Dramaquill's All Things Writing

November 29, 2013

Writers – What Are You Thankful For?

Filed under: Writing — dramaquill @ 11:40 AM
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Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States. That got me to thinking. As a writer, what am I thankful for?

1. The internet
It no longer matters where you live. You can write from
anywhere and be connected to publishers, editors,
agents, critique groups, book clubs, ezines…anything you
need.

2. A computer
Although I do love writing with pen and notebook, being
able to create my documents on a computer and email
them, rather than print and mail them, is not only handy
but also saves me money.

3. Brick and Mortar Book stores
As much as the world seems to moving into a more
digital direction, nothing is more of an indulgence than
wandering through a store with shelves brimming with
books of all kinds.  Book stores are definitely one of my
guilty pleasures.

4. My Day Job
Yes, I’ve been known to complain that I don’t always have
enough time to write my books because I have to go to
work, but I’m also very lucky because part of what I do
in my job is writing (playscripts & business correspondence).

5. My Followers
Being online can sometimes feel very impersonal and
blog posts can seemingly be lost out in cyberspace
somewhere. How thankful I am for my blog follwers.
Some comment. Some contact me. Some simply read
my posts. But…I know you’re out there and that keeps
me motivated to keep blogging.

Writers – What are you thankful for?

November 22, 2013

Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents

A few years ago I received an email from a fellow named Chuck Sambuchino, inquiring about an article I had written on the business of playwriting.  He wanted to publish it in the Writer’s Digest Market Book, “Screenwriter’s and Playwright’s Markets” (both 2009 and 2010 volumes).  Of course I was thrilled and with some editing and tweaking a new article was born.

This was the first time I had heard of Mr. Sambuchino and I soon found that he had an amazing web presence and a vast knowledge of the writing biz and in particular, agents.  I’ve been following his blog and newsletter ever since.

Today, I’d like to share his links with my readers.  Whether you’re actively seeking an agent right now or you’re interested in knowing more about what it takes to get one, I’m sure you’ll find lots of valuable information in his blog, articles and books.

http://www.chucksambuchino.com/

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents

https://twitter.com/ChuckSambuchino

http://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Sambuchino/e/B001U4VC84

November 18, 2013

Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones author, dead at age 66

Before I settled into writing novels in the adult suspense genre, I dabbled in writing for children. Several of my poems were published in Hopscotch for Girls magazine, WeeOnes online, Dragonfly Spirit and My Friend Magazine.

I also enjoyed writing stories for kids and at one point thought about taking the adventures of some of my characters in chapter books, MG novels or even YA.

For research, I read a lot of books in the kidlit field, but I must say that the Junie B. Jones series, by Barbara Parks, was one of my all time favourites. June B is a hilariously charming and funny girl who’s take on life’s ordinary occurrences entertains adults as much as the children who read the books.

Today, as I checked my emails and ezines, I read about the passing of Barbara Park, the Junie B. Jones author. She was only sixty-six years of age.

It got me to thinking  not only about myself ,but about so many other writers who complain that they don’t have the time to sit down and write.

Well, we’d all better make the time. We never know how long we’ll be lucky enough to grace planet earth with our existence.

Whether you’re a Junie B. Jones fan or not, Park’s success with this series proves that great writing sells books.

Check out this article from NYdailynew.com:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/junie-b-jones-children-author-barbara-park-dies-article-1.1520219

If you really want to write, make the time –  for tomorrow is not guaranteed to any one of us.

November 8, 2013

Show, Don’t Tell: It’s a matter of sense

Having just attended the Humber College writing intensive last weekend, I’m still energized after having spent two full days talking nothing but writing.

One of the great struggles many writers face is using too much telling in their writing. “Show, don’t tell,” is a criticism many writers receive but some find difficult to correct.

Joe Kertes, the Dean of Humber’s School of Creative and Performing Arts, facilitated the workshop and offered us some great insights into the craft of writing, including what I found to be a very helpful and easy way to think about *show – don’t tell*.

Instead of telling your readers what’s happening, use the characters’ senses. What do they see? Smell? Taste? Hear? Is there something to touch and what does it feel like?

Instead of saying “John stepped outside and it was very cold” (which is very telling), let the reader experience the cold the same way John would. Perhaps your sentence would read something like this: “John stepped outside and immediately felt the icy stab of wind on his bare skin. He pulled the zipper of his jacket up all the way, tucking his neck inside like a turtle, taking refuge in his shell. He hadn’t thought to wear gloves so he shoved his hands deep into his jacket pockets, bracing himself against another gust of arctic air as he made his way to the subway station.”

Now you can really feel how cold it is outside and so will your readers when you use the senses as a way to show, rather than tell.

Here’s a sentence for you to try. Feel free to post your *show* versions in the comments section of this post.

Stacey was afraid of the dark.

I can’t wait to read your *show* versions of this sentence.

For more information about Humber College’s creative writing programs, check out their website:  http://www.humber.ca/scapa/programs/school-writers

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