Archive for December, 2011

What are archetypes, and why should you use them?

December 29, 2011

For a character’s actions to seem believable they must reflect the personality of that character. Character archetypes are a great way to help understand what motivates your heroes and villains – the reasons they do what they do.

In an excerpt from her book 45 Master Characters, archetype expert Victoria Schmidt explains how using archetypes can help you develop characters whose actions seem true to life and spring forth from the page.

Read the excerpt here

buy the book

A day in the life

December 28, 2011

As a writer, even an “ordinary” day can be a source of inspiration as long as you pay attention to the things going on around you. Sights, smells, overheard conversations – all of these things can help you generate ideas for your writing.

In an exercise taken from his book The Writer’s Idea Book, author Jack Heffron helps guide you through the process of capturing ideas by writing down everything that happens during a single day. Try this fun exercise to hone your awareness and find ideas for your writing in the world around you.

Read the free excerpt here

buy the book

Just to be clear

December 15, 2011

When you get right down to it, writing is about communication. It’s important to be clear so that your reader will understand the message you are trying to convey. Sounds obvious, but it’s not always that easy.

In this helpful article, Christina Katz, author of The Writer’s Workout helps you cultivate clarity in your writing.

Read the article here

Buy the book

WD Writing Conference

December 6, 2011

It’s getting to be that time of year again! (Nope, I’m not talking about the holidays, though those are great… I’m talking about the annual Writer’s Digest Writing Conference in January).  Start the new year off right by taking on your writing goals head on. Here are the details:

When: January 20th – 22nd
Where: Sheraton NYC
Learn more: 

Overview: The WDC includes three tracks of education, focusing on the craft of writing, the business of getting published, and the digital future of publishing. You can go to the website and look under “sessions” for specific details. 

A few highlights: 

  • We’ll be hosting another Pitch Slam with 60 agents. The pitch slam will take place over three hours in three different rooms. 
  • There is a Saturday-only option available for those who can’t attend the full conference.
  • Attendees will learn trade secrets, craft techniques, and strategies for getting published with more than 24 sessions and 30 expert speakers.

Keynotes include:

  • Friday: A.J. Jacobs, bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically will talk about how to make a living as a writer, writing about…yourself!
  • Saturday: Barry Eisler, bestselling author of the John Rain series of thrillers will talk about the current state of publishing, how traditional and non-traditional models are changing, and what you should do to prepare yourself for the changes to come.
  •  Sunday: Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month and author of No Plot? No Problem! will talk about what drives us to write and how to turn that passion into a lifestyle. 

Don’t miss out. Sign up today!