An unselfish wish made on the horn of a unicorn will come true. Our wish? To support the writing community by giving constructive tips and criticism through submissions. Check out the submissions tab for more information. We can survive the crucible of fire together.

Friday, November 25, 2011

and now for something completely different

first I want to thank everyone who left comments/suggestions on my excerpt. It's from my completed novel THE WAY TO DENDARA, which I am currently revising.

I was hoping someone would send me something to crit for today but perhaps everyone was too busy with the holiday or maybe you just couldn't find something that met my 'rules'. Next time I'll make it clear they're just guidelines ;)

At any rate, since we don't have a submission, I'm offering up some words of wisdom found in my latest issue of Writer's Digest Magazine. Here are 5 things that might help you from The Novelist's Survival Kit:

1. How NOT to Write your Novel:  Wait for inspiration. Oh boy. If I waited for inspiration I wouldn't get a lot done. The truth is most of it is now just habit. I don't watch tv at night except for at supper and on Sundays when The Walking Dead is on. All those other nights I'm parked at my desk from 7-10pm. Since I quit waiting for inspiration I've gotten A LOT more written - and finished.

2. From 6 Secrets to Creating and Sustaining Suspense: Let the character(s) share their plans. Some of you may be thinking that this would spoil things. But since everyone (writers and readers alike) knows a character's plans never proceed without incident, a promise is made which creates tension and suspense. Because those plans are going to go wrong. Definitely.

3. Put Your Novel on the Map: Using a story map (a visual outline) can help you see the direction of your tale and discover what you don't know about it. The nice thing about a story map is that you can start one no matter how much or how little you've written AND you can change things around at any time.

4. Namedropping: I don't know about you but names are hugely important to me and I spend a large amount of time researching the perfect names for my main characters. And I don't name my minor characters lightly either.  A few authors who shine at this are Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, and J.K. Rowling.

5. Tried and True Timeless Novel Advice: There were 23 of these in this part of the article but this one struck me: "If you have a story that seems worth telling, and you think you can tell it worthily, then the thing for you to do is tell it, regardless of whether it has to do with sex, sailors, or mounted policemen." Dashiell Hammett.

4 comments:

Tara Tyler said...

great advice! still lagging behind from travel...

sunflowerrising said...

Thanks for the helpful links:)

Stephen Tremp said...

Great links. I'll navigate through them as I'm always looking for something to learn! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Angela Ackerman said...

These are great--I may map my story to get a different perspective on it--thanks!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse