Grrr…… this is something I still have a hard time doing: putting the novel in a drawer for a few weeks. But you know what, Lisa is 100% correct when it comes to why we absolutely, positively put the novel away for a bit! I think I’ve found the best way to ensure I put it away though – pass it onto my CP or Beta Reader and busy myself with their work instead. ;0)
2) “How Deep if Your Department of Mysteries?” by SP Sipal on Harry Potter for Writers. Need some tips or questions to get you thinking about the world of your WIP? SP Sipal selects a great excerpt from the Harry Potter Series to show exactly how world-building can be weaved into your story in a way that doesn’t take away from your plot but at the same time, adds to your story by allowing you to see through the character’s eyes. Once you start answering these questions, the weaving will become easier to execute.
1) “Five Ways to Stay Motivated While Writing a Novel” by Nathan Bransford. Just last night, in my Facebook NaNo group, someone was saying that they not only had writer’s block already (2 days into NaNoWriMo), but they were de-motivated. Well, Nathan has some perfect timing if you ask me! As soon as I read this, I posted it on our group page as a not-so-subtle-way to remind everyone how to stay motivated, especially when we’re working on a deadline such as NaNoWriMo!
Happy Reading & Writing!!