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Guest Post: How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

by Rachel Aaron When I started writing The Spirit War (Eli novel #4), I had a bit of a problem. I had a brand new baby and my life (like every new mother’s life) was constantly on the verge of shambles. I paid for a sitter four times a week so I could get some writing time, and I guarded these hours like a mama bear guards her cubs – with ferocity and hiker-mauling violence. But (of course), things didn’t work out like that. Needless to say, I felt like a failure. So, once and for all, here’s the story of how I went from writing 500 words an hour to over 1500, and (hopefully) how you can too: A quick note: There are many fine, successful writers out there who equate writing quickly with being a hack. Drastically increasing your words per day is actually pretty easy, all it takes is a shift in perspective and the ability to be honest with yourself (which is the hardest part). Update! Side 1: Knowledge, or Know What You’re Writing Before You Write It As soon as I realized this, I stopped. Related:  ImprovementWriter's Edge

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling « Aerogramme Writers' Studio These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it.

The 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy – What Are They? | Social Austin Gustav Klimt ~ The Kiss The day after Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect time to clue y’all in on a secret the romance writers have been keeping to themselves. Since a good portion of the ladies out there probably curled up with a sexy book last night, I’m going to explain what makes these hot tamale novels so dang satisfying. The most popular post I’ve ever run on More Cowbell was Using the 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy to Build Tension in Your Novel. Linda Howard, romantic suspense author extraordinaire, used to give a very popular talk on the subject based on the work of Desmond Morris. Note: My favorite Linda Howard book? Below is the physical intimacy chart Linda taught me — use your new knowledge wisely! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Why do so many romance authors spend time and tension on the kiss, breaking it off or prolonging it? 8. 9. 10. Note: That’s not why I told Baby Sis to stay clothed. 11. 12. Enjoy your new knowledge, and use it well…Jenny About Jenny Hansen

Get Your Writing Fighting Fit Chapter 3 Logicians may reason about abstractions. But the great mass of men must have images.--Thomas Babington Macaulay In writing, empty calories come in the form of filler words, abstractions, redundancies, and oxymorons. Eliminate meaningless phrases. In speech, little conversational superfluities lighten the linguistic load for our listeners by filling time with material a listener can discount quickly, leaving the mind free to focus on meaty matters.In written text, these fillers require too much attention and cost money to put on the page.Every editor has a hit list of these useless phrases. Get rid of these empty calories and all their cousins. Make abstractions concrete. Concrete nouns name things we access through our senses. Abstract nouns are those that make no clear image in the mind. The farther you move from the concrete in your writing, the more uncertain your communication. Sometimes you must use abstract terms. Original sentence: People with a disability will have access issues.

Resources for Romance Writers I've tried to make this site as helpful as I could. Everything here is put together to help other romance authors learn the ropes, improve their writing, promote their writing, stay in touch with other writers, or just keep on writing. I hope it's easy to find your way around the site and that you come back often to visit. I try to check the links on these pages from time to time, but there are so many pages and so many links, and websites often go down quickly and without warning, so please forgive any broken links you find. Happy writing, best wishes and hugs from one struggling writer to another, Charlotte Dillon All pages on this site copyright © 1997 - 2009 by Charlotte Dillon. Information about my writing and me. Helpful sites for writers are listed here, including grammar sites, free program downloads, writing how-to sites, and more. Books on writing, grammar, and more, as well as magazines and programs for writers. Links to books, websites, naming sites, and articles.

12, William Faulkner William Faulkner, ca. 1954. Photograph by Carl Van Vechten William Faulkner was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, where his father was then working as a conductor on the railroad built by the novelist’s great-grandfather, Colonel William Falkner (without the “u”), author of The White Rose of Memphis. Soon the family moved to Oxford, thirty-five miles away, where young Faulkner, although he was a voracious reader, failed to earn enough credits to be graduated from the local high school. Encouraged by Sherwood Anderson, he wrote Soldier’s Pay (1926). A steady succession of novels followed, most of them related to what has come to be called the Yoknapatawpha saga: Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! Recently, though shy and retiring, Faulkner has traveled widely, lecturing for the United States Information Service. Mr. The reason I don’t like interviews is that I seem to react violently to personal questions. How about yourself as a writer? No. Bourbon, you mean?

MASTER LIST of Gestures and Body Language! | Bryn Donovan Hey there! Lots of writers liked my list of facial expressions, so I thought I would do a companion post about gestures and body language. Describing these can help readers visualize a scene and get a feel for the characters, and again, they can set up lines of dialogue so you don’t have a string of he said, she said, he asked, she exclaimed, etc., running down the page. You might want to consider which gestures or what body language is typical for each of your characters. For a great guide to what body language means, I recommend What Every BODY Is Saying, by former FBI counterintelligence offer Joe Navarro and body language expert Marvin Karlins. Some of the things in my list are not exactly body language or gestures, but are useful for dialogue tags. Let me know if you have additions to this list, which is after the jump! he lowered his head she hung her head he ducked she bowed her head he covered his eyes with a hand she pressed her hands to her cheeks Like this: Like Loading... Related

I Write for Apples: Scrivener - Keywords Scrivener - Keywords There are all kinds of ways you can use keywords in Scrivener. And the beauty of it is that they’re so simple to use. For my latest project, I used keywords for three things. *The information panel is expanded on the right so you can see the keyword section. If you’d like to use keywords as you go, make sure you’ve clicked the appropriate choice in the binder (to the left) to tell the program if you want the keyword associated with the chapter or just the scene. Click the + button at the top of the keyword panel, type your keyword, and hit return. If you’d like to add more keywords or add the same keyword in other places, follow the same procedure. Or, once you have at least one keyword set up, you can click the gear button (next to the + and –) and chose Show Project Keywords. To add a keyword at the same level, choose the first button on the lower left of the keyword box, which will say Add Keyword as Sibling. Searching Good luck!

Get Me Writing » 5 Fool-Proof Ways to Put your Muse to Work EmailEmail Are you at the mercy of your Muse? Do you wake at night drenched in sweat, the icy fingers of a nightmare still clinging to your heart? A nightmare where you’re alone in a cold desert, digging in the dirt for just one idea (and you have no pants on)? Fear not, the Muse can be tamed! But first, as we’ll be speaking about inspiration, the inspiration for this post comes from an episode of The Creative Penn. Once upon a time, I was one of those awful teenager things, and wasted my time even more than I do now. By the time I decided to take writing more seriously (many years later), that fickle fairy had up and left, returning only very occasionally. It might be that the teenage mind has better access to the Muse phone line (for some reason I’m imagining a purple version of the Batphone in Commissioner Gordon’s office); it might be that my head had more space, more freedom to create (more on that later). "You're right, Chief O'Hara. For a Start, Write Stuff Down A good run.

25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice - StumbleUpon 1. A Series Of Word Choices Here’s why this matters: because both writing and storytelling comprise, at the most basic level, a series of word choices. Words are the building blocks of what we do. They are the atoms of our elements. 2. Words are like LEGO bricks: the more we add, the more we define the reality of our playset. 3. You know that game — “Oh, you’re cold, colder, colder — oh! 4. Think of it like a different game, perhaps: you’re trying to say as much as possible with as few words as you can muster. 5. Finding the perfect word is as likely as finding a downy-soft unicorn with a pearlescent horn riding a skateboard made from the bones of your many enemies. 6. For every right word, you have an infinity of wrong ones. 7. You might use a word that either oversteps or fails to meet the idea you hope to present. 8. Remember how I said earlier that words are like LEGO, blah blah blah help define reality yadda yadda poop noise? 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Am. 15. No, really. 16. 17. 18.

How to Rock Your Story's Tension | She's Novel photo cred: © Sergei Zolkin via Unsplash Today we’re talkin’ tension. No matter your story’s plot or genre, you need to know how to nail tension in your fiction. Without a hero, your readers have no one to route for, meaning that they won’t feel a connection to your story. But the conflict between your hero and the villain isn’t the only type of tension your story can have. Whatever the case, tension is vital to your story’s success. There are plenty of different ways to spice up your story with tension, and lucky for you I have written tips for each type. Let’s start with the basics. 1. 2. Micro-tensions are the smaller strains that occur throughout the narrative. 3. 4. 5. Like I said earlier, tension between your hero and your villain isn’t the only type of tension. 1. 2. 3. Sometimes, your hero will get into struggles with those they love. 1. 2. 3. 4. Whether it be love or lust, this list would be incomplete if we didn’t talk about sexual tension. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4.

The Ultimate Student Resource List It’s back to school time, yet again. In the spirit of the season, I decided to gather together the best tools, websites, and advice I know of to help make you a more effective and relaxed student this semester. Since I know you’re broke, it’s all free! 10 Free Applications Every Student Needs Unless you have money coming out of your ears, you probably won’t want to shell out the cash you’ll need to get Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, EndNote, and so on — even with your student discount. A top-quality, full-featured office productivity suite — word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, graphics editor, database, the works! 11 Online Tools Students Should Check Out Or 20, depending on how you count. Email: GmailRegister for a solid, plain-jane email address from Gmail, something like 15 Websites for Students (Aside from Lifehack) 30 Pieces of Advice for Students from 7 Online Research Resources

Free Thriller Novel Writing Tips Thrillers are a genre that many people can't get enough of. Building tension and keeping people turning pages are essential for successfully crafting these types of stories. As with any specific type of writing, even those with a natural talent will need some pointers. Writing Breakout Thrillers You don't want just another mass-market paperback on the shelf. Similarities and Differences Before you sit down to write, it is worth considering what a thriller is and what a thriller isn't. Thrillers are similar to suspense and mystery novels in that they are page turners designed to engage a reader's interest.All three contain an element of mystery, as the genres often rely upon uncovering a truth that is hidden.All three will contain some degree of danger for the protagonist that she is constantly, and often barely, avoiding. However, thrillers are different from mystery and suspense novels in that: Top Five Thriller Novel Tips Observe People Timing In a sense, the thriller is all about timing.

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Gets Wrong | LitReactor - StumbleUpon I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is. Who and Whom This one opens a big can of worms. Which and That Lay and Lie Moot Nor

The Writers Alley: How To Write A Kissing Scene...Valentine Edition The Kiss...the moment when lips meet, when senses are heightened, when hearts meld. It is a magical thing, because women loved to be kissed They want to be wanted, desired, loved. When writing romance, the kiss is of the utmost importance. So how does one go about writing a kissing scene? What things are important when laying out "the kiss"? There are several areas that you should consider when developing your kissing scene. SETTING/MOOD: Setting is very important when it comes to a kiss, because it sets up the mood for the smooch. DISTANCE/PROXIMITY: In order to kiss, your characters must come in close proximity. SENSES 1-5: This is a no-brainer. Touch - Describe the feeling a character gets when their lips meet the other's. WRAP UP/LOOSEN UP: So what happens after the kiss? There is nothing better than a great kiss with someone you love. It's Valentine's Day....have you had your kiss yet? Is there anything you would add to make a kissing scene even better? This post is brought to you by