Posts I loved this week

A ton of excellent post this week as we say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall. Check out the beauties below!

If you’re looking to submit to a literary agent, check out this post from one of them with her best tips on Romance University. Then stick around the site to enjoy this great post by K.M. Weiland on tips to make your love story an epic love story.

Avoiding the dreaded info-dump is crucial for a good story. Here are three essential questions for a better backstory on The Write Practice. And this fantastic one on writing villains.

Joe Bunting promises that this exercise will get you unstuck every time you try to write and can’t. I have to say I tried it and it worked–at least for me.

If Mondays get you down, go over to DBCII for some inspiration. Starting next week, he’ll post writing prompts from books he has. Check out this great idea here.

When I don’t write, I worry about my book and when I write, I worry about making mistakes, so I worry about my book! This post on the Tiny Buddha on how to relax was just what I needed to read.

Sooo excited because I was certain we might not get it but Outlander is coming to Canada. A huge thank you to Penny Dreadful for letting me know and for reviewing it!

If you’re into Westerns, check out this post by Amy Alessio with seven fantastic Western romance reads for you to check out on Romance University.

Five ways to increase your productivity while you’re not writing by Chuck Sambuchino from Writer’s Digest.

Just for fun, this post had me in stitches. So funny by Suzie81 Speaks.

This one has great inspiration with quotes by those who’ve achieved great things on Jen Owenby.

If you’re writing a query letter, check out this post on how to write a killer blurb on Writer’s Relief.

Here come the categories. Again, keep in mind they’re just for fun.

* Best Achievement of the Week – To D. Emery Bunn for completing his book Darkness Concealed.

* Best Short Piece of the Week – A definite gem, this one‘s by Mishka Jenkins.

* Best Rant of the Week – to Infinitefreetime, for this one.

* Best movie Review – to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Natacha Guyot.

Most Unusual Tips for Writers – This one needs a word of warning. Some tips are truly…disturbing, from the Thought Catalog.

* Best find of the Week – Very cool. You type in three words and it generates 5 blog topics for you. Check it out here at HubSpot.

* Funniest Post of the WeekWhat not to say to a mom with a Colicky Baby by Outmanned. Never had a baby colicky or otherwise, but I still laughed out loud.

Editing links

If you’re editing and you’re like me, you don’t want to spend any more time at this task than you need to. That’s why, before you start adding comas and deleting adverbs, you might want to keep in mind how these pros do the job. I certainly wish I had done so before I did the editing of Olivia’s Choice. Instead of an entire year, the thing might have been done much sooner.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/05/how-i-edit.html–author, writer and literary agent, Nathan Bransford knows writing. Here’s how he edits.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2013/12/30/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-2-novel-length-edits/ — Big edits first. Don’t edit the little things first. It’s like choosing paint while you still haven’t finished the roof.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2014/03/19/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-7-in-line-revision/— little edits. When the big guys are done, check out those little things. They add up, so get a good cup of coffee and your eagle eye.

http://elizabethspanncraig.com/1559/approaching-messy-first-drafts/–when you don’t know where to start, start here.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/06/how-i-self-edit-my-novels-15-steps-from.htmlIPPY Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as the  western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the epic fantasy DreamlanderK.M. Weiland certainly knows writing. This is how she edits.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/09/07/five-things-to-consider-during-revisions-with-loucinda-mcgary/–five things to look for while you’re editing by author Loucinda McGary.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/03/09/the-best-way-to-edit-by-tracy-sumner/–If the traditional ways don’t work for you, try this post!

http://www.profkrg.com/11-tips-for-editing-your-own-writing–eleven clear steps anyone can follow.

Do you have a way to edit that works for you? Share it! I’d certainly love any tips you can send my way.

Conflict

I’m editing and I keep wondering, is there enough conflict in my story? Though I could do without it in real life, it’s different in my story. In a book, conflict is key. It’s so important.

So, I did a bit of searching and found some sites on conflict. If you’re like me and wondering if you have enough of it, these might help.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/11/double-storys-conflict-seconds.html–How to double your conflict in seconds. Thanks to K.M. Weiland. 

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/03/on-conflict.html–Nathan Bransford weighs in on conflict and why you need it.

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/11/guest-author-cj-redwine-how-to-escalate.html–10 ways to escalate conflict in your story.

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/11/find-your-plot-fridays-forcing-issue.html–By Janice Hardy again. Another great post on how to add conflict to scenes.

http://thewritepractice.com/creating-conflict/–by Joe Bunting on how to create conflict.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2012/09/why-your-storys-conflict-isnt-working.html–A very important point about adding valid conflict by K.M. Weiland.

And finally, a cute and funny test by Janice Hardy to see if you’re too nice to your characters. http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/12/do-you-suffer-from-nws-living-with-nice.html

P.S. Yes, I did take the test and, no, I don’t want to talk about how I did.

Posts I loved this week

I loved, loved the posts this week and I think you’ll see why below. They’re just top notch. Absolute gems. Check out these beauties.

I love getting links and tips and here, Winter Bayne sent out a selection of blogs she adores. A big thanks to her because I love finding new blogs!

This one is great for that writer’s toolbox. Nathan Bransford posted this great selection of tips for before, during and after writing your masterpiece. Keep in mind he actually wrote a book on how to write books and it’s doing really well. These posts are the top writing advice posts from his blog. Don’t miss out.

I loved this post by David J. Delaney because my characters too seem to do what they want at times and I have a difficult time bringing them back to task.

This one is a really interesting post about writing as therapy–from the author’s perspective. They always say, ‘write what you know’, so it makes sense that our characters would have pieces of us in them.  Thank you Victoria Grefer, for the great post!

If you’re a fan of the bad-boy hero, check out this post by A.O Peart at Romance University. Not only does it explain the reasons behind the attraction, it has a list of possible bad-boy heroes in books you may not have yet read…Yum!

Here‘s a fantastic post by K.M. Weiland on ‘downtime’ for writers and why there’s no such thing. A big thank you to Winter Bayne for sending me the link!

If you’re looking for an interesting hook on how to find books, check out this post by Inky Tavern. There are three examples of the first two sentences of these books and they all sound absolutely amazing. Now, I’m thinking of all the beginnings to my favourite books. How did they start? What a great post!

Infinitefreetime got a new look this week. He went Premium. If you’re considering spending the money, you might want to see what his blog looks like now. On another note, awesome cover and big congrats on his upcoming book!

The April Blogging challenge is still on and I have been delighted with it because the quality of the posts has been absolutely amazing. Check out these great blogs and their amazing posts this week. One, on Tone, is The Writing Catalog and the other is on Twitter, by BCII. A big, big thanks to both for their great posts and hard work. You’re almost at the end!

For the bloggers out there, here are 5 blogging tips you might be overlooking. A big thanks to Drew Iaconis for the excellent post!

Alianne Donnelly had this post that I absolutely drooled over. She explains in it the reasons why she writes. The post really resonated with me. I loved her honesty and integrity.

Unlocking creativity

I think all writers fear the dreaded Writer’s Block. I find that the more I edit, the harder it is to be creative. When I am editing I have to go back to refresh my inspiration and work at it more than normal.

But how do we get inspired?

Here is a post on 19 habits to help you unlock your inner creative muse by Katherine Brooks. And here is another on 6 steps to being more creative by Leo Babauta. And here’s another one on 6 things you need for that inner muse to go to work by Tanner Christensen. Finally, here’s K.M. Weiland’s great post on Six tips for great ideas in writing.

Go for it! Unleash your inner muse! 🙂

Posts I loved this week

Early March and there are a lot of talented writers writing their way through this relentless winter. I loved this week’s selection of posts!

Outmanned wrote a post that terrified me. I just kept wondering how she does it. How does she do it? I would have been crying on the floor. My hat goes off to her! And a big congrats on her award!

Another big congrats to Scott Bury, fellow Canadian and very talented author who’s book, “One shade of red” is out. Check it out in David C. Cassidy’s blog. David C. Cassidy is another very talented Canadian author who also does some amazing photography, book covers and featured Scott in his blog. Way to go guys!

I tend to love countdowns in just about anything but this one is particularly awesome. Jeff Moore‘s Top 10 Most Popular Posts. Check them out.

Live to write – Write to live just blows my mind. Week after week, they consistently come up with amazing posts. Not only are they well written, they’re full of great information that just hits the spot. This week Lisa J. Jackson wrote a particularly awesome post with great ideas! A big thank you for that great post. Then Jamie Lee Wallace wrote this great post about being creative (with help from John Cleese!). So positive and instructional! Awesome!

Finding balance is always a struggle for me. Kristen Lamb is definitely a go-getter and she has a great post on balance. I found this one thanks to Winter Bayne, another awesome writer and definitely another go-getter (check out her to-do lists!). Big thank you for the suggestion!

Here’s yet another example of why I love Infinitefreetime. Just check out this post. Hilarious! It’s tiny and yet soooo funny. I have no idea how he does it but I suspect genius has something to do with it.

K.M. Weiland wrote a delicious post titled: The lie your character believes. Ohhh. Just that title had me going. I thought: how absolutely amazing to create a lie, a piece of denial for a character. I loved it. I was thinking of my character, Amy. She believes she can’t handle her fear. The plot in the book, makes her face that fear. This great post is part of a great series on Character Arcs. Check it out here.

I’ve mentioned Sourcerer before and Gene’O because I believe he’s incredibly talented and that blog is amazing, but I’d like to mention his personal blog this week, The Writing Catalog. Gene’O wrote a powerful and gripping post this week. It really hit me because it was so honest and emotionally raw. I find honesty online is both rare and incredibly refreshing.

Speaking of honesty, check out Jodie Llewellyn’s very honest post on fear. I started reading and couldn’t stop. Her fears were exactly my own! I loved that post.

How to get writing

Writer’s block, drawing a blank, writer’s rut, call it what you like but most writers experience it at least once in their writing careers. Writing isn’t easy. Getting down and doing it is hard. I’m not alone thinking so. Here’s Nathan Bransford’s take on this same topic.

I have to say I have different ways of sitting on the chair and getting busy. Some days are better than others. Some places are definitely more conducive than others.

K.M. Weiland has a great section to inspire you into writing: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/writing-inspiration

Kelley Leiter has some great quotes to get you writing: http://www.thebeginningwriter.com/2012/03/helpful-quotes-to-inspire-and-guide-you.html

Here’s Nathan Bransford’s take on this: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/08/why-writing-is-so-hard.html

Finally, Live to write – Write to live has this category to help you find your inner muse. http://nhwn.wordpress.com/category/motivation/

How about you? What motivates you to write?

Writing good dialogue

I’ve been told I write good dialogue. This might have gone to my head. I think I need a bit of humble pie, which I’m sure Karma will provide any day now in the form of a scathing review.

Still, I follow some rules for writing dialogue.

The first thing I did is tape a conversation and read it. I thought it’d be realistic and awesome…The reality was a bit of a shock. Real-Life conversations are awful. We repeat ourselves, we go in circles, we go off topic…it makes for frustrating and very boring reading.

What works for me is to try and keep the ‘flavour’ of the character who’s talking. Joe doesn’t say: hello. He says: Hey, chickie, what’s shaking? It also helps me to add humour. I’ll give a snobbish character a coughing fit while they’re trying to maintain their dignity or I’ll create a character who loves to be heard and then deny them that wish.

But, here is what works for the Greats:
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/09/seven-keys-to-writing-good-dialogue.html

http://www.alicekuipers.com/10-tips-for-writing-better-dialogue/

http://writerlycommunity.azurewebsites.net/10-rules-writing-good-dialogue/

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/04/8-tips-for-awesome-dialogue.html