Guest Blogger Karen Hart reveals secrets about how to Keep Calm, Carry On and Let the Magic Begin: How To Breathe Life Into Your Work Through Revisions. During my thirties, I wrote my first novel, Butterflies in May. It tells the story of a 17-year-old high school senior, Ali Parker, who discovers she’s pregnant. I gave her characteristics, created a family, a best friend and boyfriend, and described where she lived. I effectively created a situation and characters, and the mechanics were in place. After nine months of work, I had a novel, but the story was flat. It was discouraging after all that effort, but in the words of Hemingway: “The first draft of anything is shit.” The goal in writing a novel (or any body of work) is to capture the magic, give it a heartbeat and touch your readers in a relevant way. Revising and editing are…
Month: April 2015
An editor can offer a valuable worthwhile assessment . . .
An editor can offer a valuable worthwhile assessment of writing that can help move the manuscript closer towards publication. — Brian A. Klems, Writers Digest Magazine, October 2012 Note from Marlene: Editors are totally valuable and necessary to fact-check, spot-check, double-check and make you, the writer, look good. What does an editor do? Click here to check out the series of April 2015 blog posts by editors on The Write Spot Blog. So . . . Just Write! Give those editors something to think about! Then work with an editor to whip your manuscript into shape. Doesn’t this kitchen whip look like a magic wand? With the help of an editor to shape your writing. . . it just might feel like a magic wand was waved!
Redwood Writers, a branch of oldest writers’ organization . . .
Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club (CWC), has ongoing writing contests. Click Redwood Writers Contests to read about the current contest. “Whether you’re a traditionally published author or ‘just always wanted to write,’ there’s a place for you at CWC Redwood Branch.” CWC is one of the oldest writers’ organizations in the nation. Members are poets, journalists, essayists, technical writers, and creators of genre and literary fiction, as well as editors, booksellers, and others involved in related fields. There are branches throughout California. Click California Writers Club to find a branch near you. To enter a Redwood Writers branch contest, you must be a member. California residence is not required to be a member. Click Redwood Writers Membership for member information. Submit! You never know. . . the next contest winner could be you!
What really happened? Prompt #157
What really happened? Your story could start out like this: [Read in a Humphrey Bogart nasally voice]: “This is what really happened. . . See. . . .” Got it? Now write it! Prompt: What really happened? Humphrey Bogart [actor]: Maltese Falcon, CasaBlanca, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, High Sierra and many more unforgettable movies.
Just What Does an Editor Do for Me, Anyway?
Guest Blogger Mark Burstein elucidates about the different types of editors. “Editor” is a catchall term for a host of different functions in the publishing business; here we will look at six different kinds. It’s an amorphous field, one in which our roles and definitions are moving targets. Sometimes we are hired by the author, sometimes by the publisher. Often the same person can take on diverse roles for different clients, or even the same client. So, in more or less chronological order: The first, at the top of the food chain if you will, is known simply as the “editor,” but is also called the “book,” “project,” “literary,” “substantive,” or “developmental” editor. S/he is the person who is in charge overall, helping with organization, the story arc, consistency, features, structure, transitions, “assets” (images), permissions, and possibly even advising on design and layout. S/he is also your friend, ideal reader,…
Broken . . . Prompt #156
Broken . . . Today’s Writing Prompt: Broken
If you have built castles in the air . . .
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; . . . If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” — Henry Thoreau, Walden or Life In the Woods Marlene’s Musings: In order to advance confidently as a writer. . . you need to think like a person who is in the business of writing. It’s one thing to be a writer, it’s another thing to be a published author. And if you don’t care about being published. . . then I hope you are enjoying your writing. Build those castles…
You are the person you are intended to be . . .
“Do not obsess about flaws and shortcomings. You are the person you are intended to be . . . You were put here for a reason. No one else has your unique talents. No one else sees the world through your eyes and experiences. Be yourself and share with others. No one can tell your story but you.” B. Lynn Goodwin, “Celebrate Your Uniqueness.” Originally posted in Inspire Me Today, January 2, 2014 Note from Marlene: Do not obsess about whether or not you are a writer. If you have something you want to write about . . . simply pull out a chair, sit down and . . . Just write! Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, which is currently holding its 10th Flash Prose Contest (deadline 4/21/15). She’s the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, and a YA called Talent,…
Beloit Poetry Journal wants your poems
April is Poetry Month Beloit Poetry Journal is looking for “a wide range of forms and styles in contemporary poetry. We are always watching for new poets, quickened language, and poems that offer a new purchase on the political or social landscape.” “The editors at BPJ offer personal notes on almost all the submissions they receive, whether accepted or rejected for publication. In return, they ask potential contributors to study the guidelines on the website, resist the urge to send simultaneous submissions. . . and read numerous poems in the online archived issues.” — The Writer Magazine, April 2015 Click here for submission guidelines.
The Language of Your Childhood is Poetry. Prompt #155
April is Poetry Month. Let’s talk about poetry. The following is inspired from a workshop with Pat Schneider. Poetry is about music of language and comes in all forms: Music, nursery rhymes, hymns, jump rope rhymes. Look in anthologies for different kinds of poetry, different styles, different authors as poets. Guess what . . . You don’t have to like all poetry. Think about the language of your childhood. Imagine sitting around your kitchen table, or the living room couch or sofa . . . depending on where you grew up, you might call this item of furniture ” the davenport.” Remember your family’s way of talking. Hear poetry in music that was spoken around the kitchen table. Remember the language of your childhood. When writing poetry, don’t strain the language. Use normal words. Fall into the poetic playground. One way to write poetry: Take the melody from a song…