So what do you read while you’re in the middle of a writing project? From my personal experience, and some research and reading of other blogs/articles on the topic, there seem to be several different schools of thought on this topic.
Read in your Genre
If you want to know what’s popular in the genre that you’re writing, then read some recent books. Learn about popular tropes, what current readers expect or enjoy out of that genre, average acceptable story length, and so on. After all, how can you expect to write a cozy mystery or a sword-and-sorcery tale if you’ve never read one (or a few) before? Continue reading
A lot of writers post pictures of their writing spaces, and to be quite frank, it makes me jealous. I see pictures of sunny offices, rustic wooden desks with vintage typewriters, and ergonomic chairs. My writing space is the corner of the couch.
Now, to be honest, I could have set up a designated writing space with the wooden desk and ergonomic chair. But instead, I decided to use my spare bedroom as a guest room/craft storage room, and there really isn’t room for a desk. My bedroom is too small, and my dining table is, well, kinda boring for writing.
I love my living room, with the big open windows, tall bookshelf in the corner, and comfy couch. So this is my writing space. Not exactly refined or professional, but it’s comfortable and it’s mine. I love my writing space! Continue reading
Someone asked me recently about where a writer should draw the line between explaining something in painstaking detail versus just glossing over a topic and letting the reader try to figure it out on their own. It’s a complex question, really, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.
What was really interesting, though, was that right on the heels of this question, I had an experience in my critique group that not only did NOT answer that question, but highlighted how there truly isn’t a right or wrong answer.
First off, let me say that I absolutely love all of my critique partners, and our times together are full of valuable feedback, learning experiences, and lots of fun. One of the elements that makes a good critique group, I think, is having a diverse group of writers who all have different writing styles, favorite genres, and writing experiences. Continue reading
Lately I’ve realized something in my reading and writing habits: I like happy endings. This is not a new realization, really, but I started thinking about it recently in a new and deeper way.
As a kid, I loved Disney movies and similar stories, where everything was tied up in a neat little bow and they all lived happily ever after. I didn’t like feeling sad, and so I sought out happy stories with happy endings.
As an adult, I still like happy stories with happy endings—but there’s more to it than that. It’s not as much about everything ending on a perfect tidy note, but more about ending on a strong or redemptive note. Continue reading
For anyone who follows this blog, and/or is wondering what I’ve been up to of late, here it is in a short summary: not writing.
I’ve missed several weeks of blogging here and there over the past few months, and I’m embarrassingly behind on my writing goals for my current dieselpunk series. So it’s more “other shenanigans” rather than writing that I’ve been doing this summer. Continue reading
Writers tend to think in metaphors, and have a penchant for turning non-literary stuff into something literary. And so because of that, a great many non-writing things in life can be held up as useful for the writing life.
I have recently begun taking square dancing lessons (you may laugh if you wish). I live in a small town, and square dancing is a big thing here. And with good reason – it’s a fun, family-friendly activity that people of all ages can do together, and it’s good exercise. I’m really enjoying it, and I’m learning a lot. And, because I’m a writer, I’m applying it to my writing life, too.
Dancing/Writing is not a Solitary Activity
While square dancing requires a minimum of eight people, writing tends to be something that one does all alone. And while it’s true that the act of writing is a solitary venture, getting a publishable book into the world is not. Ideally, a writer has critique partners or beta readers, an editor, perhaps a cover designer, and of course readers. Continue reading