Do you have a story you desperately want to share?
To celebrate the launch of her debut novel, All Different Kinds of Free, Jessica McCann offers advice for others who are chasing dreams that sometimes seem to get away from them in “Hold On for the Ride (or How to Write a Novel),” a guest post on Rebecca Rasmussen’s The Bird Sisters:
“Writing a novel is like THAT walk in the park. Or, at least, it was for me. I had to risk a little embarrassment, risk getting a little bloodied, to get the job done. I had a story I desperately wanted to share, and so I had to hold on…” Read More
Get a Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets
One of my favorite poetry sites is Poets.org, and each year during National Poetry Month they promote their Poem-a-Day program. Just sign up to receive a poem every day by email. Today’s poem is “Grasshopper,” by Ron Padgett:
It’s funny when the mind thinks about the psyche,
as if a grasshopper could ponder a helicopter.
It’s a bad idea to fall asleep
while flying a helicopter… Read More
This year during the month of April you can also follow the Academy’s 30 guest poets on Twitter.
On Talent and Hard Work
Nina Badzin wrote a terrific blog post this week about motivation that sparked a fascinating comment discussion about what motivates us and what doesn’t:
“Holy crap life-changing aha/light-bulb moment or whatever Oprah would say. His words seem soul-sucking at first, but pay attention. ‘Work harder’ was something we could at least control. There was no golden ticket to publication, but certainly without the strength to persevere we would fail. That message has kept me going ever since…” Read More
Nina’s point about not having to rely solely on talent (which is, strangely, liberating) is an important one and fits really well with my current re-reading of Carol Dweck’s book Mindset.
Blogs as Massive Online Writing Brochures
I always look forward to new posts by Erin Reel at The Lit Coach’s Guide to the Writer’s Life, and this week her Blogs that Works spotlight was an intriguing piece on writer Leo Adam Biga, whose blog has one of the best taglines ever: “stories about people’s passions and magnificent obsessions”:
“Leo tells me showcasing his body of work blog style has allowed those interested in hiring Biga for new writing gigs to get a good feel for his writing. He’s received more offers to write than if he hadn’t set up the blog as his massive online writing brochure…” Read More
What does your opening scene look like?
I recently mentioned how much I enjoy Alexandra Sokoloff’s blog and ebook, and this week she wrote in detail about the opening image of a story:
“OPENING IMAGE: In a film, of course, you have an opening image by default, whether you put any planning into it or not. It’s the first thing you see in the film. But good filmmakers will very consciously design that opening image to establish all kinds of things about the story – mood, tone, location, and especially theme…” Read More
She goes on to give examples from films as diverse as Witness and The Usual Suspects and How To Train Your Dragon. Her advice has certainly helped me to look at my own opening scenes in more complex and more visual ways.
Happy weekend, everyone!