Welcome to the Issue #9 of the Fiction Writing Tips Blog Carnival. For those of you not familiar with what a Blog Carnival is, here is a short description: a collection of links pointing to blog posts around a specific topic. As you may have guessed it, this blog carnival will be centered around the subject of fiction writing, with a special interest for fantasy and science fiction.
Chrys Fey presents How To Write A Short Story posted at Write With Fey, saying, “Writing a short story is just like writing a novel. You will need an idea that you can lay on a page to blaze into a story. When you get an idea you are halfway there.”
Art Holcomb presents Improving Your Fiction: The Relationship Chart posted at StoryFix, saying, “Relationships are at the heart of all great stories. They bond the reader to the work by giving them someone to root for (or against). They are the foundation of the subplots which broaden and deepen our novels and films. And they supply the emotional reactions that propel the plot forward.”
Victoria Grefer presents How much description is too much? Too little? posted at Crimson League, saying, “Authors: when plotting (whether by outlining or while writing) and when editing for content, have you found that one of the most difficult, most painful requirements is cutting out ideas, descriptions, and scenes that you personally love but just don’t contribute to the overall plot?”
Monica M. Clark presents How a Scene List Can Change Your Novel-Writing Life posted at The Write Practice, saying, “By the end of this post you will have a nagging urge to use an excel spreadsheet. Don’t make that face—I know you’re a writer and not a data analyst. Or if you are a data analyst—I get that you’re on this blog to get away from your day job. But guess what? At the suggestion of Randy Ingermason—the creator of the Snowflake Method—I listed all of the scenes in my novel in a nice little Google spreadsheet. It changed my novel-writing life, and doing the same will change yours too.”
Ksenia Anske presents STARTING AND ENDING CHAPTERS, OR WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO CUT IT? posted at Ksenia Anske, saying, “Whereas I have sort of adopted the guideline on the opening of the novel being the summary of the whole novel, going as far as trying my opening sentence to be the summary of the whole novel, in chapters I sort of summarize the whole chapter in the first paragraph. I try to give enough of the space and time and who does what to sketch out what’s about to happen, like, setting a stage, then for the rest of the chapter I simply expand on it.”
Brian DeLeonard presents Using Villains to Shape Your Hero posted at Mythic Scribes, saying, “In a previous article some time ago, I wrote about developing a character named Breldin, and how I created his home setting, the town of Trindall Grove, based on the way I wanted to shape his personality over the life that he’s lived.”
Jessica Schmeidler presents How to Achieve Coherence in Writing posted at The Write Shadow, saying, “Are you a sequential thinker? Many of us think we are, but when we take a closer look, it becomes apparent that we’re a bit more spatial than we’ve given ourselves credit for. While this may not seem like a very important bit of information to know about ourselves, it can actually come in quite handy when we’re writing.”
John Hansen presents Writing An Antagonist posted at Teens Can Write, Too!, saying, “There’s something about antagonists that, I think, inherently fascinates us as readers. We all get at least a little curious about what leads someone to become “evil,” why it is they do what they do, and so on.”
Anne R. Allen presents Are Your Family and Friends Sabotaging your Writing Dreams? posted at Anne R. Allen’s Blog, saying, “Writers participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) may discover that friends and family aren’t entirely enthused by your decision to disappear into your computer for a month. (I have a secret suspicion that Chris Baty invented NaNo in order to escape those painful family Thanksgiving dinners.)”
Kimberley Grabas presents To Blog Or Not To Blog: Is It Really Necessary? posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, ““There are millions of blogs out there. What’s the point of adding another to the mix? What are the chances that my blog will stand out from the hordes of others competing for the limited attention of readers?” Sound familiar? Many writers feel this way, but is it a sound argument? Go ahead and change “blog” to “book” and re-read the above three sentences. Uh-oh. See what happened there? You’ve just argued yourself out of a career in writing. 😉 So, let’s assume that if you feel your book has a chance of standing out, despite all those that came before, then so does your blog. But the bigger question that I think writers are really asking is this: will the results I receive from a blog be worth the time I put into it?”
Ava Jae presents How Important is Word Count posted at Writability, saying, “While I don’t think it’s something you need to stress over while first drafting—you can always refine during your revisions—after the first draft, you may want to take a good, hard look at your word count and make sure it’s within what’s expected for your genre and category. Particularly if you’re pursuing traditional publishing.”
Heather Webb presents When Writing Sucks and You Want to Quit posted at The Debutante Ball, saying, “You’re in a deep funk and can’t get out of it. Writing is HARD and it’s getting the best of you. Publishing is even HARDER and it makes you want to cry. The words aren’t flowing, life is a big ball of stress and distraction, and you just don’t know if you have it in you. What do you do?”
This concludes this edition of the Fiction Writing Tips Blog Carnival. I want to thank all the contributors and invite them to submit more in the future.
If you enjoyed these articles, please leave some comments on the authors’ blogs and on this blog.
Submit your blog article to the next edition of Fiction Writing Tips Blog Carnival, to be published on January 31, 2014 using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.