Catching up on your deadlines

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I don’t know about you, but I visualize my deadlines as dragons in flight and this is one of those weeks when I’m holding on tight to my dragon’s tail! I’m all caught up (jinx!) – how are you guys doing on your deadlines?

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The number of books written in Starbucks

Comic by Jeff Stahler

Comic by Jeff Stahler

Do you ever find yourself wondering just how many books/articles/short-stories were written in your local Starbucks?

I think if someone actually tracked it people would be amazed.

I often sit in my local Starbucks all morning, drinking coffee, sucking up wi-fi and incorporating various patrons in my character descriptions.

Do you have a favourite writing spot you frequent in your ‘hood?

Hear, Here Salon Toronto

Hear, Here Salon Toronto

I’m very excited to be a featured author at the inaugural Hear Here Salon in November!

WHEN: November 20th
WHERE: Toronto (more location details to be released closer to the event – it’s a surprise!!)
WHO: Myself and a whole bunch of other artists – check out the full list here
WHAT: Here is the description from their website:

Welcome to Hear Here, Toronto’s premier Salon! For our inaugural event on November 20 2014, we will be holding an artistic gathering in Toronto with the greatest influential artists in Canada.

Poets, novelists, short story writers, essayists, fiction or non-fiction, professional or novice – all are invited to come to share or just listen. We’re creating a communal event for writers, the lovers of spoken word, literature, visual arts, music and all things creative. But we can’t stress it enough that ANYONE who wants to attend can do so.

Our first event will be only $30 which includes the exquisite culinary tastes of Toronto and the chance to rub shoulders with the greatest artists in Canada. If you’re unable to afford the entrance fee, you’re in luck. We’re looking for a limited number of volunteers to help with set up and clean up for the night. If you’re interested, send us an email with Hear Here Volunteer in the subject line.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Amazing list of advice on research for your books by my friend Christine — bookmark her website!

IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

Thorough research is the 4th of The 7 Reasonable Rules of Writing. Details will differ, according to exactly what our Muse has tasked us with writing: be it historical fiction, fictionalized history, contemporary life, or even fantasy world-building, which must achieve consistency and continuity between its wholly imaginary historical and contemporary aspects. But in general, this is the kind of research that writers should expect to conduct:

mooreVerify vocabulary. Outside of misspellings (including homophones and apostrophe errors), there’s nothing quite so jarring to a reader who’s in the know, than encountering anachronistic or culturally uncharacteristic bits of verbiage. Pay attention to the etymology your dictionary provides, and in particular, the dates. (My 1941 Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary also supplies a helpful “new word” list.)dictionary & phrasebook

Sometimes readers quibble over local semantics. Writers who are accustomed to the U. S. cultural and linguistic melting-pot should know that there’s no such thing…

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Tips: Writing a Series

Knock one over and…

I’m working on a new episode of One Fictitious Moment (check out the first four episodes here) and the topic I’m researching is how to write a series.

Here are some of the tricks I keep in mind when writing a story that is part of a series:

  1. Always remember there is a larger story-arc and try to keep pushing it along at regular intervals.
  2. You have to give people a reason to read the next book. It doesn’t always have to be a cliff-hanger, but there has to be a reason to come back.
  3. You don’t have to retell the stories prior to the one your writing right now, but you may need your characters to ‘remember’ certain events if they are significant to the current story. A flashback or a quick memory written on the page can work.
  4. Remembering all your little details is really important as is all the foreshadowing you need to drop in so that by book 4 your reader smacks their head and goes “Ohhhhh!” – thanks for these two tips Amy from Inkcouragement!

What are some of your best tricks for writing a series?

 

Daily Prompt: Game of Groans

Grumpy. Grumpy. Grumpy.

Grumpy. Grumpy. Grumpy.

Another Daily Prompt that lines up with my life:  ” Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever. ”

Two words for you guys: Writing Synopses

I’m writing a synopsis for Principessa and UGH. I hate it. Just hate it.

Writing the book? AWESOME. Rewrites? Slightly AWESOME. Synopsis? BAH!

Hey, let me take my 80k well-told story and somehow make it just as readable in 200 words. Oh, I will remove all the great dialogue and most of the fun scenes, but somehow I plan to retain your interest! I promise! Clues will be three words in a sentence and there can be almost no surprise in 200 words, but I’m really really excited!