All posts tagged: Writer’s Digest

Write On, Wednesday: Playing with Cards

By Leslie Lindsay  (image source: http://www.benzinga.com 5.22.13) Yesterday I booked a trip to Vegas, so it’s no surprise I have been in my kitchen playing cards.  And what the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China…or writing for that matter?  The trip is to celebrate the wedding of a childhood friend and the cards well, they have nothing to do with gambling and everything to do with something just as risky–my first novel.  Affectionally, I refer to myself a ‘pantser,’ that is someone who writes by the seat of her pants.  I don’t plot.  I don’t like it.  I feel it stifles the creative process, rather than juicing them up (my critique partner claims plotting excites her to delve into the story).  I like to deliberate and then get hit with a burst of inspiration I can’t possibly let slip by.  So when my completed Slippery Slope had some holes and a few too many overall words (doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron…how can a story have holes and be too …

Write on, Wednesday! To Plot, or Not to Plot…that is the Question

By Leslie Lindsay As most of you know, I am feverishly working on a novel.  Second draft revisions…rewrites, or whatever you want to call ’em are tough.  The first draft was all composed on the fly.  That is, I am a pantser (as in seat-of-my-pants).  I first heard that term when I attended the Write-by-the-Lake retreat this past June.  I heard it again when I was reading the latest issue of Writer’s Digest (March/April 2013). So, let’s back up to that statement at the top:  Second-draft revisions are tough.  As I’ve been working through this draft with my wonderful writing partner (who reads, critiques, gives, suggestions, and kicks my butt), I’ve been seriously considering starting the next book with a good old-fashioned outline, thinking it would make those 2nd draft revisions much easier.  After reading this article in WD, I am wrong, wrong, wrong!  Take what you want–work how you want–but for me, the outline may not be my bestfriend.  It’s too limiting.  It’s too old-school, it’s too predictable…and it sort of takes the fun …

Write on, Wednesday: Establishing Writing Goals for 2013

By Leslie Lindsay Got an old manuscript shoved under your bed?   Dreams of writing for a big glossy?  Or finally putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and penning that novel you’ve always said you’d write.  Maybe you just want to write more than say…your grocery list.  Well, whatever your writing goals are in 2013, this post will surely help you start tackling them.  About 4 years ago when I reluctantly began blogging (who’ll read it, it’s kind of like tooting your own horn, etc.), I have grown considerably as a writer.  And the thing with writing is, it’s a cumulative process.  It doesn’t have to happen all at once.  Read that again.  You don’t have to start doing all of the writing you’ve ever wanted to do all at once.  Baby steps.  Start the blog.  Read Writer’s Digest religiously.  Sign up for a continuning education class.  Write something daily.  Start slow.  Build up to writing that novel.  I know, I know…I am not one to subscribe to the “take it slow” camp.  I …

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! Certain Words

By Leslie Lindsay Ever notice how there are certain words that make you feel good (hycionic, dawn) and those that make you cringe (moist, languid)…how about laugh?!  In a sort-of-kind-of recent issue of Writer’s Digest (not sure the actual date, ripped this article out), they talk about just that, “How to Add Humor without Really Trying.”  Here’s a sampling  the words from their list that is sure to illicit a chuckle: bamboozled canoodle cheeky flanker girdle hornswoggle kerplunk knickers lackadaisical monkey noggin persnickity rumpus snarky tater waddle wonky Back to those definitions…I have no idea what a hornswoggle is. horn·swog·gle verb \-ˌswä-gəl\ horn·swog·gledhorn·swog·gling\-g(ə-)liŋ\ (From Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary) Definition of HORNSWOGGLE transitive verb slang : bamboozle, hoax Examples of HORNSWOGGLE <I think we’ve been hornswoggled by that carnival barker.> Origin of HORNSWOGGLE origin unknown First Known Use: circa 1829 Related to HORNSWOGGLE Synonyms: bamboozle, beguile, bluff, buffalo, burn, catch, con, cozen, delude, dupe, fake out, fool, gaff, gammon, gull, have, have on [chiefly British], hoax, hoodwink, deceive, humbug, juggle, misguide, misinform, mislead, snooker, snow, spoof, string …

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 …