The Page a Day Writers Group

Posts Tagged ‘Writing advice

They’re not quite the Ten Commandments of novel writing, but they might be close.

Repeating yourself, list-loving, empty adverbs are a few of the slip-ups writers make as they attempt to unearth the fossil (as Stephen King so aptly advises) that will someday become a book.

In a recent blog post by Patricia HoltTen Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do) the editorial consultant outlines in a quick, nonjudgmental way missteps every writer — new or seasoned – has experienced.

I found her post useful. I suspect you might too.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

Advertisements

I’m a big fan of “House of Cards” and the devious Frank Underwood  – his initials are FU, for gosh sakes. Underwood  (evilly played by the multi-talented Kevin Spacey–loved him in “The Ref”) shifts from horrifying to sensitive to ruthless as seamlessly as turning your washing machine dial from heavy duty to permanent press to delicate.

Heather Webb’s post Anti-Heroes: Why Devious is so Delectable, and Where are all the Women? caught my attention and provided some answers. I enjoyed it and thought you might too.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

Are you doing anything May 8 through 15? This is last minute notice, but if you’re a writer, you should know the Writers’ Retreat

Me at WRW

Me at WRW

Workshop (WRW) has a few spots left for the upcoming annual event that will change your life. This year, it’s being held at Purple Sage Ranch, just outside of Antonio, Texas.

Here’s how it works: A fabulous professional editor, agent, or bestselling author gives a workshop. Then everyone goes back to their rooms and uses their shiny, freshly acquired new tools to write or revise their butts off. Then you share in whole and small groups to give and get feedback to revise some more. The pros also view your work to give direction to take your writing to the next level. With all this guided practice, you and your fellow WRW writers provide some of the most amazing feedback in critique groups anywhere. Another bonus is the connections you make with writers from all over the U.S. and often from other countries, such as Belgium and Australia.

And there’s partying along the way for those who wish to join in the fun.

When you rejoin the real-world after your week-long reprieve with awesome, like-minded, creative people, WRW adds you to the list serve. WRW participants since 1987, many of whom are successful, published writers, post news and personal events through the site, available to members only. Any alumni may participate in any conversation. I’ve made friends through the list serve and on Facebook that I’ve never met personally.

Purple Sage Ranch: Home of WRW 2014

Purple Sage Ranch: Home of WRW 2014

The 2014 instructors include: bestselling thriller author Grant Blackwood (Briggs Tanner Novels, Fargo series with Clive Cussler), Literary Agent Mary C Moore (Kimberley Cameron agency), YA and romance author Emily McKay (The Farm, The Lair), writer/editor Les Edgerton (The Bitch, Hooked), director and instructor Jason Sitzes, co-founder and author Gail Provost Stockwell.

If you’re a writer who is ready for an intense upgrade in your craft, your understanding of the publishing industry, and the how-to of marketing your work, don’t miss this chance to become the writing professional you want to be!

If nothing else, you owe it to yourself to check out this amazing writers’ experience, so here’s the link: http://writersretreatworkshop.com/events.html

 

Happy writing!!

Reading lets us travel to faraway lands, relive past dynasties or imagine future worlds. And we never have to leave the recliner.

“books are uniquely portable magic.”

When you write a book, you are its potion master, combining facts, feelings and flights of fancy then mixing in generous amounts of your imagination to transport your reader on a breathtaking journey. It’s just like Stephen King declares in On Writing, “books are uniquely portable magic.”

If the “write what you know” adage doesn’t extend to intimate knowledge of sixteenth century England or the Florida Everglades, don’t panic. Kristan Hoffman can help. In her post “Oh The Places You’ll Go, Hoffman suggests six research tools to help you on this quest.

Check them out before plotting that next novel. They’ll enhance your ability to move your readers to any place in the world – real or imagined — without ever leaving home.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

Hoping that some day (soon), I will join the ranks of published novelists, I was excited to read Catherine McKenzie’s post on Writer Unboxed. I knew she would unravel some publishing mysteries for me and other hopefuls.

The headline to her post, “5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Published My First Book,” reeled me in. If l learned one thing from her experiences, I would be a little better armed for what the future may bring.

 “…publishing does have its rules and regulations and complications—again, just like any industry—and there are a few things I wish I knew before I started along the path.”

 – Catherine McKenzie

All of Catherine’s Top Five Things were need-to-knows. If you’re a would-be, like me – or even if you’ve been to the dance a time or two – check out Catherine’s words of wisdom, caution and inspiration.

Ready, set . . .

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

 

You worked hard, met your self-imposed deadline to complete your novel and crafted a nifty query letter. Now, after weeks, months, years of pitching your book to agents, you’re still unpublished.

In his recent post, “Query Letter Pet Peeves — Agents Speak,” Chuck Sambuchino shares some insight from the professionals in the field about why you never heard back.

I found the candid responses helpful, eye-opening and in some cases, surprising. As a newbie novelist, I can see myself making some of the novice mistakes. But misspelling a name is the unforgiveable error. That’s the first rule you’re taught in Journalism 101.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

Never mistake activity for achievement. —John Wooden

It’s true. I used to confuse motion with action. As long as I was busy in the motion of writing a novel (taking classes, attending workshops, reading how-to books), I thought I was getting closer to my goal. The reality is, while I was in the motion of writing, I wasn’t truly engaged in the action of writing a novel. The possibility of producing an actual book was slim. I liken it to constantly going to the grocery store buying the ingredients for a delicious cake, but never actually baking it.

I was happy — highlighter in hand — with my nose in the latest or time-tested how to write books. I garnered every tip, idea, theory and tidbit imaginable. And I read every writer’s blog. Actually that last one may have been what saved me.  Thanks to a post from James Clear, I learned the folly of my ways.

Don’t get me wrong. It is important to learn about writing. The knowledge I’ve gained through my critique partners is invaluable. But after gathering ideas from other writers, wannabe writers, editors and agents, there comes a time to put all that learning to the test – or in my case – to the page.

I talked a lot about how hard it is to write fiction. Anyone who would listen, heard my lament. It is a much tougher task than writing a magazine article, where the challenge is to uncover the facts and put them into a readable prose.

One my critique partners, Sharon C. Cooper, called me out on my penchant for hovering around the idea of writing a novel . “You’ve taken more classes than any other writer I know,” she lovingly said. “Girl, you need to start writing.” Those words hit home. I got the message. I needed to stop preparing to write and start spending my  time getting words on the page.

Bum glue, butt-in-the-chair, chained-to-the-computer. It all amounts to the same thing. A writer writes. So get writing.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden


Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

Archives