“The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener (a pocket knife was too wasteful), the marble topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. For luck, you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit’s foot in your right pocket.” —Ernest Hemingway
Endings are hard. Nobody likes to say goodbye, and saying goodbye in a story is especially hard. The pressure is on to get that last part just right. When there are so many possibilities for a conclusion, how do you know which one is right for your story?
Over the weekend, I was working on a book project. I’ve been working on it for almost a year and desperately need to finish it. But when I sat down to work on it, suddenly everything became more interesting than the writing on the screen in front of me.
I stared at the wood table for too long, before picking up my phone and texting back everyone I hadn’t in the last six months. I stared out the window, got a refill on my coffee, and then finally wrote maybe thirty words.
In June, we hosted the Summer Writing Contest in partnership with JBD Entertainment and Short Fiction Break literary magazine. Entering a writing contest is a huge accomplishment. You took on the challenge of writing a story and sharing it boldly with the judges. Whether your story won or not, that’s worth celebrating!
And now, drumroll, please, as we announce the winners . . .
Looking for an opportunity to reveal a character’s true feelings? Need a place where a character can realistically tell the world how they feel in a monologue? Want to give characters an opportunity to discuss what is coming next in your plot?
Funerals provide an excellent setting for all these moments and more.
I’m working through a revision, and one of my main problems is the protagonist. My editor and a beta reader both suggested amping up her emotional appeal, leaving comments such as, “I’m not invested in this character yet” and “I want to care about her, but I don’t in this scene.” Ouch. I’ve created a bland character.
So amping up emotional appeal. Is there a lipstick for that? How do I amp up emotional appeal?
All around us, kids and teachers are headed back to school. The weather hasn’t cooled down yet, but we’re already dreaming of crunchy fall leaves and cozy sweaters. It’s the perfect season for a new writing contest!
That’s a touchy statement, isn’t it? Before you light me on fire for typing it, give me the chance to explain. There are two aspects to being ready to publish your book: preparing your book and preparing yourself.
We avoided it as long as we could, but it was bound to come up sooner or later. Today, we’re covering the apparent mother of all grammatical quandaries: who vs. whom. What’s the difference between these two tricky pronouns?
Have you heard of Girl With a Pearl Earring?
It’s a painting by a 17th Century Dutch painter named Johannes Vermeer. Author Tracy Chevalier first saw it when she was 19 and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Who was the girl in the painting? How did she get there?