Critique Groups

Critique groups are a great place to learn and develop one’s writing skills.

With a new year facing us, now might be the perfect time to think about starting or joining a critique group.

The first thing to do is ask before you start or join is: what is the purpose of a critique group? What do I want this group to do, or not to do? If you are already involved in one group, perhaps you need to assess what that group does for you, and decide to accumulate a different group of writers with different skills. And if you aren’t already in a group, consider what you think you need the most. Maybe you need to join two groups to meet different needs. Learn more.

Nancy

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Brainstorming

Coming up with ideas can be a challenge for writers. This article has some helpful suggestions.

We all have dreaded days when we stare at a blank page, unable to come up with an idea. Those are the times writers need to allow their resources of Brainstorming and Inspiration to move into free-flowing gear. Notice I said, “allow” because free-flowing thoughts can’t be manufactured.

Brainstorming: “noun; a conference technique of solving specific problems, amassing information, stimulating creative thinking, developing new ideas, etc., by unrestrained and spontaneous participation in discussion” (Dictionary.com). Learn more.

Nancy

Great Writing Article

Here’s a great writing article I wanted to share with my readers.

So, how are those New Year’s resolutions working out for you? We’re one week into 2016. That’s seven days you could have been writing. Six, if you take a day off for Sabbath rest.

In one week – working only 10-20 minutes each day – you could have written several scenes, completed a chapter, or edited thirty pages or more. You could have finalized an outline. Or submitted a query letter.

What have you accomplished? Learn more.

Nancy

 

Works In Progress

We all write differently. This article provides some helpful tips for writers.

From texting, I learned that WIP means work in progress. We all write differently, so I’ll tell you my answer first. And this is a common question I receive. Until this year (I’m intentionally slowing down), I’ve had anywhere from one to four books going at any time. I earn most of my living as a ghostwriter or collaborator. For me, that’s important because each book is in a different stage of development. Learn more.

Nancy

Viewpoints

Cec Murphy is running a series on points of view in writing.

Point of View (POV) can be difficult to grasp; it often takes writers a long time to understand. I’ll explain each of the four points of view.

First-person POV

First person means you write the story from the “I” viewpoint. When constructed well, this brings about a personal connection with the narrator. Many detective and private-eye novels thrust the narrator into the middle of the action. Readers can identify with and become the “I” who solves the problem. Learn more.

Nancy

 

On Site Research

Research can be a lot of fun, especially if it includes traveling away from home. This article provides some helpful tips to make a research trip worth while.

On-site research can be a blast. While on location for a story, you can discover obscure histories, anecdotes, and locales that weren’t initially in your storyline. These insights can inspire new directions in your plot as well as unexpected characters. Don’t be too discerning at this point. 

Write down everything. Later, you can pick and choose which material to use for your novel. Learn more.

Nancy

Writing and Editing

As a writer, it is important to write a rough draft without stopping to edit much of the manuscript. This article is so helpful for writers.

I have this person who lives inside my head. She stands a couple of inches tall, wears a blue cardigan, sports a tight hair-bun, and has a pair of reading glasses perched on her nose.

Her name is Edith. Edith the Editor.

She’s quite annoying. In fact, she’s been known to hold me hostage. No, dear. That’s not the correct verb tense. Hmm…are you sure that’s what you meant to say? My heavens, are you familiar with the word, “punctuation?” Learn more.

Nancy