Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Interesting Articles, Part 12

It has been a while since I have shared interesting articles here on the blog (I usually just link them on the blog's Facebook page).

Anyway, here you go, and I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Writing Basics: Beats in Dialogue

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When we write stories, we have this awesome idea crafted in our minds before our pens even touch the page (or fingers punch keyboards, your preference). In our rush to get the story on the page, we forget to slow down and make our stories pleasurable for readers to, you know, actually read. Often, we forget to convey basic things like what our characters look like, or placing our characters in the setting, or where a pause in dialogue should be. And that is our hardship as writers: battling against what we want to show our readers and what we actually show them.

Because this disconnect exists between what we think we are writing and what we are really writing, our readers may find themselves brutally dislodged from our stories (or worse: completely bored with them).

If you want to immerse readers in your story, you need to make sure you are conveying your vision. Otherwise, readers will build a world around your story -- a world which, chances are, is very different from the one you intended.

One thing you should consider if you want to craft a story for your reader -- instead of leaving her floundering alone in a sea void of details, grasping for some colorful, creative bit of flotsam or jetsam to wrap her arms around -- is the way you present dialogue.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Bookie Christmas 2015

I had a blast hanging out with my family this Christmas. We filled our time with dominoes, last-minute gift crafting, and ridiculous seasonal games. Having the chance to spend time with my family was my favorite part of this year's festivities, but I also REALLY enjoyed the nerdy/writer gifts I got!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stephen King's Top 10 Writing Rules for Writers

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In my Writing Basics series, I have talked a lot about improving as a writer by focusing on certain aspects of your writing. While the series will definitely continue, I wanted to spend one post focusing on concise writing "rules." And who better to get those writing rules from than Stephen King, one of the most prolific and astounding fantasy/scifi writers out there?

The follow list of TOP 10 writing rules from Stephen King's how-to/memoir On Writing has been adapted from this Barnes and Nobles blog post and this article from Open Culture. I rifled through their TOP 20 and chose the ten that I related to the most/thought I most needed (I also reordered them based on what I thought was most important/relevant/interesting). I hope you find these ten bits of King's writing genius as helpful as I did.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Writing Basics: Jungian Archetypes

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If you have read my recent posts, you know that I added Juliet Marillier's Wolfskin to my 2015 Reading List and have been thinking a lot about reading with a writer's eye. Well, the next book I picked up was Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes's Women Who Run with Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. I am only 40 pages in, but in light of my recent reads and focus here on the blog, Women Who Run with Wolves seems like the perfect book to get me thinking about archetypes.

In the book, Dr. Estes focuses a lot on the psychology of storytelling, especially in relation to the archetypal "Wild Woman" figure. In her explanations of this archetype, Dr. Estes cites Carl Jung's theories of societal archetypes.

This post is going to focus primarily on the work of Dr. Carl Jung in relation to the nature and presence of archetypes (perhaps I will have a feature post on Women Who Run with Wolves at a later date).

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Writing Basics: Reading with a Writer's Eye

In my prior post Writing Basics: Learning from the Greats, I discussed two ways in which you can use your favorite books to improve your writing skills. Today, I am going to provide an example of the second method, reading with a writer's eye.

This method is my favorite because it allows you to, with a slight change of focus while reading, passively improve your craft by considering the ways great writers write great books.

Below are some of the notes I have been mentally taking while reading Juliet Marillier's Wolfskin. (I avoided spoilers where possible.)

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Writing Basics: Learn from the Greats

photo cred: © Jazmin Quaynor – Unsplash This blog uses affiliate links. Learn more here.

Practice makes perfect, as the old idiom goes, and the more one practices writing, the closer one can become to being perfect (remember: no writer or piece of writing is ever perfect). But you can't improve in an isolated environment, relying only on craft books and revising your own stories.

Instead, you should turn to your bookcase to improve your writing.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fairy Tale Retellings: Are We Getting Tired of the Same Old Stories?

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Fairy tale retellings are insanely popular. From Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicle series to Alex Flinn's Beastly, fairy tales are being revamped, remodeled, and retold to better suit today's readers. But one has to wonder: Are we getting tired of all of these retellings?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I'm Back!

So, after a long hiatus (six weeks, to be exact), I am back at the blog! And – hopefully – with a vengeance.

I have several new blog ideas in development, all of which I hope will generate new creative ideas and content for my writing life. 

Now, a little bit about why I was gone for so long:

We all get depressed. Well, I had a couple of rough patches back in October/November, and I have been spending time with my family to ground myself in happy moments. I wasn't dealing with my depression in healthy ways, so I figured it would be best to generate good experiences versus wallowing in my own self loathing. Part of this "happy moments" and "good experiences" journey meant spending less time by myself (blogging, reading, etc) and more time doing group activities (hanging out with my siblings, reconnecting with my cousins, etc).

As a result, I ignored the blog and friends that I had made in various communities, I haven't picked up a book since Nov. 5th, and I abandoned all of my writing projects (so I didn't end up doing NaNo this year, which would have been my first year).

I am now in a place where I want to come back to all of my past creative loves :)

What I have planned for the future:

My primary focus is going to be launching a few new blogs. Like I said earlier, I want to diversify my creative pursuits, and I have decided to do this via creating new types of blogs. The three new blogs I have planned will focus on 1) Literature Memes, 2) Women, and 3) Book Reviews. The first two are just for fun, and the last one is to gain relevant experience with writing reviews (while still thinking about how I should be crafting my own stories).

Here are links to my new blogs:

Literature Spew
The Late Night Southern Review

I look forward to reorienting myself to my writing pursuits and reconnecting with all of the wonderful people I have met along the way!

Also, if you have a book that you would like reviewed, message me in the comments or contact me via Google+ :)