April 22, 2010

A Carbon-Neutral Blog

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I don't usually post more than once a week, but the most marvelous VR Barkowski wrote today about a wonderful program that will help reforest areas decimated by northern California fires.

I've put up the button and hope you'll join me. Just click on the green leaf and you'll be taken to the site of Make It Green (Mach's Grun), which is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation for this project. Step-by-step instructions make it easy.

What a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Thanks, VR!

April 20, 2010

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

A member of my local SCBWI group suggested buying this book and I’m glad she did. (Thanks, Rahma!)

There’s a lot to like. I found the chapter on Point of View especially helpful. In my first book (shelved for the time being), I had a tendency to jump around heads during a scene instead of focusing on a single viewpoint and letting other characters reveal themselves through action and dialogue.

Before reading Browne and King, I didn't consider using POV for descriptive passages. Because I write in the third person, I assumed my descriptions would be rather distant and factual, maybe spiced up with some poetic imagery. Now I’m learning the importance of letting readers experience settings and action through the perspective of the characters. Even more significant, these observations will ring most true when they're written in the language the characters themselves would use. Eureka!

I realize this marks me as a novice, but we all have to start somewhere. Wherever you are in your writer’s journey,  I heartily suggest consulting this book. I think you’ll find it immensely rewarding.

April 13, 2010

The Writer's Journey

“Every protagonist embarks on a journey that sends her both externally and internally into, as yet, undiscovered places. A writer does, too." - Martha Alderson

Don't you just love this? It’s almost Zen. When you set pen to paper, you also become the lead character in the ongoing tale of a writer’s life. You're on a voyage of discovery.

Like your characters, you'll run into obstacles. Writing is work, hard work. It's not for the faint of heart. It's a craft, and like any craft it takes practice, practice, practice. You have to keep going, even when you don't feel like it. (Especially when you don't feel like it.) You have to stay with it, even when the words you write are so far removed from the story in your head you suspect major brain damage. Even when you're convinced a roomful of monkeys could produce a story better than yours.

Need a break? Take it.  Go back and look at some of your earlier work and congratulate yourself on how far you've progressed.

But don't stop. Trust that the path you're following will lead you to all the right places.