Monday, January 18, 2016

The Top Five: Best Writing-Related Articles from January 11-15

5. "5 Ways to Tell If a Subplot Is Leading You Astray" on Fiction University (Janice Hardy)

Link: http://bit.ly/1RuYQcu

As entertaining as is the main plot of your current work in progress, imagine how much more your readers could fall in love if you incorporate subplots. Plot and subplots, woven together, make for satisfied readers who delight in untangling all the expertly intertwined nuances you've included. Here are five questions to ask yourself, for each of your subplots, about whether they are doing your project good or harm.

How many subplots do you have in your current work in progress? How many are there in the average book in your chosen genre? Are all of those subplots working?

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4. "How Writers Can Craft an Effective Setting" on Jane Friedman (Mary Buckham)

Link: http://bit.ly/1nlOkYv

Jane Friedman is arguably one of the foremost experts in the writing industry today, and her blog is chock full of detailed, user-friendly posts on all things related to writing. This fabulous post gives an in-depth look at the use of setting in your fiction, and how setting affects (or is affected by) every other component, from characters to pacing and more.

Where is your current work-in-progress (WIP) set? What's the most interesting setting in your project? How can you add greater subtext?

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3. "7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story" on The Writer's Dig blog at WritersDigest.com (K.M. Weiland, guest columnist)

Link: http://bit.ly/1CVxjKR

Not everyone is a plotter ... someone who sits down and writes out a detailed outline for his or her next project. And that's okay. Some people prefer to write in a more free-form style, which is also okay. There's no right way as long as you get the project written and completed.

On the other hand, some writing experts recommend that you have at least a basic outline going in to your writing sessions, so you have something to aim for. Even if it's a fluid outline, at least you've got an idea where you're heading. This excellent post will give you guidance on putting together a flexible outline, whether you're a plotter or a pantser.

And you? Plotter or pantser? Detailed outline or fly-by-night? What's the best part about being whichever type you are? What's the greatest challenge?

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2. "How to Start Writing a Book: Use This Trick to Find the Time" on The Write Life (Anita Evensen)

Link: http://bit.ly/208IGHg

Finding time is always one of the hardest parts about life. Anything you want to do, you have to find the time. If it's important enough to you, you'll make the time. If not, you won't. (Which makes a great way to vet your priorities and hobbies.) Here's an article that will give you a one-stop question to ask yourself for each item or activity you face on your to-do list, and with any luck, you'll wind up with a way to prioritize your writing.

Where does writing fall in your priorities? Top of the list? Somewhere in the middle? Working its way up? At the bottom? How important is writing to you, really? What are you willing to do to make it a priority?

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1. "Author Newsletters: 6 Tips for Smart Strategies" on Jami Gold

Link: http://bit.ly/1Or3RyT

A newsletter is almost a total necessity for authors nowadays. It has an effect on your branding, your marketing, your outreach, and your ability to connect more directly and personally with your readers. Not everybody knows how to throw a newsletter together, though, so take a gander at expert writer Jami Gold's tips and tricks in this article.

Do you have an author newsletter? What's its greatest strength? What could you add or amend to make it even better?

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There's the lineup for last week. Add comments, ask questions, complain about your current work-in-progress or your characters' disloyalty or the weather. I'm here for you!

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