“Show, Don’t Tell” | Still Sound Advice, or Lame Idea?

by Marylee MacDonald, May 27, 2017 in For Beginning Writers, For Writers Doing Revisions

“Show, don’t tell.” What does it mean, and should writers pay attention to this time-worn advice? In this post I’m going to look at three writers who use narrative exposition–old-fashioned storytelling–and see what they’re doing on the “show, don’t tell” front. Let’s start with a bit of background. Wikipedia cites a passage in a Chekhov letter […]

Story Starters Keep Your Story Ideas from Going Stale

by Marylee MacDonald, May 20, 2017 in For Beginning Writers

Story-starters are the key to a writer’s long-term success, but what are story starters and how can you turn them into actual stories? Essentially, story starters are the notebooks writers keep about the things they observe in the world. These journals don’t gaze at the writer’s navel. They’re other-centered, outward looking, and curious about all […]

Character-Driven Fiction Takes Readers Back to 1968 | Sharon Solwitz’s New Novel

by Marylee MacDonald, May 13, 2017 in Characters, For Writers Who Need Readers

ONCE, IN LOURDES author Sharon Solwitz has one previous novel, Bloody Mary, and a collection of short stories, Blood and Milk, which won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from Friends of the Chicago Public Library and the prize for adult fiction from the Society of Midland Authors, and was a finalist for the National Jewish […]

How Much Should You Be Spending on Book Awards?

by Marylee MacDonald, May 6, 2017 in For Writers Ready to Publish

Book awards can help your book gain traction. When you’re attending a book fair, having a shiny sticker on the cover draws attention. And when you’re setting up your author’s pages, featuring the “bling” can’t hurt. Several of this blog’s subscribers stand on the brink of publishing first or second books. Every one of these […]

What The Heck Are Likable Characters?

by Marylee MacDonald in Characters, For Beginning Writers

Have you heard the term “likable characters” tossed around in your book group or circle of writing friends? If you’ve been in the writing biz any length of time, you may have even received e-mails from agents: “I didn’t find the protagonist likable” or “I just didn’t fall in love with your character.” Fifteen or […]

How Do I Know When My Novel Is Done?

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

Sending out your novel is easy. You can upload it to CreateSpace or fire off an e-mail to an agent. Whew! you think. Now my novel is done. It’s out of my hands. At one extreme are writers who send out work soon after they’ve finished a first or second draft. At the other extreme […]

A Productive Rant About Building An Author Platform

How do writers in general, but particularly late-life writers, establish an author platform? By “late life” I mean writers over sixty. By “author platform” I mean a soapbox that is slightly elevated above the crowd and that allows authors to shout to passersby that our books exist. That doesn’t mean the crowd will necessarily buy […]

Setting And Its Impact on Character : Insights On The Human Condition

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions, Setting

The setting of your novel plays an important role in how characters behave. Here’s a simple trick that will help you use setting as a lever to get characters out of their heads and into action. To add tension to a scene, make a character too hot or too cold. If you fiddle with a […]

Author Platforms: What Are They And How Can You Build Them?

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Who Need Readers

In this post I’m going to explain author platforms so that you can decide whether you want to invest time in building one. Essentially, author platforms are soapboxes. Authors stand on their platforms to gain the attention of a crowd. Politicians have platforms, as do political parties. It’s helpful to think of the political analogy […]

Louise Erdrich wins NBCC fiction prize for ‘LaRose’

by Marylee MacDonald in Scoop.it

Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” wins nonfiction prize.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.washingtonpost.com