My favorite pair of pajamas has grumpy-looking crabs with “Crabby in the Morning” written all over the fabric. That phrase describes me well on most days. It especially suits me if someone or something wakes me up before my alarm goes off, or if my alarm beeps at me with any number lower than a seven glowing on the display. If it’s dark and below 40 degrees outside, I’m even more crabby. And if it’s below 20 degrees outside, I am the evil queen of all the crabs in the kingdom. I woke up today at 5:30 a.m., but because it was only 53 degrees outside, my level of crabbiness was manageable with some caffeine. Lately, however, I’ve been pondering how my sleeping patterns affect other aspects of my life, particularly my writing. Continue reading
How many times have you said, “The book was OK, but the movie was fantastic”?
Common knowledge says the difference is because movies have to trim the plot and cut scenes to fit the story into a shorter format. That’s part of the reason, but I think there’s another, subtler and far more important ingredient lost in the translation—the telling. With the exception of voice-overs, movies are all show and no tell. Books, on the other hand, have loads of telling. Continue reading
You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.
Do you keep a journal? If so, how does it help you with your writing?
When I sit down to work on my novel, or even this blog post, I want a keyboard (or at least a touchpad) and a screen. I’ve waxed eloquent elsewhere about the Scrivener writing app and its more portable versions for the iPad and iPhone. You know that I love me some digital words. I set my schedule on iCal, my to-dos on Wunderlist, and reach out to the world on Twitter (@mnj23). But I still can’t let go of my paper journal, and my writing benefits as a result. Continue reading
Over the past 2 months you’ve gone further into your characters’ backstories. Now that you know more about your characters’ backstories, make sure their motivations in the beginning of the story you’re writing are consistent with their pasts.