The Seven Senses of Writing


The Midlife Second Wife ™

©iStock.com/Franck-Boston ©iStock.com/Franck-Boston

Sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. I counted five, right? Five senses which govern our experience of the world, and lead us—luxuriously, deliciously, gloriously—through life.

We often talk of a sixth sense, the guide that alerts us to danger or deception, leads us to opportunity or outcome. This intuition of ours is also a governor, every bit as vital as our biological sensors.

Each of these six senses is essential to the writing process. But I suggest that a seventh sense is required for any sort of sustained activity which would yield a viable, worthy result—whether a sonata, a sonnet, or a work of sculpture. I’m talking about the sense of discipline. And because I’m not a composer or a musician but an artist of a different sort—a writer—this essay is about the seven senses of writing.

One could argue that honesty is a sense, but it’s not. It’s…

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Who Needs Secondary Characters?


Writers In The Storm Blog

By Laura Drake

I don’t know about you, but I can’t write a book without secondary characters. Yes, I’ve read books without them (or ones where they had tiny roles), but I can’t write that way.

WestleyI’ve never gotten over my crush – how about you?

I mean, where would The Lion King be without the hyenas? Where would Westley be without Fezzik? (or Billy Crystal as Miracle Max – Love him), or, for that matter,  Hamlet without Yorik?

You get the idea.

Yes, secondary characters can be enjoyed for their comedy, their loyalty, or their stupidity…but other than entertainment and to fill word count, why include them?

As Outlets

A secondary character can allow your protagonist totalk. You know that dialog is waaay more compelling than thoughts, right? It also allows you to slip in backstory in an interesting way, because it’s natural to talk about your history…

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Kat: Love Your Antagonist (Say What?)


Eight Ladies Writing

Last week ArghInk featured a post detailing the importance of loving the antagonist in our story. It’s not a new concept to me (we talked about it at McD) but I disregarded all that because my antagonist, Hawk, is not the hero. He’s Cheyenne’s half uncle and up until now he’s been the quintessential “bad guy”. In other words, one-dimensional, predictable, and boring. Which is why until now my focus (and sympathy) has been on Cheyenne.

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Is Your Subconscious Mind Setting You Up for Failure?


That’s what we all need to strive for, a positive attitude can take you anywhere you wish to go 🙂

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons

In my last post we discussed striving to find balance and giving ourselves permission to be imperfect. This brought about some interesting discussion and I’d like to expound. I confess. Americans are notorious for “shortening” the language.

We use a lot of words as synonyms when, truth be told, they aren’t. Or we have “blanket words” which mask truth, thus prevent us from making progress in life, with relationships, our career or even ourselves.

As writers, we of all people should appreciate the power of words. We have the ability to create entire new worlds that could possibly endure hundreds or thousands of years…all by using various combinations of symbols. Words have creative and destructive power. This is true in non-fiction, fiction and in life.

When I began college, I was on scholarship to become a doctor, thus spent over three years…

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Tips for a Winning Beginning!


Patience Bloom

iStock_000002358778Small How cool is that for a title? It rhymes and the ! just seals the deal, doesn’t it? I’ll discuss titles some other time–though, if you think about it, they are beginnings of a sort. Once I turn the page, I become a little pickier. Bookaholics have to be picky. As I weed out books from my shelf, I do a scan of the first few pages, then decide if I want to continue. It’s a great equalizer since I will recycle books by established and debuts authors. If the opening doesn’t grab me, the rest won’t either. “But the story really gets going after the first few chapters.” This I’ve heard before to convince me against a revision letter, but that’s too late for me–unless it’s a weighty tome, like Don Quixote . Here, I have different expectations. For a winning beginning in romance I want to:

See something.

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7 stages of writing a book – video discussion at IndieReCon


Nail Your Novel

7 stages Do you need help to get your novel started or finished? Four of us experienced scribblers talk about how we stay creative through the tough times and reveal our secrets for drafting, fixing and finishing, not to mention keeping our confidence. Solutions include running, composing music, meditation and lying on the floor scribbling on sheets of A4 using the hand you don’t normally write with.

My co-conspirators are Orna Ross (who is the author of Go Creative, several literary novels and leader of the Alliance of Independent Authors), Kevin Booth (who’s a translator as well as an author and trained as an actor before he took up writing), and Jessica Bell (who runs the Vine Leaves Literary Journal as well as having a parallel career as a singer-songwriter, which you might well know already from her appearances on The Undercover Soundtrack).

We’re forming the creative posse at IndieReCon…

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When Keeping Secrets is Deadly


Kiss and Thrill

GwenHernandez_BlindFury_800px CLICK COVER for Buy-Link

Is this the smoking hot sex scene you submitted to a contest and won?

Ha, what a way to start! I was going to thank you for hosting me today, but…

Just kidding. 😉 Yes, the first big love scene between Mick and Jenna is the one I submitted to the Between the Sheets contest back in 2011. I received perfect scores from two of three editors/agents, but the competition must have been fierce because I took 2nd place.

2nd Place?! I find that hard to believe.  😦

Oh, hello K&T readers. Sorry to start the interview without formally introducing you to today’s author. You see, she’s one of our own and we are SO PROUD OF HER! Scroll down a couple of inches and Gwen Hernandez’s picture is on the left…there she is! Today is her debut of BLIND FURY. I had the honor (i.e., beat…

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Balancing Writing & Life—The World Rewards Finishers NOT Perfection


WooHoo I won Kristen’s book 🙂

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

The world around us is always pushing this notion of “perfection” and, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder what “reality” looks like. All the models are tall and thin and young with poofy lips (and men have their own variety of the super model stereotype). They have fabulous clothes and new cars and go on expensive vacations.

Even our homes! When I look around my house that’s littered with toys, my sink full of dishes and two baskets full of laundry (even though I just DID laundry) I wonder what a real home is supposed to look like? Where do I fit? Sure NOT on Pinterest.

Granted, there are areas I KNOW I am slacking (*cough* Christmas tree is STILL standing) and let’s not talk about the state of my drawers and closets. But, I generally (when the…

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WANACon 2014


http://wanatribe.com/photo/screen-shot-2012-05-04-at-7-03-02-am?context=featured by Kristen Lamb I just took part in my first ever writers convention, online. Best experience ever. I was able to rub virtual noses with some of our industries brightest stars. I learned a little about blogging, small press over self-publishing or traditional publishing. The importance of character traits, good and bad, taught by …

Revisions in Scrivener


Gwen Hernandez

Proofreader's marks With my debut romantic suspense novel releasing next week, you can bet I’ve been spending a lot of time in revisions over the last few months. Everyone has their own process for handling edits in Scrivener, but since some of you have asked, here’s mine.

I make all of my changes directly in Scrivener. I prefer to work with two monitors when I’m referring to comments from an editor, beta reader, or proofreader. If you can beg, borrow, or buy a second monitor, I can’t recommend it enough (unless you have a mammoth one already, in which case you can probably just view both windows side by side).

There are three main tools I use when working on revisions: annotationssnapshots, and color-coded labels. (The links will take you to my posts with more detail on using each feature.)

Annotations

Annotations are a pre-revision tool for me…

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Writing Contests


Today was a very good day for me. I won second place in a writing contest from my home chapter, VIC-RWA. This was a huge stepping stone for me and validation that what I'm writing is worth reading. I think as authors, whether pre-published or not, this is something we all fight with. I mean, …

The Anatomy of a SHORT Synopsis – Pt 1


Intense Life Coaching

After playing around on the interwebz this week I discovered a theme emerge among my writerly buds…lots of angst over the dreaded synopsis. Now, I’m not saying writing a synopsis is a piece of cake – far from it. But, there is a way to do it that s a little less painful.

The editors, agents and published authors I’ve spoken with have all said that shorter is better when it comes to the synopsis.

WHAT? SHORTER…It’s hard enough cramming the storyline of a 70 – 80K novel into a few pages single spaced. Now I need to cram it into 500 words or so. CRAZY!

True…but totally doable too.

That is, once you really KNOW the arc of your story.

That’s right, a synopsis can be an easy endeavor, relatively speaking, if you have taken the time to plot out your story arc.

For me, the easy way to…

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Interview with Joan Edwards


Bobbing Around

How to build up a blog

See free giveaway details at the end of this post.
joanedwards

Joan is a blogging phenomenon in the writing world. Not that long ago, she wanted to publicize her children’s book Flip Flap Floodle, so she started a blog Never Give Up, which is the theme of the little book.

In a matter of 4 years, she has built it up to more than 102,176 unique visits, and 176 subscribers.

Joan is generous with her advice and encouragement, and has helped many other writers.
She is the first person I am interviewing at Bobbing Around, ever.

Joan, welcome. Thank you for the honor of appearing on my blog.

Wow! What a wonderful introduction! You’re very welcome, Bob. It’s my pleasure. It’s a huge honor to be the very first person you’ve interviewed for your Bobbing Around newsletter! I bow humbly.

Many people…

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