Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some Professional Writing Advice

I have been looking for some writing quotes to put up near my desk, to keep me writing when I hate my characters and think the plot is trash and I generally want to douse it all in gasoline and light it on fire. If you've been writing for any amount of time, you've been there too. :) So I searched the web and these are the ones I choose.

I often keep myself from starting the next chapter or scene because I want to go back and tweak and change what I've written before. I need to let it go and get the words out and finish the story then go back and tweak and change a little before beta readers. The editing can't happen if I don't finish the book!

 Sometimes I need to give myself an amount of time I have to sit and write, to not stop writing, until I am actually inspired. Even when the words are crap, I keep going, then I find I don't want to stop. I'm on a roll and have the inspiration I was just going to sit around waiting for. If I just get to work, I'll become inspired. Nothing comes easy, I've got to work for it!

I often think that if there were some solid rules or guidelines for writing it would be easier. But that's the brilliant thing, it's not easy. If it were everyone would do it and where would that glorious struggle be that we all enjoy? Part of the excitement of finishing a book is that gruesome climb to the top we've endured. We've scraped together our soul and put it on a page, deleted it and pulled another, shiny bit back together to perfect sentences over and over until finally we are at the end looking back over it with pride. Each writing journey is different, for each book we write even, and that's the beautiful part.

Which writing quotes do you like?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fabulous First Lines

I love the promise of first lines in a book.
It isn't that I'll stop reading at the first line, but if it's amazing I find I'll put more effort into the reading. I love the questions they provoke and the tone they set. Here are a few that make me want to read on:

"A mountain range of rubble in which our narrator introduces: himself--the colors--and the book thief"
(Marcus Zusah)

"The air crackled like a gathering thunderstorm the moment the girl entered the chamber."
(Kimberly Derting)

"The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised."
(Scott Westerfeld)

"I had arrived early for my own assassination."
(Jennifer A. Nielsen)

"There is one mirror in my house."
(Veronica Roth)

"The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle."
(Marissa Meyer)

"A tree branch slapped John Craig across the face, scraping his skin, but he kept on running and ignored the stabbing pine needles on his bare feet."
(Heather Brewer)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Retreat Time! iWriteNetwork's Spring 2014 Writer's Retreat

We are so excited to invite you to be a part of the iWriteNetwork writer's retreat this spring
March 27-29th 2014, in Heber, Utah.
3 days to write, write, write

How to sign up for this retreat: 
FYI: there are only 19 spots. All meals are included AND there will be mini-workshops on self-publishing during the retreat so that if you choose to go to all the workshops, you will have all the tools you need to self-publish your own books.  See pics of the awesome accommodations for the retreat here.

1. Pick which bed type/price you would like (see below)

2. Send an email to 
iWriteNetwork@gmail.com with your first and second (if you have one) preference.

3. We will send you a confirmation email and a link to pay-through Paypal- (you may choose to split your payment into three and send one third immediately, on third on Dec. 10th and the last third on Jan. 10th. You must pay in full by Jan. 10th.)  We must have your payment within one hour of receiving your confirmation email or your spot will be given to the next person in line.

NO REFUNDS-thank you. (you can, however transfer your bed to someone else if you discover you are unable to attend)

The bed options:  (if you are planning to choose a queen or a king bed, you might want to find someone to be your roomie if you care who is in the bed with you.)

**Anything highlighted in yellow is available
***Anything highlighted in red is reserved/paid for

Bedroom 7: 1 King with bathroom                    2 spots for $250 each

Bedroom 6: 3 bunk beds               3 lower bunks @ $175 each
                                                  One, Two, Three
                                                  3 upper bunks @ $150 each
                                                  One, Two, Three

Bedroom 5: Queen and a Bunk   2 spots in the queen @  $175
                                                       1 upper bunk @ $150
                                                       1 lower bunk @ $175

Bedroom 4: 2 Queens                   4 spots @ $175
                                                  OneTwoThree, Four

Bedroom 3: 1 Queen                    2 spots @ $200 each

Bedroom 2: 1 Queen                           2 spots at $200 each
                                                  One, Two,

Bedroom 1: 1 Queen                            2 spots at $200 each

We are So excited to have you join us. 
Have question? 

Email us-

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Knowing When to Stop

Maybe you've seen one of State Farm's recent commercials. Two guys are walking home from the grocery store, their arms impossibly full of bags. They cross a long bridge and you get the sense that they still have quite a ways to go before they can set down everything they're carrying.

One guy says to the other, "I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance."

The other guy replies, "Wait. You have a car?"

The first guy says, "Yeah. It's an SUV."

And the second guy looks all chagrined, like, Dude, so why are we carrying all these groceries?

It's a mildly funny commercial, but let me tell you what would have made it even more funny - if they had ended it before the last line. "Wait. You have a car?" is the punch line. We don't need anything after that.

By tacking, "Yeah. It's an SUV" on the end, the advertisers are waving in our faces. It's like they're saying, "Hey, did you get it? We made a funny. Isn't it a horrible piece of irony that not only does he have a car, but it's huge? Like, he's totally walking miles with his food and he doesn't have to. Get it? Get it? Ha ha ha ha!!" The audience isn't being allowed to feel the humor for themselves - they're being commanded to feel a certain way instead of choosing to feel it.

And I've seen this a lot in books.

If you're writing comedy, let the joke float into the air on its own and come to rest gently on the mind of the reader. Let them realize it's funny. If you make a big deal out of it, you're in essence acting just like Uncle Bob, who slaps you on the back every time he says something he thinks is funny. "Get it? Get it? It's a joke."

If you're writing an emotional scene and you want the reader to feel emotional too, don't layer it on so thick that the reader has to dig out of it with a shovel. Show them why they should feel sad and show honest reactions from the characters, and then step back and trust the reader's imagination to take them the rest of the way.

Know when you've done enough, and know when to stop.