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Generating Ideas

It’s a perverted fact of the universe that writers are sometimes stumped about what to write. Give them a snappy first line in a timed writing exercise, and they jump in, keyboard clicking furiously, and then wow you with what they read out loud.

But for an original story? Um. A novel for crying out loud? Um, indeed.

Not that I’m talking about myself, you understand. Of course not.

But we shall fret no more, because there are three–count ’em, three–chances to shake loose your story ideas in a small, brilliant conference this weekend. And  if there’s no way you can pack up and get to Wenatchee, I’ll close this post with an idea-generating strategy of my own. Read More…

The Cozy Con with Big Inspiration

Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni

What do Robert Dugoni, Agent Rachel Letofsky, and memoirist Bonnie J. Rough all have in common? A: They’ll all be in Wenatchee WA for Write on the River in 5 weeks!

Join us on the sunny side of Washington State for a day-and-a-half conference on the beautiful campus of Wenatchee Valley College. The Write on the River Conference annually attracts approximately 120  writers to learn from the experts, including New York Times best-selling authors like Robert Dugoni and Rebecca Zanetti. Sessions include:

Django Wexler

Django Wexler

  • Science fiction and fantasy
  • How to get rep’d by an agent
  • Writing for the internet
  • Memoir
  • Intensive Saturday fiction class
  • Romance writing
  • Power editing your manuscript
  • Powering up your imagination
  • Indie marketing
  • The writing life
  • First page feedback from an agent
  • Poetry
  • Kid Lit
  • Voice in creative nonfiction
  • Career planning and even more . . .
Bonnie Rough

Bonnie Rough

All this for $95! In addition, on Sunday, a 3 hour master fiction class from Robert Dugoni. Sunday class, $45.

We’re g0ing to have a blast. Come join us!

May 13 – 15. For more details.

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan

 

The Door Into Scene

Scenes are the building blocks of the long story.

Scenes are the building blocks of the long story.

One simple step can save your next scene.

Even with the loosest of plot outlines, authors usually have an idea of the next thing that can happen. But there are always options. Refer to the action or insight in a narrative bridge? Bring it on stage by itself? Tuck the information bit by bit into several scenes?

“Forward the plot” is the usual scene advice. But even following that criteria it’s  easy to write tepid, low-interest scenes. So how do we sort out the on-target and meaningful next sequence?

Let your intuition help

Here’s a quick way to help you open the right door into the next scene: Give it a title.

It doesn’t need to be catchy or meaningful to anyone else. But to you, it reflects the dramatic essence of this sequence. Examples from my work in progress:

Blood on the silver screen Read More…

SF Trading Card Winners

You know you want to be on my newsletter mailing list (4-5 times/year) for the giveaways and insider information. Last time, I offered a drawing for cool packets of Walter Day Science Fiction Trading cards. Also, remember that if you sign up for my newsletter I’ll send you a free short story.

And the trading card winners are (drumroll here):

Thomas Morrow and bn100. Congrats to both! I’ll be in touch today to ask for addresses.

My thanks to all who entered!

A Dangerous Game of Spycraft . . .

. . . amid the bloom of psychic abilities.

My new series, beginning with At the Table of Wolves.

  Coming from Saga Press next winter!

THE MILIEU:

England. Spring, 1936. Magic has come into the world in the form of psi-abilities. These powers have broken through in a slow, subconscious tide since 1914, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The advent of this phenomenon is called the bloom. Talents occur in perhaps one in a thousand people. The full range of paranormal abilities is not yet known, but they include hypercognition, remote view, mesmerizing, hyperempathy, darkening and the spill, with strength classified from 1 to 10. Talents come into people at various stages of their lives, especially at adolescence. People still mistrust the bloom, with its paranormal gifts, both coveted and despised. Kim Tavistock is a 5 for the spill.

The Third Reich has been working for years to weaponize these powers. Now they have succeeded in a manner no one could have guessed.
Read More…