In the Western genre (so much as I understand it, not being an expert), two movements struggle for ascendency: lawlessness and law. There are good guys and bad guys – the white hats and black hats, and very occasionally, the gray hats where modern writers blur the line on purpose. Life is hard, and a Colt revolver or other period gun goes a long way to making your word the final say on the matter. There’s this ongoing feeling of justice and a civilization that might be over the horizon but that we all feel should impact our lives even in this lawless place. The sheriff ought to be able to catch the bad guys. The girl ought to be able to avenge her father. And the choices that we, the townsfolk of the frontier, make – well, those will determine everything. Whether the law falls apart and we become brigands and saloon girls or the law wins and the “decent” womenfolk are welcomed as mailorder brides. It’s the tension that makes the West, the West.
HEINLEIN’S RULES FOR WRITING 1. You must write. 2. You must finish what you write. 3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order. 4. You must put the work on the market. 5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. [Robert A. Heinlein] This week – and this […]
So I’m taking a Steampunk class through an online writer’s community (6 months to a Steampunk novel class, actually) and when I posted this information on Facebook, I got a question from a friend. Pardon the stupid question, she said, but what is Steampunk? Warehouse 13, I said. Gail Carriger’s Soulless series. She looked at […]
The best gift I’ve ever been given in my life cost five dollars. Yes, you read that right. I was fifteen, and trying out my brand-new culinary skills in my mother’s kitchen. Making large messes. Burning things. And learning what made up delicious food, and how to prepare it. I’d stir batters with my mother’s […]
The last week, while fighting a nasty chest cold, I’ve been putting together several entries and applications. Pushing through being sick made the whole process harder, but I’m proud of the final product on all of them. First, I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards which opened last night and continues to accept applications until […]
What do accountants, psychologists, and hairdressers have in common? They all have to invest in continuing education – they all keep learning their whole careers. Writers are no different. Whether you’re brand new to the field or have been writing your whole life, there’s always something new to learn.
This post talks about ways to keep learning, from writing books, classes and conferences, to writer’s groups, guided practice, and intentional reading.
Last week I wrote a post on voice and “tics,” the unconscious lazy word habits we all get into as writers. This week I found a lovely article by science fiction writer C.J. Cherryth on Writerisms that goes into more detail on what to avoid. I have an issue with a few of the rules […]
I had to un-learn a lot from college – in real life, you don’t get extra points for using big words when small ones will do. You can’t skip class and still make A’s (I know, I know). And the last thing in the universe you want is to sound like everybody else. Today’s post […]
The theme for the day is websites. Every writer can benefit from getting their name out there to the world, and there are a number of free resources available to help us do that well. This post covers a variety of programs and services to help you get your website built, hosted, and tracked. I also feature a number of free resources to help you develop media (pictures, audio, etc.) to go in the website.
In this second part of Free Resources for Writers, I talk about free resources to help you focus, organize your notes, brainstorm, and share your slideshows. How do you brainstorm and/or outline?