A lot of good links this week from writing sex and dialogue to eReaders–good or bad? to sexism in reviews. Don’t Skip the Sex by Raelyn Barclay: Some links to awesome writing-about-sex info and how learning about writing a sex scene and the need for true characterization has ruined sex-scene reading for this writer. Kathryn Stockett’s ‘The Help’ Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller from More Magazine (via James Scott Bell): The title says it all; but if you’re feeling discouraged, read this story before you ever think of quitting. These next two are related: Time for book publishers to fight dirty by AaronRead More →

Twice a week, I’m going to post the very best content I’ve found online. On Monday, you’ll get my best writing finds for the last week.  On Friday, the stuff that amuses, confuses, or maddens me. Windows Open or Closed by Kimberly Krey: The value of having an open mind while doing writerly things. Twitter Tuesday #27–Team-Building by Kristen Lamb: One in a (very amusing and informative) series about what-not-to-do if you want anyone at all to like you online.  In this article, how to self-promote without being annoying or spammy. 10 Tips to Banish the Unpublished Writer Blues by Kathy Carmichael: Really smart adviceRead More →

Are you a Twilight enthusiast? A Bella-Wannabe? Mooning endlessly over Bella’s identification withWuthering Heights and thinking the only thing as great as being the author of Edward would be being the author of Heathcliff? Just so you know: the author of Heathcliff was dissed by her publisher, left unpublished until he could ride the coattails of her sister Charlotte, then published in a terrible edition with sloppy typesetting and cheap paper, and ignored by the reading public, who found Heathcliff—beyond reprehensible—downright disgusting. Emily Bronte was a bonafide literary genius whose greatest work, a saga in verse, was altered after her death against her passionately-clear wishesRead More →

So I’m a third to a half of the way through my manuscript and oh. my. God. I knew the beginning.  I had so much to write, to get all these threads and storylines moving.  I had to write and then condense and rewrite just to make sure I could get in everything important without rambling.  And then I get to this point and I’ve got nothing.  What comes next?  I sort of know the ending, though not the specifics, so where do I go from here?  Some ideas. A preset time (say, 30 minutes) of freewriting, preferably with a program that pushes you toRead More →

I know, subtle title, right?  So, I’m revising because I realized I need more sexual chemistry.  And how do I get that?  Subtle sensuality. It’s not that I’m an idiot when it comes to writing the sex.  Some people have told me I’m quite adept at it.  It’s just that, sometimes, when you’re trying to get a hundred other things right, like plot and characters and goals and motivation–you get it, it’s easy to forget that people who just jump into bed aren’t sexy. I started thinking about personal space.  I’m married with kids, so people are in my space all the time.  We hug,Read More →

I want to land an agent and be published, you want to land an agent and be published.  I scream, you scream, we all scream for representation. Rejection is simply part of the process of being a writer.  It stings, it’s hard to get past.  But what’s the other choice?  Quit?  If that’s an option for you, then it’s probably the best course of action. Most of us, though, can’t imagine a life that doesn’t involve writing.  So, it’s not that quitting isn’t an option in the “I’m too tough to quit” way, it’s that it’s not an option, period. But what should you do? Read More →

Excellent article about how to plot your novel so the reader can’t put it down.  Also, will explain what an “HCM” is. Today’s best novels make readers so desperate to know what happens next that they’ll stay up reading well past midnight, blistering thumbs and all, until THE END. Then and only then will they be able to relax, their souls flooded with satisfaction, relief and peace. Only to be followed—ideally!—by a gnawing sense of unfulfillment, anxiety and a compulsion to read more books by you. via Writer’s Digest – How to Make Your Novel a Page Turner.Read More →

Emotional sex. Note that I am NOT coining the “love scene” euphemism. I do this deliberately-for now-though by the end, I’m hoping that’s exactly what sex will be, making love: sweet, hot, emotive sex that is unforgettable. And this can be done. This wonderful article (link @ the end) discusses making your sex scenes emotional (and overcoming the fear of writing the dreaded sex scene). Making sex emotional does NOT mean the characters have to be in love already. What it means is, they have to have inner conflict, tension, insecurities or physical or emotional limitations that add to the emotional wallop of the actRead More →

There are as many ways to plan out a novel as there are writers. Each writer goes about it a different way. via Planning, Outlining, and Organizing Your Novel – Or Not! « Word Sharpeners. This is an excellent article on the many ways to plot your novel, even if you write by the seat of your pants (pantser!).Read More →

A quick link to an article I found from twitter this morning (via VMGDesigns) on the Seven Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School. No one but you is an authority on your writing. Not me. Not your English teachers. Not Strunk and White and their highfalutin Elements of Style. The longer you write, the more you’ll realize that other writers can’t tell you what to do. You should listen to more experienced writers, sure, but never more than you listen to yourself. Good stuff. Later (after work): A look at my two opposing views of NaNo writing from the beginning and the end.Read More →