All posts tagged: fiction writing

Write On, Wednesday: Dealing with Structure

By Leslie Lindsay  (image retrieved from myhsj.org) I have my novel-in-process right here with me.  Yes, its in electronic form on my handy-dandy lap-top and in binder form sitting on the table next to me.  I have another binder full of hand-outs  hints, tips, ideas, inspiration from from time at the Write by the Lake writer’s retreat back in June.  I don’t want to do anything about it.  Nope.  Nada.  No way.  “It’s hard!” I whine.  (Well, if it were easy, everyone would write a book).  But I know I need to.  Here’s what needs to happen:  I need to take all of my prose and turn into something a little more mangable.  I thought I was a person who could write without an outline…I preferred it that way.  Hey–if I knew every twist and turn ahead of time, what’s the point in writing?  For me, writing is a discovery process.  It’s about being in the moment and seeing where my fingers take me.  It’s pretty darn fun.  But back to structure.  I started out …

Write on, Wednesday! Do’s and Don’t of Fiction Platforms

By Leslie Lindsay You hear all the time, “build your platform!”  But what exactly is a platform, you say?!  Well, the terminology, platform comes from the theater in which the presentor/entertainer (that’s you, the author) is on the stage, while your “audience” (readers) are on the sidelines.  It generally means you have a place to promote your work; that is–readers who care.  Every writer will have a different strategy to developing his or her platform–it all depends on your personality, your goals as a writer, and often the types of writing you do.  Here’s a list of do’s and don’t for fiction platforms (but I think you can translate many of these to non-fiction as well).  This is literally a clipping from a Writer’s Digest magazine…but don’t ask what issue.  It’s been tacked to my real-life bulletin board over my desk for awhile now. WHAT WORKS: 1.  Local publicity; especially if you live where your novel is set (DOESN’T WORK:  mass snail maillings) 2.  Book giveaways (DOESN’T WORK:  Non-book [swag] giveaways) 3.  Wide-reaching blog tour …

Write on, Wednesday: Can this Manuscript Be Saved?

By Leslie Lindsay There are seven reasons a writer gets rejected, at least according to Susan Meier, romance writer of many.  Want to know what they are? 1.  Your story doesn’t fit with our line/publishing house.  As a writer, you will hear this as, “Not right for us.” 2.  There is not enough emotion/action/romance or perhaps too much (especially if you are writing fiction and it comes across as too romance-y). 3.  Bad characters. 4.  Weak story or lack of plot 5.  Poor dialogue 6.  And this one is left blank 7.  So is this one… (I was frantically taking notes at the Spring Fling Writer’s Conference at the end of April.  We were trying to cram waay too much into this workshop–yet, ironically it was one of my favorite ones I attended.) As a writer, you have three entry points for the reader to become captivated: 1.  Your scenes–>that all builds pacing and momentum 2.  Your story 3.  Your words–>the tone and how those words build your character However, a good story does not …

Write on, Wednesday: Fiction Primer

By Leslie Lindsay I never really thought I would have much interest in writing fiction.  I had always seen myself as the self-help, parenting, fact-based sort of writer with a slight bent towards memoir/life lessons.  But then I subscribed to Writer’s Digest and began wandering over to the columns geared toward fiction writing.  Character development, story escalation, discovery…well, it all seemed rooted in psychology.  Since I am a former child/adolescent psych R.N., my metamorphsis to “writer” seemed quite natural. After slaving away for weeks, months even on the revisions of my 16 chapter non-fiction book in Childhood Apraxia, I am ready to take a break from all of that, uh…monotony.  Back to fiction!  But I am a little rusty and I need a bit of a refresher, and perhaps you do, too. According to a semi-recent edition of Writer’s Digest (sorry, clipped this piece out, no date to go by), here are the 5 key points for shaping your story: 1–Orientation.  Meet the protagonist.  What’s his life like?  What does he have?  Is he about to …

Write on, Wednesday: Ready to Write

By Leslie Lindsay For some reason, “Ready to Start that Novel?”  from Writer’s Digest on-line has been sitting in my email in-box since August 19th.  I see it every day I open my email–which is mostly mulitiple times a day.  I haven’t even clicked on it, so it shines nice and bold and black.  August 19th wasn’t really that long ago, not really. Just a whopping 5 days.  That’s nothin’.  But it is something when it’s been on my mind for a long time.  It’s like the writer gods were channeling me when they selected that subject. I have this novel-in-progress that I am happy about.  I like it.  It has a good, sassy storyline; it has a pretty good plot, and interesting characters.  It has nearly 50,000 words.  So, what’s the problem?  Why can’t I finish the darn thing?! Well, there’s this little thing called “life” which gets in the way.  I’m at the park with my kids, or the bookmobile, or dropping them off at 1st grade (that was today, btw).  I am making appointments–and …