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He was back . . . again—the annoying guy with the bad comb-over and pastel 3-piece suit. Who wore a suit like that to a writer’s conference? And what was he doing here anyway? Was he even a writer? According to our last conversation he was in town for a convention but stopped by the writer’s conference with some of his buddies to kill time. When did the conference coordinators start allowing that?

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CAN Blog Happy Monday from Dianne Matthews! Can you CANners believe that it's November already? I've been tied to my computer since spring, working extra-long days to finish a one-year devotional book in five months. The spiritual warfare has been ongoing but at the midway point, it really intensified.

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Susanne here. I've been talking about the craft of writing and rather than delve back into scene structure, I want to talk about a key point from Malcom Gladwell's latest book, Outliers. Through research he discovered experts agreeing on the amount of time needed to bring a person to the level of an expert in his or her field. He cites examples: Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer, The Beatles, as some who put in the requisite 10,000 hours into their field or craft.

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IMG_3428 Happy Friday, everyone. Janice Thompson here. On Fridays, we've been talking about the writing craft. Today I want to deviate (only slightly) from that topic to talk about being true to ourselves as writers. Craft is great. We need to learn all we can, so that we put our best foot forward. It's also nice to be able to face our critics without shame (and learning the craft is a great way to conquer insecurities). But there's a difference between craft and crutch. To learn the "craft" is to become the best we can be as individuals. To "crutch" is to begin doing things just like everyone else is doing them because you think it's the only way you're going to make a sale. I want to encourage you to "craft," not "crutch."

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Gail Gaymer Martin Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailmartin.com The last time I blogged about outlining, I covered the first point from the Gideon Film Festival on Outlining for Screenwriting. The first point was on creating a theme. The next point deals with the topic of creating characters arcs. Whether writing a novel or screening writing, character arcs are a vital element of good writing.

2. Create individual character arcs. What does the character want? What does the character need? The need factor is often the hidden desire of the character. The difference between the want and the need are sometimes in conflict and an effective technique is to create a situation where to gain what the character needs means to give up what he wants. This is an excellent technique to create conflict.

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