Looking back on the books and authors that introduced us to our favorite literary genres can be a fun trip down memory lane. That nostalgia can bear even more meaning for writers. Sure, those authors built the foundation for our reading tastes. But if we consider our “relationship” with their work closely, we can also discover how their stories or writing have influenced ours.
Today, let’s discuss the first five authors we read in our favorite literary genre, or the genre we prefer to write in. I’ll go first with my first five fantasy authors (since fantasy is more than just my great literary love), as well as one takeaway from each that has impacted my writing. Then, you can respond by either commenting on this post or writing about it at your own blogs. This isn’t just for fantasy writers, by the way. Book bloggers and avid readers of all genres are welcome to jump in – so, please do!
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Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today it’s the tips-oriented post to celebrate 80% completion of Draft #3.
I had trouble thinking of a subject to cover this time. The past three tips-driven Chronicles (word-cutting strategies, planning changes to one’s writing routine, and wrestling writer’s doubt) were inspired by challenges I experienced at different points during Draft #3. Lately, though, no one single “issue” with editing has stood out to me. Yet I’ve started giving serious thought to the next stage: beta-reading.
Yes, that terrifying yet exciting phase of sharing your writing for feedback is the topic of today’s Chronicle. I’ll share lessons and advice based on my past experience with beta-reading for other writers. I’ll also touch on how to decide who might be a good beta-reading candidate, and give you a peek inside my plans for my WIP’s beta-reading stage. So, let’s dive in!
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Today I’m thrilled to have one of my DIY MFA colleagues here for a guest post! Leanne Sowul is a historical fiction writer, music teacher, and the insightful mind behind DIY MFA’s “Be Well, Write Well,” which offers tips and wisdom for writers on maintaining a healthy well-being. She’s also an advocate for cultivating creativity in our lives and recently launched her new project, The Creativity Perspective, to explore this further. I invited Leanne to write about the importance of creativity in writing, and this is what she had to say.
When I first decided to write a novel, I wasn’t sure what genre I wanted to specialize in. I read widely, so I had interest in writing many different things, but I was intimidated by working in the sci-fi, fantasy, or mystery genres because I thought they required a higher level of creativity. Building a world from scratch, or crafting a suspenseful crime, felt beyond me. I wanted to choose a genre that had some rules I could follow; a creativity “support,” if you will.
I have a longtime love for history, so I decided to write historical fiction. I figured I could use historical facts to hang my story on, and felt comforted by the element of nonfiction in my fiction to keep me on track with my story. I thought it was the perfect solution. Oh, how little I knew back then! I didn’t understand I was making the enormous decision of my novel’s genre based partly on fear and partly on an incorrect assumption.
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh I’m SO EXCITED about this!!! 😀
Today I’m over at WriteOnSisters, one of my favorite writing craft blogs, to talk about the literary genre I love most: FANTASY. (Bet that doesn’t surprise you, right?) This isn’t an episode of me fangirling, though. Instead, I explain the differences between high fantasy and epic fantasy, as well as the common ground they share in some stories.
Click here to read “When Wands and Swords Collide: Distinguishing High Fantasy from Epic Fantasy.”
Feel free to comment directly on the post at WriteOnSisters. I’ll be over there periodically to respond! 😉
I wasn’t expecting Part 2 of my coverage of the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference to post until next week at DIY MFA. But since it was ready, they snuck it in today instead. 😉
Today’s article is also part of DIY MFA’s weekly #5onFri series. As the title says, I offer five reasons why WDC 2015 was awesome – and why I’m already considering going back for 2016.
Click here to read “#5onFri: Five Reasons Why Writer’s Digest Conference 2015 Was Awesome.”
The third and final installment of my WDC coverage should be live next Thursday. (Yes, I’ve done a lot of article-writing the past couple weeks!)
Did you also attend this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference? What were some of your favorite aspects of the event? Which sessions did you attend?
After seeing a couple reading statistics articles from Sarah J. Higbee (who encouraged me to share my own) and Oh The Books!, I decided to figure out my own stats based on the books I read in 2014. So, I went through my reviews, plugged my tallies into Excel, and made some pretty graphics for your viewing pleasure. While the results didn’t really show me anything new, they made me think more consciously about my reading habits and preferences. Here’s how things shaped up: Continue reading →