Category Archives: Writing

News that stays news

Spillane

The best writing blogs, compiled by mickey

Jacke Wilson: Christmas with the Beatles!
Daily Echo: Notes from a small dog XLX
Thoughts on Fantasy: A few tips on buying books for Christmas
2HelpfulGuys: How to master Jedi Mind Control
Ms. Toy Whisperer: Ireland or Bust
Confessions of a Readaholic: My Outgrowing Obsession for Doctor Who
Oscar Hokeah: Is the Modern Publishing Industry in Direct Conflict with Writer/Artists?
A Vase of Wildflowers: Winter Woven

Quote of the day

“Books don’t just compete against books.” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on the phenomenal growth of ebooks.

Bezos is right – books don’t just compete with other books.

e.e. cummings once noted that his poems not only had to compete with other fine poems, but also with “flowers and balloons and mud puddles and train rides,” and anything else that appeals to our senses and imagination. That little reminder should spur writers to make every word count.

Quote of the day

Flaubert

“What a delicious thing writing is — not to be you anymore but to move through the whole universe you are talking about. Take me today, for instance: I was a man and woman, lover and mistress; I went riding on a fall afternoon beneath the yellow leaves, and I was the horse, the leaves, the wind, the words he and she spoke, and the red sun beating on their half-closed eyelids, which were heavy with passion.” – Gustave Flaubert

Writing is acting. It is the channeling of imagined personalities so we can transpose them into words. It’s an endeavor that requires many skills, which is why it can be so frustrating when we can’t pull it off the way we want, and why it is so bone-deep gratifying when it all comes together.

News That Stays News

Howard
The best writing blogs, compiled by reh

Ipuna Black: Inspirational Hike
Dave’s Corner of the Universe: Blood Filled Craters of Death on the Moon! (ya gotta love that title!)
Jack Ronald Cotner: Ancient Celtic Blacksmiths
Rose Red: The Poem of the Spanish Poet
Harsh Reality: Ten Ways to Get New Followers (From a blogger who knows what he’s talking about!)
Ms. Toy Whisperer: Momism
Kurt Brindley: March Headlong Into The Wind
The Quiet Fantasy Blog Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

News that Stays News

Lovecraft
The best of the writing web, compiled by howie

The Passive Voice: eBooks Could Finally Inch Past Print
A Writer’s Path: Showing vs. Telling
Alice Osborn: 5 Ways to Keep On Truckin’ After Rejection
Kendall F. Person: A Lesson in Marketing from Evel Knievel
The Better Man: Live a great story
Quinn’s Books: Naming Jack the Ripper
Dave’s Corner of the Universe: He Stole Enstines Brain!
Cristian Mihai: You’ll Live Forever if a Writer Falls in Love with You

How to Succeed at NaNoWriMo

I will confess to having never been tempted to participate in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal of dashing off a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days struck me as gimmicky and pointless.

But I may have to change my mind. Though a recent Publishers Weekly article on NaNoWriMo is entitled “How to Succeed at NaNoWriMo,” I’m more interested in WHY I should participate.

Turns out the article zooms right in on that concern, and it got my attention:

NaNoWriMo’s pressing time constraints leave little time for polishing and perfecting—and that’s perhaps the point.

Marissa Meyer, whose novels Cinder and Scarlet (Square Fish, 2014) began as NaNoWriMo drafts, says the beauty of the program is that it “forces you to silence that internal editor and just get something written. If you’re telling yourself that it’s OK to be writing something bad because you can always come back and fix it later, it takes a lot of the pressure off.”

Ouch. That hit home. That internal editor remains one of my biggest writing roadblocks. I can’t peck out two sentences on the laptop without having to go back and proof what little I’ve done. I know I’m supposed to complete my manuscript before getting all editorially and nit-picky, but I succumb every time to the temptation to tweak what I’ve written. And that slows me down, which impedes the completion of my manuscript, and a completed first draft, despite its inevitable ugly spots, is an accomplishment that will spur me on to sticking to the whole process.

I used to dismiss flash fiction as a gimmick, too, until I tried my hand at it and discovered the rigor and discipline it takes to complete quality pieces. It isn’t easy, and that’s the point. There’s no doubt writing flash fiction has improved my writing by forcing me to say what I want to say in fewer, stronger words. You can judge for yourself here and here.

So look out, NaNoWriMo 2015. Here I come.