Pic for website 2012                                         

Greetings! Maureen Pratt here with my latest CAN blog post about the craft of writing. Today, I thought I'd steer clear of the "big picture" – that is, the major aspects of writing that we so often focus on in our work – plot and character arcs, basic personal attributes, action points. Instead, I thought I'd "sweat the small stuff" and talk about the importance of seeking, seeing and writing about the "fine print," those details that can truly make a huge difference between a piece that is okay from one that is, "Oh! Hey! [That really strikes home/makes this a truly memorable book/article/essay]"

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Bigger smile - close up 4th of July 2012

Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailmartin.com who has been traveling in Europe, but who is here through the magic of the Internet. I always enjoy sharing some writing tips with you.

The question, “What is texture in writing” was asked in one of my writing groups, and many floundered to answer it. Texture is something desirous and yet it is one of those illusive craft details that most people can’t define. They just recognize it when they see it, but editors look for it and readers relate to it so texture is something to understand and develop in your writing.

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Maureen Pratt, CAN Member-at-Large

Maureen Pratt

Hello, again! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly CAN blog about the art and craft of writing. This month’s topic is, “Help! Where’s my story?!” or, “What to do when your story goes one way while you go another.”

Whether we write fiction or non-fiction, plotting or outlining is often an essential part of the publication process. From the first query to the last book cover blurb, most of us try to envision the beginning, middle and end of a work before we dive in.

But, as we authors know, as hard as we might work on those early ideations, “things happen” once we get started. New facts come to light. A secondary character takes center stage. A plot thread we knew was right suddenly becomes oh-so-wrong.

How do we handle these and other creations of the creative process? First of all…

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Maureen Pratt, CAN Member-at-Large

Maureen Pratt

Hello, again!  Maureen Pratt here for my monthly blog post. And what a month it’s becoming! No doubt many of you have multiple works in progress gracing your keyboards, computer screens, notebooks, and imaginations. Some deadlines, too. The life of a working writer. And then…something happens. How do we handle health and other emergencies and keep our writing in mind and heart, too? We are writers, after all, and writers, well, we write.

As I write this, I am in the midst of a significant family emergency. One minute, I was working on a new magazine article, and hours later, wham!  Still consumed by the situation, I have come up for a bit of air – I know that other writers experience the same thing. Certainly those of us with ongoing health conditions have experienced “life intervening,” fracturing the fragile status that we create in which we pen our work. So, with this in mind, I have some suggestions for us working writers “when something happens, and especially how we can keep our writing skills going along the way:

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Pic for website 2012     Hello, again! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly blogpost about the craft of writing. Today, I'm going to focus on techniques to employ to find and write distinctive voices for each of your characters or individuals in fiction or non-fiction.

    I began my professional writing career as a playwright, earning my Master of Fine Arts in Theater Arts with a concentration in playwriting from UCLA and later having a number of plays produced. Unlike writing for the movies, playwriting "runs" on dialogue. A professional script for live theater contains very little, if any, description except to set the scene, and actor's notes should be non-existent. (Once a play has been published, which assumes it's been produced, these notes are usually inserted as guidelines for subsequent productions, however, original scripts do not include them.) So, it's vital that a playwright master the art of dialogue, crafting lines that contain meaning, emphasis, and character without "indicating" these in the script.

Example: "Mary: He did what? How? I don't believe it" instead of: "Mary (raising her voice and her eyebrows): He did what? (She sits down on the sofa) How? (She sighs) I don't believe it."

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