Sunday, September 24, 2023
Friday, September 22, 2023
Monday, September 18, 2023
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Monday, June 12, 2023
Monday, May 1, 2023
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Thursday, April 20, 2023
I'll be there signing books! Come out and see me!
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Sunday, April 23, 10 AM – 3:30 PM
Tysons-Pimmit Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
Meeting Room 2
Organized by the Loudoun Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, this workshop is specific to the special craft and needs of writing the novel. It will not consist of lecture but “the working talk of fellow writers sharing their experience with the writing process” (to borrow the words of Don Murray, Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist).
We will look at creating a novel from the beginning idea to the working-out of a story that will grab and keep the interest of readers until the end.
Join us from 10 AM until 3:30 PM at Tyson’s-Pimmit Library, Meeting Room 2, on Sunday, April 23. There is no charge. Questions? Contact Donna Royston, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, April 10, 2023
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Friday, March 10, 2023
1.You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
2.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.
3.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
4.Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
5.Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
6.What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
7.Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
8.Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
9.When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
10.Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
11.Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
12.Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
13.Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
14.Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
15.If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
16.What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
17.No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
18.You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
19.Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
20.Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
21.You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
22.What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Monday, January 9, 2023
Sunday, January 8, 2023
It should be a good writing year if I don't encounter too many monkey wrenches.
First up is a short story submission, that I will send out today. I have three novels in the queue for this year, two writers' Retreats, my podcast season 3, and a lot of adventures planned.
But only after I get this cat off my lap...