by Andrea Lundgren
I’ve been dealing with writing romance lately. Not the genre but the plot component, the seemingly inescapable phenomenon that crops up when writing fantasy, science-fiction, historical fiction, and just about any other genre, provided you have a few single characters floating around.
And I’ve written about how authors can woefully get a romance wrong before, and about a writer’s recipe to marrying off the wrong couples. Making a good, solid match isn’t easy, because we authors often have a lot on our minds, especially if our novel isn’t primarily or solely a romance. We’re thinking about the rest of the plot, the villains, the action or adventure. We don’t have that much time to worry about which character is right for whom…and why.
Continue reading Playing Matchmaker: The Art of Writing a Good Couple
by Lindsey Richardson
I am finally writing the post I’ve been wanting to write ever since I first started Clara and Claire. For those of you who are planning to write either, I’m hoping this can be helpful. There’s a lot of different ways I thought of tackling this, and mind you I’m going to include a lot of personal experience with this too. I think that’s a big part of writing. There’s no right way of doing something, but everyone’s experience varies.
Continue reading Writing a Series Vs. Writing a Novel
by Lev Raphael
I’ve been doing readings from my fiction since the early 90s and one of the common questions I get afterwards is “Do your characters ever tell you what to do?” or “Do your characters ever get away from you?”
That question is a fascinating doorway into how people tend to perceive authors and the writing process–and how they want to.
Continue reading Quick! Stop that Runaway Character!
by Whitney Carter
I first started exploring herbs and what I could collect and do with them myself some years ago, and I have to confess that I was nervous about it at first. As a kid, there was a berry bush that grew at the edge of my backyard, and sometimes I would sit out there and pick the berries, just to squish them in my hand and smear the dark purple juice around.
I know now that they were Pokeberries, and they’re quite poisonous if ingested. This discovery highlighted my own ignorance about the plants around me, and even as I started dabbling and researching I was always well aware of the potential to miss something important. I have to imagine that the people who were first discovering the uses for all of our plants today had the same kind of excited fear going on.
Continue reading What Herb to Use in Your Fantasy Story
by Kelsie Engen
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that beta readers are the best and worst thing to happen to an author.
On the one hand, it’s fantastic that you have readers already willing to read your work–and it’s not even published yet! That’s amazing. Be sure to send them a thank you.
But then the feedback starts rolling in. And all of a sudden, you’ve got conflicting opinions. One reader adores your main character while the other hates everything about them–could hardly get through the first fifty pages, the mc was so bad.
Continue reading 3 Ways Your Beta Readers Are Right (and Oh-So-Wrong)
by Samantha Fenton
One of the most surprising things I found had happened as a result from starting to write seriously, was how I read books differently. After writing a novel, I can’t look at a book the same way again – which makes sense, right?
Picture someone close to you deciding to play soccer. You don’t know much about soccer. Turns out, that someone is really into it, and you end up going to a lot of their games and listening to them talk about it all the time. You’re going to have a different view about soccer now because of it. Now, maybe you can watch a soccer game on tv without being bored. You can watch a player shoot a goal and you can say, “wow! What a great play!” Or see the player make a pass a say, “what a terrible pass. They should’ve held onto it!”
Continue reading Reading is Not the Same After Writing