#amreading: the best of this week

1.  #AUTHORS: GET REAL ON #SOCIALMEDIA AND READERS WILL RESPOND #ASMSG #IARTG

My takeaway:

Use this formula when posting on social media – 20% book marketing, 10% small talk (weather, exercising, cooking, etc.), 30% retweets, 20% personal (I use this to post baking/cooking pics), 20% other interests (sports, hobbies, news, politics, etc.)


I know I have not been following that formula.  I post mainly with word games and retweets. To remedy this I’m going to start posting more small talk and interests.

2. How to Add to Your Plot After You’ve Finished the First Draft

My takeaway:

Next I examine the other characters in my cast. Who could use more fleshing out? Or who has a rich backstory that I’m not utilizing as much as I could? I give myself time to brainstorm ways I could enhance my cast as well.

Rereading Dark Fate there are places I can expound. I want to add content of substance and improve the story.  I know the scenes with the villain felt short and plan on revising them. 

3. Refilling the Well 

My takeaway:

Often a hobby or interest can yield unexpected benefits to our writing.


Sometimes my well runs dry and I have to find a way to refill it. My critique partner, Eric Peterson, has given me good advice to keep my creative mind happy.  Ballet and reading invigorate me.  What makes your creative mind happy?

4. Today’s quick writing reminder: Power of Endurance. #quote

My takeaway:

Not everything in life happens over night, which is most likely one of the biggest blessings that we as humans have been given. We are allowed to grow, and improve. We are blessed with time to shape and mold ourselves into what we are meant to achieve AS WE ARE READY FOR IT.


This article was about going the distance as a writer. Small pieces of progress add up. Being a writer means that one has to actively write. Bestseller Dean Wesley Smith said in Heinlein’s Rules, “My definition of an author is a person who has written.” I don’t want to be someone who has written. I want to be a writer. 

5. How to Question Your Story’s Logic

My takeaway: 

The best way to make sure your story’s logic makes sense is to spend time learning how people work.


I’ve mentioned previously the enneagram article Yep, You’re Talking to Yourself Again but there are other resources as well. Learning about Myers-Briggs or even zodiac signs can help as well. I don’t personally believe in horoscopes but the personality classifications based off astrology are intriguing. I’m definitely an Aries. I’m also working on a book called Syzygy right now that revolves around astrology. I start each chapter with a horoscope so that has been an interesting challenge requiring research and it has broadened my horizons. 

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#amreading: the best articles of the week 

As I try to improve my craft as a writer, I read articles about writing. 

Here are the 5 best that I’ve read this week: 

1. Novel writing basics: 10 steps to an unputdownable book

This article broke down ideas on ways to tantalize readers. My favorite takeaway was:

 If the reader doesn’t have a clear sense of where your characters are, they can come across as talking heads floating in hazy darkness. 


Since I have written mostly screenplays, I struggle with too much dialogue at times.  I attribute it to screenplays because sometimes my scenes look like a screenplay: description up front and then dialogue action dialogue. I know I need to work on including more dialogue attributions and interspersing more descriptions. 

2. 3 Must-Have Scenes That Reveal Character

This article discusses three scenes that are “must-haves” for your MCs. 

My takeaway:

As a writer, ask: How will the readers find themselves in this character? How will they connect with this character and start to believe this character is real? It doesn’t matter if your character is a superhero or a soccer mom – we need that connection.

 

Flaws make a character more real.  In Threads of Fate both of my MCs struggle with their self-esteem in different ways. Petra doesn’t feel confident and when she lacks confidence her enchanted grimoire has blank pages. Angsmar has let the voices of a few people become an internal tape that he plays where he thinks everyone views him as a monster.  One beta reader commented that he was whiny but another said: sometimes the scariest monster that we will ever face is always as far away as the nearest reflective surface. 

3.  How to write from a Guy’s POV

My takeaway:

And guys are complex–we have feelings, emotions, pasts that we bury and don’t talk about. Try opening a guy up, explore him…. And on a final note–please, please, please write a CHARACTER first. Write a human being with goals, desires, secrets, resentment, and happiness. Write a PERSON that the reader can empathize with. 


Maybe I made Angsmar a little emo. I like to think of it as introspective. Especially since he doesn’t voice his thoughts very often. I think he’s no more emo than Kylo Ren.  I firmly believe that people are people and many of the comments in this article are only valid because of social constructs. In fantasy one has the liberty to do away with or embrace those constructs. 

4.On Newt Scamander, Toxic Masculinity, & The Power Of Hufflepuff Heroes

My takeaway: 

…essential in Fantastic Beasts’s changing this narrative of men being weak for showing their emotions are the reactions of the people around Newt in the film. 


In the Threads of Fate universe it’s not easy to be a woman. It’s a patriarchal society and women have few rights.  The mores surrounding a woman’s chastity are almost Victorian.  At the same time I’ve made an effort to avoid toxic masculinity. 

5. 7 Ways to Add Great Subplots to Your Novel

My takeaway:

In fact, the best way to start brainstorming subplots is to brainstorm characters who could populate and propel your plot. Once you’ve done this, you can simply write out your subplots more or less sequentially. 


With Dark Fate I know that it’s too short and  that it needs to be expounded on.  Part of my revision will be to add more descriptions and make sure each scene is as sensory as possible.  I think I need to add a few scenes for the villain as well. 

Have you read any good articles this week?