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Writing

Building a World in a Hurry

This morning we’re looking at another effective opening.  Like last month’s example, the first scene isn’t simply dramatic but introduces a likable character (named November) finding a moment of peace in an otherwise miserable life. But even more, it introduces readers quite effectively to an alternate metaphysics.  Note how the …

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The First- Versus Third-Person Debate

A few months ago, in response to a personal conundrum I shared with you, we debated the merits of wrestling a novel that wanted to be written in first-person into third, and whether that would be wise from a marketing perspective. Positions were expounded, personal research advanced, and a few …

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Anne Greenwood Brown and COLD HARD TRUTH

Congratulations to WU contributor and multi-published author Anne Greenwood Brown on the publication of her fifth YA novel, COLD HARD TRUTH, which released on April 3rd! Anne, who also writes adult romance under the pen name “A.S. Green,” has four novels coming out this spring/summer from three different publishers. She …

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The Shame of it All

Photo by: BRICK 101-Lego Godzilla, Creative Commons SHām, noun, 1. “… a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior….” Synonyms: humiliation, mortification, chagrin, ignominy, embarrassment, indignity, discomfort …. When you write the Disappointing Novel—the one that makes you cringe when you think …

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Mining Our Characters’ Wounds

While we can certainly be forgiven for not seeing our personal wounds as jewels, our most powerful wounds often have as many facets and hidden depths as an exquisitely cut gemstone. They are sharp, with hard edges that not only reflect back light but distort it somewhat. As writers, we …

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13 Ways to Engage Your Reader with a Despicable Character

photo adapted / Horia Varlan I’m not one who believes that character likability is key to winning over the reader—for me, “relatability” is more important—but there is a character in David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks (long-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize) whose lack of moral compass challenges even my …

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A Mental Health Checkup for Writers

Flickr Creative Commons: darkday I ignored the signs for months, convinced the anxiety, crying jags, insomnia, and moments of rage were hormonal potholes on Perimenopause Lane. In my defense, life has thrown a few curveballs since December. Before I could send out queries on my newly completed manuscript, I came …

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All the King’s Editors–Sarah Callender

This post is the next in the ‘All the King’s Editors’ series, the brainchild of WU contributor Dave King. In this series, WU contributors edit manuscript pages submitted by members of the larger WU community, and discuss the proposed changes. This is intended to be an educational format, and we hope …

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The Power and Value of Critique Partners

I think there’s a common vision of the writer as a loner. Supposedly we all sit alone in our small dim rooms, hunched over the blue glow of our laptops, muttering to ourselves as we try to work out the perfect sequence of words. (I may or may not be …

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Art and Social Change

Nostalgia by Flickr user TMAB2003 I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. If the popularity of books and movies like Ready Player One, as well as the constant stream of remakes, reboots, and sequels are anything to go by, I’m not the only one. It makes a certain amount of sense that …

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