All posts tagged: James Scott Bell

Write On, Wednesday: Keeping Tension on Every Page

By Leslie Lindsay You hear a lot about tension. It’s in the news. “Tension in the Middle East,” the bug-eyed beauty behind the camera chirps on your  television. It’s in your shoulders after carrying the world right there, spread between your shoulder blades. Middle East and all. Tension is in your exercise band during your weekly “Body Sculpting” class at the gym. Tension is also in that novel your reading. Or writing. At least it better be. So what’s the deal with tension? Well, no one wants to read about unicorns and puppies. Well, maybe 2nd graders do. But you better believe that even in that early grade chapter book there’s bound to be some trouble with those puppies. Trouble is intriguing. Trouble is fun. Trouble keeps you turning the pages. Okay, so it may not be “trouble” as in something a child gets into. “You got into trouble again?! What am I going to do with you?” Trouble is a loosely generated term meaning “conflict,” or “tension.” Think of what you are currently reading. Does it keep you …

Write on, Wednesday: The Art of War for Writers

By Leslie Lindsay The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell (Dec 9, 2009) (retrieved from Amazon.com on 8.8.12) We writers are an odd group.  I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I know because we work really hard at nothing all day.  No, no…that came out wrong, too.  It seems so easy to be a writer, but alas it is not.  You see, to be  a good writer, one must really have the drive.  One must really have patience, creativity, observation skills out the waazoo…and have thick skin.  Really thick rhino skin.  About 10 days ago, I was really struggling with my writing.  I was cruising through my manuscript on my laptop nodding here and there and thinking, “Hummm…not bad.”  And then I got to a place where I thought the whole darn thing just sucked.  I wanted to stuff it all and move on with my life.  After all, I was packing on pounds from writing at my favorite coffee shop (I swear just smelling coffee and carbs …