Five Links 3/27/2020
1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/03/conflict-thesaurus-bad-weather/ “Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.
It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.
Conflict: Bad Weather”
4. https://jamigold.com/2020/03/writing-craft-basics-how-to-format-dialogue/ “If your brain is any amount of scattered like mine, now might be a good time to cover some of the basics of our writing craft. So let’s tackle a subject I haven’t dug into here before: dialogue formatting and a few do’s and don’ts.
I originally started this post intending to dig deeper into a dialogue point-of-view question a reader asked, but the introduction of these formatting basics took up the whole post. Oops! So rather than shortchanging either topic, I’ll cover the basics today and we’ll come back to the more advanced stuff on Thursday. *smile*
Most of us who want to write also love reading, so we might think we already know everything about dialogue formatting, but sometimes a tricky situation can catch us by surprise. So let’s make sure we know all there is to know about dialogue formatting.”
5. https://rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/brainstorming-by-yourself/ “All across the nation, people are staying home, socially distancing, and generally isolating themselves. Which means, getting together with your critique partners has become a national no-no, unless you’re FaceTiming or using one of those conferencing aps like Zoom.
So what’s a writer to do when you’re staring a new book, and that writer’s retreat that you scheduled where you were going to plot it out with friends has been postponed indefinitely? Short answer: you gotta suck it up and figure it out on your own.
Here’s something I do whenever I get stuck, or I’m just starting a book, and my critique partners and brainstorming posse is unavailable.
Step One: I get a piece of paper and at the top I write the character’s name. And right under that I write down his/her major external goal or problem.
Step Two: For ten minutes I write down stuff that could happen that would make it harder to achieve that goal, or which would make the goal more important. I write down everything including dumb ideas, cliches, and stuff that’s just silly. When the timer goes off, I usually have a list of at least 20 things that could happen, and usually the last few are kind of interesting.
Step Three: I get a second piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top. And then instead of thinking about things that would make the goal more important or harder, I think about all the things that could happen that would make the character’s goal more important/problematic for the community in which the character operates. In my case that’s always a small town, but for a police procedure it could be the local government or police force.
Step Four: I get a third piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top. And then I list out all the things that might happen that would make achieving the goal or solving the problem a life or death proposition. This one is harder than the rest because of the kind of books I write. But I always find ideas when I do this.
When you’re finished with this exercise you will have more ideas on how to “raise the stakes” in your story, and add conflict, which is what people want to read.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/03/20/found-mounds-the-call-of-albion/ “‘…Maybe it is because it is our third visit or maybe it is because there are three of us, or maybe we had to work out the St Andrew thing before we were allowed to ascend, who knows?
Whatever the reasons, we re-convene on top of the man-made-conical-mound which hides behind the Church of St Nicholas, High Bradfield and Wen has an interesting take on proceedings.
“If St Andrew of Scotland is Andrew the Disciple of Christ then he may have come over here with Joseph of Arimathea.”
2. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2020/03/20/types-of-spying-in-war-of-nytefall/ “Now, this may be a better topic for War of Nytefall: Ravenous, but I felt like I couldn’t risk forgetting it. Spying and gathering intelligence is still very important in Eradication, especially when you see one of the big moves that Leo Kandrel makes. In fact, the Dawn Fangs and their enemies have come to see that gathering information is more important than battles. This is where the real struggle comes from since many events come down to who knows what and who learns of things first. The side that pinpoints the location of the Fist of Durag could very well turn the tide of the slow-moving war.
Now, I’ve noticed about 6 types of spying that goes on in War of Nytefall. It’s actually 3 to each side. There is a 7th that I can’t talk about though because of spoilers. Let’s leave that one alone and dive right into the methods.”
3. https://jenanita01.com/2020/03/20/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shortstory-horses-satin-and-cinders-by-jan-sikes/ “A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.”
4. https://scvincent.com/2020/03/21/dignity-and-memories/ “We were supposed to be in Scotland this week, revisiting a magical place. However, that cannot happen at the moment. As things are rather up in the air, I thought I’d revisit a past trip this week and share a bit of history from a past adventure… and a Yorkshire parish church with an awful lot of history:”
5. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/03/23/character-archetypes-the-trickster/ “If you’ve been following my reblogs of C. S. Boyack’s series on archetypes, you’ll really enjoy his Story Empire post today on Tricksters. What are they and how can writers use them to add surprising elements to their stories? Just head on over and check it out. You’ll be glad you did! Oh, and please don’t forget to share so others can learn more about archetypes, too. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for such an interesting and helpful post. 🙂 ❤”
Some Things More Serious:
1. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/what-does-this-pandemic-mean-for-writers/ “his is the question I’m getting over and over again from my authors. COVID-19 has changed everything. How is this going to affect us? What’s going to happen to publishing?
The short answer is: Nobody knows. But there are a few truths we can point to.
First, people are going to continue to read. If you’re a writer, keep doing what you do, because we need you.
Second, publishing has already survived pandemics, recessions, the Great Depression, two world wars, the advent of television, the growth of the Internet, and the proliferation of ways to entertain ourselves. Publishing has changed with the times and will continue to do so. My best guess is that books will still be published and people will continue to read them.
In the short term, there may be fallout. Some independent bookstores, which have thankfully been doing well lately, might not survive. That would be a big loss. (You can help by supporting your local indie right now!)”
2. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/03/23/writing-through-the-perilous-times-amwriting/ “We live in difficult times. You might be temporarily unemployed unless your work is the sort where you can telecommute. My husband falls into the “work from home” category. My brother does not. Like many others, he is mostly unemployed once again.
If you live in Washington State, you have some help available. They’re small, but better than nothing. Our governor immediately put our fallback resources in place, trying to help our struggling workers and our healthcare system.”
3. https://chelseaannowens.com/2020/03/23/11100/ ““Every persons’ definition of happy may hold a different meaning. I feel it’s important that you recognize what that meaning is for you and once you have defined it, understand that it is up to you to walk toward it.
“It’s so very easy to blame those around us or circumstances we find ourselves in for our happiness. What we do not always realize is that we have control of nothing but our inner voice and a choice. A choice to make our lives more amazing than we thought possible.
“Your happiness depends on you, and while it may not always be clear or it may seem like a dark path to walk, when we realize the light comes from within, the search for it elsewhere is no longer required.”
4. https://whenangelsfly.net/2020/03/23/6-ways-to-help-anxious-children-during-coronavirus-behaviour101/ “Do you have an anxious child right now? Will they benefit from direct strategies to combat this feeling or will a subtle approach work better? This article provides both.
5. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/23/when-you-learn-writing-gets-lonely-the-blank-page/ “The Blank Page is a new weekly series on Novelty Revisions dedicated to any writer who is just beginning their journey or starting again after a long pause. Check back every Monday for more tips and inspiration.
Writing — and being a writer — is as fulfilling and worthwhile as it often sounds. There are downsides to every hobby and profession. Writing is also exhausting, sometimes overwhelming and frustrating. But that just makes the entire experience worth the occasional struggle.
Something that isn’t talked about enough is writing and its relation to socialization — mainly that you don’t always understand how lonely writing can be until you experience it firsthand.
It must be discouraging to finally dive into the hobby that could one day become your dream job, only to realize how isolating and lonely it can feel. Especially on days writing is more of a struggle and you wish you had someone to talk with about your frustrations.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
2. https://pitchwars.org/happy-book-birthday-to-the-derby-daredevils-kenzie-kickstarts-a-team-by-mentor-kit-rosewater/ “A highly illustrated middle-grade series that celebrates new friendships, first crushes, and getting out of your comfort zone
Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and Shelly (aka Bomb Shell) have dreamed of becoming roller derby superstars. When Austin’s city league introduces a brand-new junior league, the dynamic duo celebrates! But they’ll need to try out as a five-person team. Kenzie and Shelly have just one week to convince three other girls that roller derby is the coolest thing on wheels. But Kenzie starts to have second thoughts when Shelly starts acting like everyone’s best friend . . . Isn’t she supposed to be Kenzie’s best friend? And things get really awkward when Shelly recruits Kenzie’s neighbor (and secret crush!) for the team. With lots of humor and an authentic middle-grade voice, book one of this illustrated series follows Kenzie, Shelly, and the rest of the Derby Daredevils as they learn how to fall—and get back up again.”
3. https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2020/03/24/gods-and-dragons-the-dragon-of-time-book-1-by-aaron-dennis-genre-epic-fantasy/ “Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past…. The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom?”
In need of some post-its?
What about an inspirational book to keep you company during your down time?
Or a good YA title?