Thursday, January 23, 2014

iWriteNetwork's Retreat Schedule Has Arrived

3 days of writing bliss…and awesome company
*We're already full for this retreat, but there will be another in the Fall. Please visit our retreat FB page often for updates Check it out. We'll also announce it here.

iWriteNetwork Spring Retreat Schedule 2014
**Classes will start on time and are optional as are sprint sessions
**meals will have an official start time, but you may eat when it works for you
***We will provide some snacks, but we advise you to bring some of you own and remember-sharing is good. J
****We will also be holding contests throughout the retreat for amazing prizes…I mean seriously great prizes. Love that!

Thursday 3/27

Friday 3/28

Saturday 3/29

Sunday 3/30

Breakfast 8 AM

Breakfast 8 AM
Breakfast 8:00 AM

Get with a sprint buddy if you want

30 minute sprints

Get with a sprint buddy if you want

30 minute sprints

Clean up after breakfast. Complete the cleaning assignment given you.

10:00 AM
We must be out of the cabin, leaving it clean

Class 11:00
How to write a great bio, description, blurb, etc.
By Tristi Pinkston

Class 11:00
By Donna Weaver

Lunch 12:00

Lunch 12:00

Class 2:00
What to put as interior front and back matter of your book
By Cindy M. Hogan
Class 2:00
By Tristi Pinkston and Cindy M. Hogan

4:00 pm
Arrive at cabin
Settle in and meet everyone

Class 4:00
Your publishing business from setup to taxes
by Cindy M. Hogan

Class 4:00
Uploading your book as an ebook (what you need to know) and print options
By Cindy M. Hogan

Dinner 6:00

Dinner 6:00
Dinner 6:00

Led by Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson

Sprinting if you so desire

Sprinting if you so desire

Writing like crazy

Write your guts out
Write like wild people

Sprinting if you so desire

I'm so looking forward to Donna's formatting class

What class are you looking forward to most?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What's a Comma Splice?

A comma splice occurs when you're hooking two complete sentences together with a comma. For instance:

She walked into the room, the door was still ajar behind her.

Commas are used to hook incomplete things together, not complete things. There are a couple of ways we can fix this problem.

First, we can make this sentence into two sentences.

She walked into the room. The door was still ajar behind her. 

Or we can make the second sentence an incomplete sentence.

She walked into the room, the door still ajar behind her.

Or we can use a semi-colon, which can hook two complete sentences together if they're closely related.

She walked into the room; the door was still ajar behind her.

Or you can reword the sentence entirely. It's up to you. But whatever you do, please don't use a comma splice. It can confuse the meaning of your sentence, and it can make you look like a dork - and remember, we should avoid looking like a dork at all costs. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Adding Depth to Your Scenes

by Donna K. Weaver

I love when an author slips subtle information to the reader. There are a lot of different ways to make use of things.

Anyone who's read the Harry Potter series knows that Jo Rowling is the queen of "things hidden in plain sight". For example, that Vanishing Cabinet that Draco uses to bring Death Eaters into Hogwarts in Half Blood Prince appears first in two other books. The first is in Chamber of Secrets when Nearly Headless Nick gets Peeves to break it in an effort to help Harry. Then in Order of the Phoenix, the Weasley twins shove a Slytherin prefect into it, and he has all kinds of problems. That's probably when it got moved to the Room of Requirement where Draco found it.

Mooderino over at Moody Writing wrote an excellent blog post about adding depth to scenes a couple of years ago. Here's a sample:
3. Use objects
Whatever the main aim of the scene appears to be, the underlying point of any story is to reveal character. Who they are is best shown by what they do. And using the stuff around them is an easy and unobtrusive way to do that.
If the blackmailer and his victim meet in a steak house, and the victim asks for a glass of water, and then when it arrives he takes a napkin, wets it, and then cleans the stains off the laminated menu, that tells us a lot about the kind of person he is. Plus he can be doing that sequence of events in between his conversation with the blackmailer.
You can find the full post here.

How about you? Do you have some favorite techniques that either you or other writers use? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year--New Goals

Everyone has been talking about resolutions, to do them or not to do them. I for one like them. I like the review of the past year--did I complete my goals? And I like planning for the future and thinking about what it is that I want to focus on. I tend to divide my goals into categories: talents, personal, spiritual, and family.
I want to focus more on my writing talents specifically this year. I always need to refresh my memory on how to write S.M.A.R.T. goals:
S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Relevant 
T- Time-bound

Write your goals down and review them at least monthly to be sure you know where you stand and where you are headed. Good luck!!