Writing

Writers Weekend: WIP

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Welcome to Writers Weekend, your virtual getaway dedicated to all things writing! Join a community of writers as we share our struggles, triumphs, and most of all, our love of the craft. Every other week I’ll post a prompt, whether it’s a list of questions or an open ended inquiry or just a random writing exercise. Write your post, add your link in a comment, and then check out and comment on a few of the other links! You can grab the blog button below (or the banner above!), but please link back.
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How to Write an Engaging Email

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How many emails have you deleted without reading recently?

If you’re anything like me, the answer is so, so many. Everybody seems to want your email these days, from apps to stores to coworkers to that annoying person sending out reminders for events at your local library/university/rec center. It’s obnoxious, and our inboxes are constantly filled with mindless trash.

But what if you’re in charge of sending out those email reminders? You’re not a marketing expert and you don’t want to be. You just want to get people to come to your event. I’ve been there. I’ve got you. (more…)

Don’t Should Yourself

Not too long ago, I saw a gallery show by the amazingly talented Richard Faust, in which he had drawn small animals with fun patterns and accompanied them with cute, inspirational sayings. It’s one of my great regrets that I didn’t buy one, so I’m hoping he does another similar show at some point. But one of the pieces I remember most clearly said in big letters, “don’t should yourself.” (more…)

Novel Research

How much research do you usually do before writing a novel? I’m sure it depends on the genre, but maybe not.

— Kelly

Thanks for the question, Kelly!

For me personally, I don’t usually do any research before writing a novel. It doesn’t matter the genre, though I’ve only really tried fantasy, contemporary, and YA. A book of essays or something more… research-based, for lack of a better term, would probably merit a little bit more, but I’m a pantser in the worst way. I would even occasionally start research papers in college before I actually did the majority of my research. (more…)

Worldbuilding: The Devil’s in the Details

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How do you incorporate details into a story? Like if it’s a fantasy, how do you balance world-building with plot and character development? If it’s set in a historical period, how do you make sure the details are accurate, necessary?

-curious writer

The most important element of worldbuilding is the knowledge that people will approach your world with only the understanding of their own world. If they’re an avid reader, they might have a broader vocabulary concerning worldbuilding, but you can’t rely on something a reader might or might not know. So as you introduce details of a foreign world, be it fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, alternate realities, what have you, always keep in the back of your mind how it relates to the here and now—the world to which your reader will unconsciously compare your world. (more…)

Life Update, I Guess

I’ve been feeling down and out and discouraged lately, hence the lack of posts. I have half-finished drafts and a list of ideas and notebook pages filled with snippets scattered everywhere, but I haven’t had the motivation to finish anything. I just don’t care. What’s the point of screaming my opinions into the void? All it does is add negativity to the world, because no one reads the positive posts. And when I see the people who are crazy popular in the blogosphere, I want nothing to do with them because all they do is post inane drivel. (more…)

Life Hack #144

If you’re working on a large project, listen to the same album or short playlist on repeat. That way it’ll fade to background music as you work, but when you’re lacking the motivation to start working on it again, turning on the music will kick your brain into action and picking it back up will be easy.

Poet’s Market Is a Scam

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A while back, I wrote a post about the ugly minefield that is trying to find a legitimate literary magazine. Due to life getting really busy, I hadn’t had a ton of time to continue the search until a couple days ago. So, I sat down with my laptop, my spreadsheet of submitted works and completed works* and Poet’s Market 2017. (more…)

To Draft or Not to Draft?

Not sure how many drafts you should write before sending your work to beta readers or asking for feedback? Here's your answer.

How many drafts should you write before you get feedback from someone? Should you write the first, rough draft and let people read it or should you try to edit it first and then send it off?

— Jaime

That really depends on what you want from your readers.

It also depends on how polished your drafts are. Personally, I can’t just word vomit, so my first drafts are as edited as some people’s second and third drafts, and I’m usually okay sending off a first draft for feedback. But I know people who just spit out everything that comes to mind and like to edit a few times before they let anyone read whatever they’re working on. (more…)