When you fall down, get back up and continue on.

When it rains it pours and that can’t be poignant enough for right now.  Poor Barbuda is pretty much wiped out, all the islands in the Carribean, Florida, Mexico, and of course Texas is still bailing out. Our good thoughts and wishes go out for all of you now and I promise to rearrange my budget so we can give cash as needed.

Sometimes the world is good at knocking you down. But I think life is about how we react to those moments. Of course, if you are worried about hurricanes or other disasters you have to make sure you are ok first.  Things like writing have to take a back seat unless you are huddled somewhere with a notebook and pen writing your thoughts and observations safely.

Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you need to prioritize your needs. Take care of your physical self – shelter, food, and water, then when you can, you work on your psychological – feeling safe, connected, and healthy. That is where the writing comes in. So many mental health professionals use writing as a tool to good mental health.

As writers, we already knew that.

Stay safe and have a good day.

Paula

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Am I the only one who has fantasized about living in a library and why do you write the genre you do?

I love reading and I suspect most of you do too. It is all about the stories, right? Whether zombie apocalypse, plague, end-of-the-world-whatever, I am hauling my happy ass to a library! I would spend so much time reading everything and eating apples.

The act of reading is itself a pleasure. While I have genres I prefer to read, stick me someplace with only silly teen romances available and by golly I will read those suckers.

Dark confession time. I have read the Twilight series. My daughter swore to me that they were better than the movies.

She lies.

I couldn’t get Kristen Stewart’s voice out of my head for everyone one of Bella’s lines. It is still better than 50 Shades of Gray, just saying.

The point being, I am not tied to a particular type of book. But when I write, I stick to the fantasy genre. Because I am lazy and it is easier. Also I am trying to really improve the quality of my writing and not having to spend time worrying about the correct details helps.

Last NaNoWriMo I wrote a story based on La Carambada. A female Mexican bandit in 1870 who seriously kicked butt. This woman tried to save her French soldier lover from being killed and was betrayed by the governor. To get back at the government, she dressed like a man and took to robbing people and did it better than everyone else. To really rub in the humiliation in this machismo culture, she would bare her breasts so her victims knew they got beat up by a girl. She may have actually poisoned the officials who would not help her.

She needs a story told about her.

The problem is, that while I live in Southern California and I love the Mexican people and culture, there is no way I could do this story justice. Not in a way that it deserved.

Unless…

The story now takes place in a land that is loosely based on Europe during the 30 years war. Very loosely based. Now a young woman is trying to protect her fiancee and is betrayed by the lords of the land so in turn becomes a robbing-hood type character, fighting injustice and flashing her tatas.

No mess, no fuss. I love writing fantasy because there are no rules and anything goes.

So what about you? How did you pick the genre you like to write in?

Have a great day!

Paula

 

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Quick Link: All About Commas

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Today we head over to The Write Practice for a refresher course on commas by Ruthanne Reid. Comma placement is very important and can change the meaning of a sentence is read.  The most famous example:

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

“Why?” asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“Well, I’m a panda,” he says. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

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All About Commas

by Ruthanne Reid

I would totally see a movie about a gun toting bad mouth snarky panda. Quentin Tarantino should direct.
I would totally see a movie about a gun toting foul mouth snarky panda. Quentin Tarantino should direct.

Today, I have just a few comma tips for you. This is nowhere near an exhaustive guide, but if you learn these rules, you’ll give a better impression with your written word everywhere you go.

The Purpose of Commas
The biggest confusion regarding commas stems from a terrible urban legend. That urban legend is this: “If you want to know where a comma goes, just put it wherever you want a pause in your writing.” (And then say “comma” three times in front of a mirror, etc.)

This is not true.

Commas serve a specific purpose; they exist to divide content by clause, to delineate list items from one another, and to indicate sentence continuation before and after quotation marks.

Generally speaking, commas only show up for clarity’s sake—and I’ll be explaining how they clarify in each of the following examples.

When to Use Commas

Use Commas Between More Than Two Items

In a list, two items never require a comma. Three or more, however, do. For example:

  • I can go to the store for milk and eggs. (No comma required.)
  • I can go to the store for milk, eggs, and bread. (Comma required.)

This applies to subjects, too. Two subjects do not require a comma; three or more do.

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Quick Links: What’s the Difference between Plot and Story?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

I admit that when I first looked at this post by Jami Gold, I was didn’t think there was going to be much I could get from it. But Jami goes deep. There is a very important difference between the story and the plot, and that difference is what makes a great story. Check out the post at jamigold.com and see if you agree.

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What’s the Difference between Plot and Story?

I want a magic pen!
I want a magic pen!

by Jami Gold

May 3, 2016

When we first start off as writers, if someone asks us about our story, we might launch into an overview of our story’s plot. It’s easy to think the plot is what our story is about.

Believe me, I know. I have several query letter drafts that took that road to rejection. *smile*

Yet one complaint I’ve heard from agents over the years is that many queries are too “plotty.” What does that mean?

With few exceptions, story isn’t the same as plot.

For this post’s image above, the plot event would be: man lost in a desert. The story behind it would be: man struggles to survive.

What’s the difference? Stick with me and find out. *smile*

Nouns vs. Verbs

Which sounds stronger and evokes more emotion?

  • The sorority member stopped her luxury sports car in front of the three-story brownstone.
  • The woman screeched her car to a halt in front of the house.

For many of us, we’re going to say the second sentence sounds stronger. We get a sense of action and urgency, which are emotional concepts.

Now take a closer look at those two sentences. They’re essentially the same idea—a woman is parking in front of a house.

The difference is that the first sentence concentrates on precise nouns:

  • sorority member vs. woman
  • luxury sports car vs. car
  • three-story brownstone vs. house

The second sentence focuses on a strong verb:

  • screeched vs. stopped.

That example isn’t meant to imply that we shouldn’t use precise nouns. In fact, we should use precise nouns and strong verbs. Instead, the example shows how verbs are the part of speech that add action, emotion, and narrative drive to our story.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: Your Two-Year Plan for Writing, Editing and Publishing Your Novel (However Busy You Are)

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

When I first read this post by Ali from Aliventures I admit I was a bit shocked. Two years seems like a long time! But then I realized that not only was this a reality check, but when you look at the plan, it makes sense. Especially considering she is talking about spending only 30 minutes a day to work on your project. So if you have ever made any excuses on why you haven’t written more (Guilty!) this article is for you! Ali even offers a free download of the material she uses in the post.

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Your Two-Year Plan for Writing, Editing and Publishing Your Novel (However Busy You Are)

i will schedule my writing... I will schedule my writing... I will schedule my writing.
I will schedule my writing… I will schedule my writing… I will schedule my writing.

April 25, 2016

Have you ever told yourself something like this:

  • “Once I have a bit more time, I’ll start work on that novel.”
  • “Once life is less manic, I’ll get back to my novel.”
  • “If only I could take a year off work, I could finally write my novel.”

A novel is a major undertaking. But it’s also one that can fit around a busy life.

You don’t need all day, every day, to write.

If you can find just 30 minutes each day, you could finish a novel (to the point where you’re sending it out to agents, or self-publishing) in just two years.

If, like me, you know some super-prolific novelists (like Joanna Penn and Johnny B. Truant), one novel in two years might sound a bit slow.

But … one novel in two years is definitely better than no novels at all.

What You Need to Make This Work

Obviously, I have to make some assumptions about your time available and writing speed. (We’ll get to “making time” and “speeding up” in a moment.)

For the plan to work, you’ll need to:

  • Have 30 minutes per day available (or the equivalent across a week, e.g. two 1 h 45 m sessions).
  • Write an average of 500 words per day during the first draft
  • Edit at an average pace of 1,000 words per day

The plan allows for:

  • Two full drafts (writing 500 words per day)
  • One full edit (editing 1,000 words per day)
  • A final tidying-up edit (editing 1,500 words per day)
  • Plus time for your novel to be with your editor and/or beta readers.

This should result in a novel of 75,000 – 80,000 words, completely finished (from initial idea to ready-to-go book) within two years.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: How to Survive the Edit Letter

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Writing is a very personal thing. So it is easy to see why people have difficulty with feedback. It’s like getting immunization shots, you know you need them but it’s going to hurt.  One way to get good feedback is working with critique partners. {Writability}’s Ava Jae has the lollypop and band-aids ready as she gives us tips on how to survive the critiquing process.

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How to Survive the Edit Letter

by Ava Jae

I'm sorry... You have run on sentences. Have a tissue.
I’m sorry… You have run on sentences. Have a tissue.

So we all know working with critique partners is a very good thing you should be doing if you’re a writer, and we know that even after you get an agent, the revisions don’t stop until the book is on the shelf. Which means between the first draft and the final printed copy, writers have to do a lot of revisions. And generally, when those revisions are based off someone else’s notes…there comes the edit letter.

A lot of edit letters.

I recently got a question on tumblr about handling edit letters, and it occurred to me that while I’ve mentioned tips here and there for handling critiques, it doesn’t look like I’d really dedicated a post to it. So now I am.

The long and short of this is even when you like revising (like me)—even when revising is your favorite part (like me)—edit letters can be pretty hard to swallow. Whether it’s a bulleted e-mail or a fifteen-page Word document (both of which I’ve received), reading an edit letter can feel a bit like getting punched in the stomach repeatedly. And at the end you’re supposed to smile and say, “thank you.”

So how do you handle an edit letter? These are the steps I take:

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: Everything You Need to Know About Writing a 3rd-Person POV

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

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Sometimes your point of view can be terrifying...
Sometimes your point of view can be terrifying…

Chances are good you’re using a third-person POV (or Point of View) in your story right now. If not, then you likely used it in the past or will give it a try in the future. It’s a nearly universal writing technique and the most popular of all the POV choices. But are you using it correctly?

Not everything in writing comes easily. I often talk about how most of storytelling—particularly structure—is surprisingly instinctive for most writers. We understand it on a subconscious level, to the point we’re often on the right track with our books long before our conscious brains catch up.

But not everything’s like that. For most writers, POV isn’t like that. The gist of one of the questions I most frequently receive is: “POV????!!!!

I’ve written primer posts about omniscient POV and first-person POV, but I realized I still needed to do one on the most prevalent of all POVs—the third-person POV.

This is the POV of choice in more books than not—everything from Emma to Ender’s Game. It’s arguably the least complicated of the POVs, so it’s a good choice for beginning writers. But it’s also arguably the most flexible of the POVs, which means it’s also a good choice for the most advanced and complicated of stories.

Read the full post on Helping Writers Become Authors

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: The Key to Creating a Wholly Believable Character

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

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The Key to Creating a Wholly Believable Character

Last week I talked about the natural action-reaction cycle that’s such an important issue in fiction writing. So many manuscripts I critique are missing key reactions from characters. This oversight—and I believe that’s what usually causes this problem—is similar to scenes lacking appropriate description of setting or characters.

Writers see their scenes in their heads, and often while attempting to get all the many details down and locked in, they fail to pay attention to these nuances and trimmings. Yes, it’s often easier to come back later and fill those in—bring in sensory elements and the touches of description that help bring a scene to life.

And writers can certainly add in those needed reactions as well. So long as they can spot what’s missing.

While a lack of description details can be easy to spot and subsequently provide, if a writer doesn’t really get the natural flow of action-reaction, he won’t know it’s missing. Or know how to insert it so it’s believable.

Put Yourself in Your Character’s Shoes

So much of writing great fiction lies in the ability for writers to put themselves in their characters’ shoes (or slippers or moccasins). I don’t think writers take enough time to sink into the roles of their characters. To mull over how it feels to be George or Sally or Fido.

I truly believe the best writers are the ones who have a gift of acting. And while you might not feel you are talented in that way, I do believe you can train yourself to be. If you’re not the type that likes to psychoanalyze yourself or others, this is going to be harder for you than for some other authors.

Don’t Get Stuck in Left-Brain Tendencies

I notice a lot of my editing clients struggle with this. These are the writers who tend to be left-brain analytical. They might work as CPAs and computer programmers (not to stereotype here or say people with these vocations can’t immerse themselves in character). But they’re the kind of thinker that sees plot at the crux of story, and they often have a hard time feeling what their characters feel. They approach their fictional characters logically and practically, writing out long descriptions of who they are, their background, their hobbies and interests, their goals.

Which is all well and good. But to get past the surface of plot and structure and get deep into story, it really requires getting deep into characters.

Read the full post on Live Write Thrive

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: Writer vs Storyteller

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

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Writer vs Storyteller

There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of essays and articles online attempting to differentiate between writers who tell stories and storytellers who write books. Many people will say that it doesn’t matter; that it’s all semantics. Which led me to wonder…. is it?

As polarising controversies go, it’s not a very big one. I mean, it doesn’t rate up there with “Pantser vs. Plotter” or “Literature vs. Genre” or “Self Pub vs. Trad. Pub” or whatever the cool kids are arguing about these days. Nonetheless, it’s a topic that comes up from time to time.

What are writers and storytellers?

Chances are, when you read the title of this essay, one of those terms resonated with you. Maybe you consider yourself a writer. Maybe you consider yourself a storyteller. Maybe you consider yourself both. Or neither. But before we start talking about the difference between them, what do the terms even mean?

Writer
Let’s move past the simple definition of “a writer writes” and look at what the title of writer actually means. Without going all dictionary-phile on you, let’s define a writer as someone whose purpose is to write books, poems, stories, or articles. A writer is someone for whom the art of writing is paramount — grammar, word use, punctuation, etc — and knowledge of that craft is used to record stories, be they fact or fiction, through the media of written words.

Storyteller
We can define a storyteller as someone whose purpose is to tell stories, whether they be fact or fiction, for the purpose of entertainment and/or illumination. A storyteller is someone for whom the art of storytelling is paramount — character, tension, climax, personal growth, etc. — and knowledge of that craft is used to tell stories through whatever medium will best reach their intended audience. Which, in the modern day, is often writing.

But it’s not that simple…

Read the full post on Writer Unboxed

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: Create Your Own ‘Fine Writing’ Machine (15 Original Ways) Editor (How to change cliches and improve your writing!)

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

The Writer’s Village host John Yeoman has some great ways of banishing cliches and bland metaphors while improving the quality of your writing.

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Create Your Own ‘Fine Writing’ Machine (15 Original Ways)

Friday, April 8, 2016
by John Yeoman
Do little lambs frolic in your heart? (Then best see a doctor straightaway.)

Does the day smile at you? Or has the month come in like thunder? Do little lambs frolic in your heart? (Then best see a doctor straightaway.)

If you’ve ever felt those sentiments you’re on the slippery slope to writing Literature. And that way madness lies. Before long, you’ll be shaking your head like a bottle every morning to check if there’s still a brain in it.

Metaphor can become addictive.

Like a Thai chef with chili, you’ll put it in everything. As I just did.

But why not?

Figures of speech – like rhetorical questions – were once the bright plumage of literature, in the days when little distinction was made between poetry and prose. (The rot set in around the 1660s when England’s Royal Society banned the use of metaphor in scientific papers. Money was saved on printer’s ink but there’s no poetry in S = k log W.)

Today, we eschew all grace notes, along with any word that might seem difficult, like ‘eschew’.

Why? When writing fiction, we must focus on the story not the author, so we’re told. Pretty writing throws the reader out of the tale. “How well s/he writes,” we breathe. And we’ve lost the plot.

So what?

There’s room for both kinds of fiction. One says “look at my work (and pretend the author is invisible)”. The other preens “Look at me.”

Nowadays, the former style prevails, and it’s a shame. I see no harm in ‘look at me’ fiction, if the author’s an interesting person. Is our presence not intrinsic in our work? Yes. Would The Four Seasons be the same without Vivaldi? No.

Modern novelists have lost the music. Let’s bring it back.

Introducing…

Yeoman’s Metaphor Machine: 15 Artful Ways To Make Your Story Sing.

Step one: Create A Simple Figure.

Think of a clichéd simile. ‘He was as strong as an ox.’ (Every cliché was innovative in its time.)

Contract it to a metaphor. ‘He was an ox.’

Trim it to its essence then expand it. ‘The ox glared at me.’

That’s elegant. But we can finesse it. And have fun. Here are at least fifteen further ways to create original figures of speech, starting with a term as simple as an ox:

Read the full post on Writer’s Village

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Scott Reintgen, (@Scott_Thought) at Fiction University gives an in depth discussion on what makes a great antagonist.  Every story needs a problem for your main character to deal with, usually involving conflict. A great antagonist not only will help tell your tale, but will showcase your main character and allow them to evolve.  As one of my t-shirts says “every great story needs a great villain.”

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How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Tuesday, March 22

By Scott Reintgen, @Scott_Thought

Two angry men with crumpled paperPart of the How They Do It Series

Great antagonists make great stories, but not every bad guy is the “bad guy” of a tale. Sometimes it’s all a matter of perspective, and what gets in the way ultimately makes you stronger. Visiting the lecture hall today is Scott Reintgen (It’s pronounced Rankin) to share some thoughts on how antagonists work with a story’s conflict to produce delightful results. Today is actually his wedding anniversary, so congratulations to Scott and his wife, and best wishes to happy couple.

Scott was always a back-row dreamer. As early as kindergarten, teachers noticed his tendency to stare out of classroom windows and disappear to more interesting elsewheres. Convinced he would one day be a writer, Scott spent most of college and graduate school investing in the world of literature. This eventually led to a career teaching English and Creative Writing in North Carolina. He strongly believes that every student who steps into his classroom has the right to see themselves, vibrant and victorious and on the page. It’s his hope to encourage a future full of diverse writers. As he’s fond of reminding his students, “You have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it.”

As for his own writing, Scott continues to follow in the footsteps of his favorite authors. It was Tolkien who once wrote, “The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.” And Scott hopes his books are a trail of withered leaves that might lead readers to the bright elsewheres through which he constantly finds himself wandering.

He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Katie, and family. His novel The Black Hole of Broken Things comes out in 2017 by Crown Children’s.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Take it away Scott…  

One of the most universal truths in life? Things are against you.

Life is full of conflict. There are things that are trying to stop you, people that are trying to stop you, and sometimes even you are trying to stop you. Stories are no different. When you read a great book, you expect there to be some serious conflict. In fact, my students have voted conflict as the number one answer to, “What makes a good story?” three years in a row now.

So if conflict is expected and important, how we write our antagonists becomes central to writing a good story with a good protagonist. I use a pretty simple method for keeping up with my antagonists. It’s the same one I teach to my students. It’s called the threefold method.

Read the full post on Fiction University

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: How Your Character’s Failures Can Map A Route To Self-Growth

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Every story has a problem that the characters must overcome, that is what makes the story interesting for readers. But what if your character doesn’t succeed?  Angela Ackerman shows us how having your character fail,  actually allows for them to grow. Lessons learned and all that. Head on over to Writers Helping Writers and learn the different types of failures and the type of growth associated with them.

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How Your Character’s Failures Can Map A Route To Self-Growth

So, failure. Ugh, right?

Well, I was feeling like a failure today, like I’d let the team down because an idea of mine went sour. It sucks when that happens, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I found myself retracing my steps, looking at how I got from A to B to C, to what I should have thought of to avoid where things ended up. It comes down to a lack of knowledge, and I’ve learned from it. This led me to think a bit more about failure, and our characters.

Failure is something no one looks forward to or wants to experience. It doesn’t feel good to fight for something and fail. A knot of emotion (frustration, disappointment, anguish, anger) can quickly escalate to darker feelings (shame, self-loathing, humiliation, bitterness, disillusionment, and even jealousy and vengefulness).

However, failure can also lead to positive traits like determination, persistence, resourcefulness and a higher level of discipline. And once on that route, it will lead to change. To evolution. To inner growth, and finally that thing everyone seeks: success.

How each of us deals with upsets, disappointments and failure can say a lot about who we are deep down, and it is the same with our characters. Not only that, but their go-to coping strategies can also help us pinpoint where they are on that path of change (character arc) and open a window into where their weaknesses lie, and what attitudes need to shift to get them on the road to achievement.

Coping (or Not) With Failure

Here are some of the ways I think people (and therefore our characters) tend to react when it comes to failure. Have a read and see which rings true for your hero or heroine.

Blaming Others

For some, failure triggers the blame game. Rather than look within to what they might have done differently or take responsibility for their actions and performance, the blamer makes it about other people: What they did to cause this result. How they let one down. How it was rigged from the start. How one was held back, not helped, how others didn’t play fair.

The lesson that must be learned: be accountable, and be responsible. Whatever comes, whatever the result is, face it and take ownership for your own actions and choices.

Read the full post on Writers Helping Writers

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: Falling in Love on the Page: Writing Convincing Romantic Relationships by Anna Campbell

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

They say relationships take a lot of work. This is true even for fictional characters in books. Where should you go to learn about developing great literary relationships? Head on over to Romance University, where  has some great advice to make your character’s love affairs realistic while still making reader’s hearts beat faster. 

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Falling in Love on the Page: Writing Convincing Romantic Relationships by Anna Campbell

Couple in embraceMarch 7, 2016

Anna Campbell

She’s smitten. He’s besotted. But that’s not a story. Award-winning author Anna Campbell shares her insight on creating believable romance for your characters. 

As a romance writer, I spend my life watching characters fall in love – it’s a fun way to make a living.

But how do you make those tumultuous romantic relationships believable to the reader? I’m sure we’ve all picked up books where the hero and heroine come together at the end, and our principal response is “huh?” or “they’ll be in a divorce court within a year.”

Not how you want people to feel when they reach the last page of a book you’ve written – whether a romance or a story with romantic elements.

Here are a few thoughts on making those falling in love moments convincing – and irresistibly powerful.

Physical attraction is essential in a romance. That doesn’t mean that all your characters have to be model material with flawless faces and bodies. In fact, often it’s more interesting if they are normal people. But there needs to be a spark. Perhaps your hero notices your heroine’s beautiful eyes or saucy strut or lovely hair, or your heroine thinks the hero has a nice smile or broad shoulders. The attraction needs to be invincible and inescapable, because when your characters clash, this sexual link makes it impossible for them to break away from each other and seek an easier option.

How you write that physical attraction depends on your characters – and your story. Do you want an instant flare-up, or the slow build from interest to love? Or do you want a coup de foudre moment when your characters finally see what’s been under their noses for so long? Do you want to write a transformation story – always a popular theme – where the ugly duckling hero/heroine undergoes some sort of makeover and suddenly appears in all their glory to dazzle their admirer?

Read the full post on Romance University

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Quick Link: Getting in Character—Deep POV Part Two

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

How can you not love Kristen Lamb, she wears a viking helmet! On her blog, she write a humorous but well thought out post on improving your writing by going deep into your character’s point of view. You know the whole “show, don’t tell” thingie but taken to a different level.   This is part two in a series, but can be read alone. You can find part one here. And don’t worry Kristen, I loved Tropic Thunder too!

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Getting in Character—Deep POV Part Two

March 13, 2016

KnowledgeKristen Lamb

Yes today is odd. Posting on a Sunday. We are headed into Spring Break and yeah…hard to maintain my usual schedule. Today we’re going to dive deeper into deep POV and then, later in the week, I am going to bring you guys an expert on deep POV 😉 .

Will be fun.

To accomplish “deep POV” yes, there are style changes we can make, like removing as many tags as we can and ditching extraneous sensing and thinking words. But deep POV is more than just tight writing, it’s also strongly tethered to characterization. Good characterization.

It is essential to know our cast if we hope to successfully write “deep POV.”

KNOW Your Cast

There are all kinds of ways to get to know our characters. I often write detailed character backgrounds before starting a story so it doesn’t become a fish head.

Why we need to know our characters is that deep POV is a reflection of the inner self, how that character sees the world, responds, evades, processes, etc. It is also a reflection of personal history and relationship dynamics.

*cue brain cramp* *hands paper bag*

It’s okay. Breathe. We’re going to unpack this.

Reflection of the Character

Back when I used to run a weekly workshop, I had writers do a little exercise to help them learn POV and also strengthen character-building skills. I gave this scenario:

We have a family of four—Mom, Dad, a grandparent (either gender) and a teen (either gender) who has spent a year saving for a family vacation. On the way to their destination, the vehicle breaks down. What happens and tell it from the perspective of EACH family member.

Every week, writers showed with the perspective of one of the four. We had ASTONISHING creativity.

Read the full post on Kristen Lamb

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Quick Link: Inner Conflict in Fiction

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Having depth in your characters makes them more believable and having them face conflict makes them more interesting.  At Live Write Breathe, Janalyn Voigt gives us examples of conflict that will help you develop your characters and then throws in a little psychology too. Check out the whole series!

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Inner Conflict in Fiction