Pixar didn’t get to be Pixar, the biggest name in animated movies today, by stocking up on schlocky storytellers. Take heed, my friends. The people behind that cute hopping lamp know what they are talking about:
Numbers 13 and 22 are my favorites. Which Pixar rule do you try to live by?
It’s time for Writing on the Web this Week about Writing. During your writing breaks, take a few moments to read some of these articles that have been floating around the internet this week. I hope these articles will fill up your own writing well with new inspiration, and you might just discover a new blog to follow.
I have two things to share by K.M. Weiland this week:
- Writer’s Manifesto. I especially love “Embrace the Ecstasy of Writing.” So true. K.M. Weiland is a novelist and a short story writer who blogs at Wordplay and Authors Culture. Check both of them out for inspiration and tips.
- The article Three Character Archetypes in Fiction appeared on K.M. Weiland’s blog, Wordplay. The post was written by Joe Bunting, a professional ghostwriter and fiction editor. Bunting presents an interesting argument about using traditional fictional archetypes but layering upon them to make them uniquely your own. “Shakespeare didn’t settle for archetypes. He recreated them for his own purposes. And so should you.” Bunting offers up a useful Characterization tutorial at The Write Practice. It’s packed with practical characterization advice.
- I don’t know how it took me so long to find The Bookshelf Muse, but it is one of my new favorite sites. The site was founded and is written by Angela Ackerman, a Calgary-based writer and Becca Puglisi, a Florida-based writer. These two women have created the Character Traits Thesaurus. In my opinion it’s genius. Scroll down the sidebar and find your favorite character trait. Let’s use “Shy” as an example. Ackerman and Puglisi will fill you in on the definition, causes of shyness, characters in literature or popular culture who display this trait, negatives, common portrayals of the trait and my favorite – cliches to avoid. At the end of the entry they offer up some ideas for twists on the traditional shy character. Try it out with your favorite traits. While you’re at it, check out the emotion thesaurus and setting thesaurus.
- Finally, the Book Pregnant blog was launched this month. I discovered it just the other day and love the concept. You can read the first post here. Debut authors (you know I love debut authors) Sophie Perinot and Lydia Netzer met on Twitter and decided to launch a blog about and for debut authors. The now have a cadre of 18 authors who contribute to the conversations about selling and nurturing the sales of your first novel. The format is cheeky – with each entry placed in a category: one of three trimesters, delivery or postpartum. Each author provides an honest look at the process of winning a book deal and seeing it through to the birth of the book.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always inspired by the community of writers (and readers) who share valuable and smile-inducing information in their blogs. During your writing breaks this weekend, take a few moments to read some of these articles that have been floating around the internet this week. I hope these articles will fill up your own writing well with new inspiration, and you might just discover a new blog to follow.
Meanwhile, check out the Contact button up above if you’re looking for other places to find me in cyberspace. In addition to this blog, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook. Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!
- I tweeted about this post on i09 ealier this week. “How to Write a Sincere First Draft of Your Science Fiction or Fantasy Epic” I don’t write either sci-fi or fantasy, but I still found some helpful tips on “Figuring out what you really meant to write, instead of the garbage you actually did write…”
- I love Writer Unboxed. This writers’ community started in 2006 by then unpublished (and now published) authors Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton, offers up a collection of tips and musings from emerging and veteran authors, literary agents and more. Today’s post “Turning the Soil” was by guest poster Sarah Callender. It will be helpful for all writers who are struggling with their story’s seeds of doubt. I suscribe to National Geographic’s motto “Live Curious,” and Callendar’s post drove home the challenges and thrills that living curious presents.
“Identifying and exploring one’s sense of wonder is thrilling; it is also scary. It is deeply satisfying; it is also hard, hard work. We must do the hard work of turning the soil, of disturbing and disrupting the earth, if the dirt in which we plant our story seeds will yield anything worth harvesting.”
- Do you ever feel like there are eight million people offering up words of wisdom about being a writer, but maybe eight who actually give you concrete tips? If you’re having one of those days – needing a “show me, don’t tell me” place to visit – hang out at Flogging the Quill. This website, written by author and editor, Ray Rhamey, is filled with those concrete tips. Ray’s Flogometer provides the opportunity to submit your first page and receive feedback from Ray and his writers as to whether your first page would compel them to keep reading. The latest post was about Jack’s opening chapter of Night of the New Hummingbird.
- In the spirit of my recent Ira Glass post, I was so happy to see someone else addressing “The Gap” that Glass mentions. Men with Pens is a web design and web copy writing business. The Men with Pens blog frequently has helpful tips for non-fiction and fiction writers. “How to Fight Your Way Through the Writing Gap” gave inspiring insights into overcoming your fear of the gap. I loved this line:
[It] will never stop being difficult. But you may stop being daunted by difficulty.
The question is whether you want to stop being daunted now, or in twenty years.
- Finally, you must visit Two Writing Teachers, a blog written by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz, two women who teach writing and literacy to kids on opposite sides of the country. “Storytelling” gave me warm fuzzies. I’m helping to start a literary magazine for the students at my son’s elementary school, and I get such a rush from the excitement that young kids experience in their moments of creative exploration. Be sure to read this post. It will renew your faith in the power of storytelling by and for all ages.