From Derek's Corner - Real Men Write Romance
I read a quote a couple of years ago that stuck with me. "Love is the best part of any story." I think that's right. The older I get, the more right it feels. Whether the love of a cause or activity, love of family, or love between two people. Love is one of those things that inspires and draws us like nothing else.
We are made to give and receive love, and are at our best we pour out love onto others. So many characteristics seem wholly dependent on love. Whether or not we dispense kindness, patience, forgiveness, and many others, seems in direct proportion with how much love we have coming in.
I have yet to see anyone OD on love, well at least love expressed in healthy ways. We appear to have a never ending capacity to be loved. Is there such a thing as too much love? We have all seen the results of not enough. Given the choice, a surfeit of love, rather than a dearth is obvious. For more of this article go to...
Just read this great blog by the Ruby Slipper Sisterhood (Golden Heart Finalists from 2009) on making your first 50 pages really shine. Tips for Improving Your First 50 Pages Posted by Hope Ramsay Sep 19 2011, 12:01 am in craft, writing tips
Summer is over and it’s the season for authors to be dusting off manuscripts, entering contests, and sending off partials to editors and agents. That being the case — and also because I have spent the last week judging Golden Pen entries — I thought I would pass along a few tips for improving the first 50 pages of your manuscript.
These tips are hard-won knowledge earned through years and years of making mistakes, and then more years of judging contests. I can’t guarantee that you’ll final in a contest or get that agent to request a full if you follow these tips. But I know these tips will make your first few pages much stronger.
1) Start with action. Read your first 50 pages and find the first place in it where the following applies: a) there are two people in the scene, b) they are fighting about something or fighting something that wants to eat them or otherwise harm them. When you find that place, it’s probably the place where your submission needs to start. Cut everything — and I mean every word — that happens before this moment and start your book right in the middle of the fight scene, or in the first few moments before the fight begins. Don’t have anything in your first 50 pages that has two people fighting about something? That’s probably a hint that you’ve got pacing problems with your novel.
— Move to tip # 2 for solutions at the following blog address.
This came from the blog (W)ords and (W)ar dances
Worldbuilding series: part 1: intro
Here's a non-secret: when I was a wee writer, I had all these ideas for cool stories and I worked so hard on them -- or so I thought. One of the things people consistently told me was that my worldbuilding needed work. They kept saying I needed more. It needed to be bigger. And so I'd come up with bigger, crazier ideas that still didn't work.
Way back when one of my writing groups used to do intense focus chats on a story, someone praised an author because her story "spilled off the edges of the page."
The phrase haunted me for years because I knew that was what I wanted my stories to do . . . I just couldn't figure out how to make that happen. I tried throwing in random exposition, even considered epigraph type things at the beginning of chapters with worldbuilding things from an Official Book In The Story World. (But decided against that because I tend not to read them.) I tried so hard to master worldbuilding, or at least get people to notice if I was improving. It felt like I would never succeed.
For me, the tipping point was when I read Robin McKinley's SUNSHINE, having been told it had a lot of great worldbuilding. For more of this article go to...