Some of you may remember that in July 2003, an 86-year-old man drove his car through the crowded Santa Monica Farmers’ Market outside of LA, killing ten people and injuring dozens more, many of them critically. That story struck a chord with me because I used to shop at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market when [...]
I am thrilled to welcome wordsmith Constance Hale, bestselling author of Sin and Syntax and the just-released Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing. Constance is here to talk about … you guessed it: VERBS. My Crush on Verbs By Constance Hale
How can a person write a whole book, just on [...]
I’m guilty of it, too: The description of a new character who has just entered your story as having “big brown eyes and frizzy black hair” or “ginger hair that cascaded down her shoulders and eyes the color of jade.” No matter how creative you get, describing a person according to his or her hair [...]
1. Your protagonist (you) should be 80-90% sympathetic with only a few flaws.
I used to think that the more flawed a character was, the more people would be able to relate to him/her. I quickly learned that too many flaws make a character unlikable. Readers don’t want to read 200-300 pages about a [...]
Today I had the pleasure to meet Ben Fountain, who came to lunch at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Ben’s first novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, debuted this month. His short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, won a PEN/Hemingway award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, a Whiting Writers [...]
Yes! It’s that time of year. Time for the Writerland 2011 Gifts for Writers Buying Guide! In addition to the usual case of wine, Moleskine notebook, nice pen, and day-at-the-spa gifts that all writers love, here are 17 other great ideas:
1. Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder I work with Matthew, and [...]
Today I am thrilled to bring you the incredibly talented Gerard Jones (see bio below), who is currently teaching a workshop at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto called Finding The Story.
I have a guest post over at Sierra Godfrey’s blog today about plot in the Hunger Games. With the movie coming out next year, I finally read it (although I don’t typically read YA novels) and what a fun ride. Also, if you’re new to this blog, I would love if you would “follow” it [...]