It feels weird to post a wrap-up of a winter’s worth writing, reading, and other creative happenings on the second day of spring. (This is the new “writing monthly update” series I had mentioned last month, btw.) But the truth is, I’ve procrastinated on this post for a couple weeks now, and not due to lack of time. Instead, I’ve been feeling anything but enthusiastic or confident about writing lately.
(Btw, my latest DIY MFA post went live last week. Something funky happened with the blog post announcement, so click here to read the article at DIY MFA.)
The good news is, I’m now taking steps that can hopefully help me regain that confidence and lead to a better, more productive spring. I’ll touch on that, as well as the progress I’ve made so far with The Novella (my new writing project) and the books I’ve read so far this year. Also, since this is the first Creative Corner, any feedback on the content and/or setup will be greatly appreciated. 🙂
Most writers would agree that the relationship (or rather, conflict?) between the protagonist and the antagonist is one of the most important “bonds” in a story. How important, though? More than we might think. In my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul post at DIY MFA, we examine how this unique relationship offers a goldmine of literary themes through the characters’ interactions and conflicting goals. Continue reading
Remember my Developing Themes In Your Stories series that DIY MFA ran last year? It’s back! Today’s Theme: A Story’s Soul post tackles symbolism, one of the most thought-provoking yet challenging aspects of novel-writing. Don’t be intimidated, though – it turns out that symbolism is more closely connected to theme than we might think. It starts by knowing what kinds of symbols we can draw from and which questions we should ask to help us find the right symbols to reflect our story’s themes. Continue reading
You might remember that I went to last year’s Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City, and had an absolute blast. So, guess what? I’m already planning to go back this year! 😀
I’ve been ITCHING to share this with you for the past few months. However, I wanted to wait until everything was in order before I said anything. Now, all the necessary reservations have been made, and I’m thrilled to tell you that I’ll be in New York City this July and August for the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference!
Sponsored by one of the most renowned writing resources on the planet, the Writer’s Digest Conference is designed to offer a balanced education in both the craft of writing and the business of being a writer, all in an encouraging, inspiring environment. In addition to a schedule chock full of sessions that range in topic from promotion and author platforms to genre studies, there will also be book signings, keynote addresses, and exhibit tables. And for an additional fee, attendees can participate in the Pitch Slam, where writers can pitch their stories to preferred agents or editors in person and receive feedback.
I’ve said before that I want to visit the literary conference circuit whenever I can now that I’m taking my novel-writing more seriously. Writer’s Digest seems like the perfect opportunity to branch out to events outside of my local area (Greater Boston) without traveling too far. Plus, look at the schedule! It’s almost impossible to not fill your entire day with sessions because of how promising they sound. I’m especially looking forward to the Breaking In panel, where first-time novels will share their experiences; Hallie Ephron’s “Setting: More Than Creating a Sense of Place”; Rebecca McClanahan’s “Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively”: and N.K. Jemisin’s “Growing Your Iceberg: Crafting a Secondary World That Feels Ancient.” Yes, N.K. Jemisin the fantasy writer. I haven’t read her novels yet, but so many people have recommended them to me that I CANNOT pass up this session. 😀
The other reason why I’m attending is to root on my DIY MFA bosses Gabriela Pereira and Bess Cozby, who will be presenting at Writer’s Digest this year. Which reminds me: If you’re considering going to this year’s conference, DIY MFA is offering a special coupon code that will give you $25 dollars off the registration. Anyone who uses this code will also be invited to a special meet-up that Gabriela is planning. (And yes, I hope to be there, too!) Click here to access the coupon code.
Anyone else planning to attend this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference? If you’ve attended it in years past, what did you think of it? Let me know by commenting on this post. I’d love to meet up with you if you’re going!
Recently I’d read Brian Klems’ article at Writer’s Digest about the 10 books that had stayed with him in some way after reading them. It inspired me to start thinking about my own list – and what good timing! Within days, two friends on Facebook tagged me on their top 10 lists and challenged me to share mine. Now that I’ve posted my list there, I thought I’d publish it here at the blog, along with the reasons why I chose each book – or in some cases, series.
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is probably cheating, because this and #2 would fill all 10 spots automatically. However, I have to give Tolkien and the Lords Of The Rings trilogy due credit for being my gateway to fantasy literature. I don’t know if I’d be writing the novel I’m working on today if I hadn’t picked up that series. Also, the LOTR trilogy was responsible for rekindling my love of reading in 2003. I went through a period in high school where I absolutely resented reading. Most of the assigned stories didn’t appeal to me; and with little time to read for pleasure, I lost interest in the activity altogether. It wasn’t until I saw the LOTR film trilogy and decided to read the source material that I finally enjoyed reading again. Now I can’t stop! So, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Tolkien. Continue reading