Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving! May you all have a happy day and take the time to think of all the blessings you have and express gratitude for those blessings.

I did run across an article about poet Dana Gioia here. There is a link in the article to an essay he wrote called "Can Poetry Matter?". I'll leave those with you for something to read over your holiday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Writing Tutorial in 3 Videos

You can go to YouTube and search "writing fiction" to get some interesting videos with good information about writing. I found a series of three videos (about 9 minutes each) summarizing Jack M. Bickham's writing book, The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them). These are entertaining and will give you some good tips, too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reflections on Writing

One thing that helps me a lot with all aspects of writing is to read books about writing. Not only do I learn about the technical aspects of writing, but I often come across some inspiration and ideas for writing I would like to do.

Ideas come from all sorts of places, sometimes unexpectedly. It's good to be open to these ideas and to note them down in a notebook. It's impossible to remember everything, so writing it down helps a great deal and gives you a source to reflect on when you are stumped.

Unless you are writing solely for your own entertainment, or that of your family and friends, which is a perfectly legitiment reason for writing, you will eventually need to learn about how to go about being published. A recent podcast from The Writing Show can give you some pointers about this. The title is "What do Publishers Want from Query Letters and Proposals?" and the editor interviewed is Jennifer Silva Redmond. I found it a very helpful podcast. You can also peruse their various archives for more help and inspiration.

Input of various kinds can help your output considerably.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On Writing and Reading

Today's writing link: SpecFicWorld Lots of resources and articles about writing for your perusal.

I am still wandering around somewhat on this blog, but I hope my links have at least given you lots of writing tips and ideas for your own writing. I don't feel ready to share my own writing. That wasn't my original idea for this blog--sharing writing tips was. I'm not sure that is interesting enough, though, so we shall see.

I do encourage you to read lots of different types of writing. That will go a long way in helping you to decide what type(s) of writing you would like to do. Right now, I am reading The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. It is what you might call a literary murder mystery. Set in Canada in the 1860s, it is written in a different style than I am used to, but is not so far out as to be difficult to follow. I am only about halfway through, so I don't know yet if I will recommend it totally, but so far so good! The author switches back and forth between characters and uses present tense quite a bit. There is a first person narrator for parts of the book, but the author takes us often to third person narrative for some of the other characters.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Some Really Good Writing Tips

Would you like some really good writing tips? Ones with examples? I found some at Segullah, a Mormon women's literary journal.

On this page, you will find not only information about their essay contest and their poetry contest, but scroll down a bit and you will find "Writing Tips" with 7 blog posts giving some excellent tips for writing essays and poetry and for finding ideas. For example, in "Unleash Your Inner Poet!" you will find five examples of how not to write poetry. If you aren't sure what is meant by sing-songy verse, sentimental poetry, rhetorical poetry, didactic poetry, or obscure poetry, you will find examples of those here. In "The Beginning from the End", you will find examples of essay beginnings and endings that show you how you can improve those in your own writing. Read all 7 blog posts and see if you find tips that will help you with your writing, no matter where you intend to submit it.

While you're there, look around Segullah and do some reading. There's a lot of good writing there!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Writing and Voting

We have an important election day coming up on 4 November. I urge everyone to study the issues and the candidates, local and state and national, and vote, using your best thinking.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's election, I also urge everyone to contact your representatives at all levels of government and let them know what you expect of them as they govern on our behalf.

Think of it as writing practice as you send emails to all!