by Cátia Isabel Silva
When you’re imagining a story, creating the characters for it is just another part of the job. It’s almost automatic, the way they get into your mind, showing you what they look like, how they think, yet, putting those things down on paper isn’t always as obvious or easy to do.
I’m not talking about poor writing skills here, no. They can be well written and yet, not appear interesting at all or straight up unappealing. So, what can you do?
Continue reading Characters Also Need A Soul: 5 Tips to Write Interesting Characters
by Sheree Crawford
Researching is, believe it or not, a skill that not everyone has. If you do have it you should definitely put it on your C.V.; good research is often the thing you do not see, but the want of it is blindingly obvious, especially when you write historic fiction, or you’re writing about cultures and people you don’t know anything about.
Research isn’t about consuming every piece of information you can find on your topic; it’s about knowing what is and isn’t important. You can learn this by taking a degree of some sort (History in particular will smack you in the face with research skill requirements before you’ve even finished the first year… whoo-boy that was a learning curve, I can tell you), or you can piggyback my History degree; go on, I don’t mind. I’ll share some of the pearls I’ve discovered while cracking open every proverbial shellfish on that metaphorical beach.
Continue reading Historical Research for Writers
by Sara Butler Zalesky
While I was working with an editor on Wheeler, the phrase ‘head hopping’ kept coming up again and again, but I had no idea to what she was referring. Being new to this thing called writing, my only experience was what I read from other authors. I’m a prolific reader, from sci/fi, fantasy, romance, YA, thrillers, anything I could get my hands on, I read. I hadn’t noticed the difference between hearing the inner thoughts of the characters, I was either fully engrossed or I couldn’t get past the first chapter.
Continue reading Head Hopping: Should You Do It?
Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!
by Tonya R. Moore
I think we call all agree that getting feedback on our writing is very important. Most of the time—whether it’s positive or negative, feedback serves to encourage or help us grow.
We can learn a lot from negative feedback but this isn’t always the case.
Sometimes it makes more sense to simply ignore negative feedback.
Here are three examples of instances in which we really need to just ignore negative feedback:
Continue reading Throwback Thursday: When to Ignore Negative Feedback
by Jean M. Cogdell
A reaction for every action? Large or small?
The short answer is yes. I think so.
Once I grasp this concept, things began going a little smoother. Now in each scene, I stop and ask what will the characters consequence be for each action.
Even the smallest of decisions can move a story forward. For instance, stopping to buy a coffee can result in meeting the right or wrong person. Turning left instead of right can result in an accident or a chance meeting. See. Each decision your character makes must have a consequence sooner or later to drive the story to the end.
Continue reading Do We Need to Write a Consequence for Every Action?
by Morgan S. Hazelwood
The title of this sounds pretty lofty, doesn’t it? For those of you who don’t have a finished manuscript, though, this might not be so useful. Write your novel, edit it, then see if you can cut the first chapter. Don’t count the writing as a waste, YOU needed to know what was going on so you could write the rest of the book. Then, it’s time to tweak that 1st line.
The first line of a novel has a lot of work to do.
At Balticon51, I attended one workshop on opening sentences with Steve Lubs and another on opening pages with Meg Eden. This is a lot of what they said, combined with knowledge from other places. (I tried not to copy their hand-outs directly.)
Continue reading 3 Things That Make a Great 1st Line