You know that feeling you get when you’ve looked at your book a hundred times, fixed more nuances than you can hold in your brain, massaged more character dialogue than you’ve actually spoken all month and so on? The point at which if you never had to look at your novel again you’d die happy? It’s called revision fatigue, and in my experience, it actually means one of two things. The least likely is 1) You’re really just done and can’t accept it yet. But nope, wait–more likely it’s 2) There is somewhere deeper you still need to go and you’re resisting it. The kind of revision many of us start with is similar to taking off the toenail on … Read More
I am so excited about this retreat that I can’t wait to post it! Becca Lawton and I declared 2010 the Year of Realizing Wild Dreams in our Write Free e-letter. And now we’re going to help 20 people do just that in a spectacular day-long retreat in September on the gorgeous California coast. Realizing Your Wildest Writing Dreams Day-Long Retreat September 18, 2010. 10 to 5 Join Jordan E. Rosenfeld and Rebecca Lawton in beautiful Bodega Bay for a day of inspiration to realize your wildest writing dreams. Includes craft workshops, lunch, and Write Free activities. Limit 20 participants. $175. $25 discount to first 10 registrants who send a check to: Wavegirl, P.O. Box 654, Vineburg, CA 95487. … Read More
In which I am one nasty bitch when it comes to writing scenes, and how you can be too!
In which you could win a free class by registering for a Revision class that will rock your work to the next level.
The spate of recent earthquakes rumbling ’round the world has brought out my inner scaredy cat. I do live in California, after all, old hat at the temblor game, and as those History Channel disaster shows all point out: we’re due for The Big One, the one that might crack us off into the sea, at any moment. And it’s got me to thinking about how you never know what may come. Be it earthquake or some surprise gremlin lurking in a gene, the end is inevitable. Nature runs on a kind of time that us puny humans can’t even fathom. She coughs and entire species are wiped clean. She hiccups, and the human race is but a trace of carbon … Read More
It’s been a trying time lately. Sad, difficult and unexpected events have happened to people all around me, close friends and family members. I feel like I’ve been sitting inside a thin tent in a Saharan windstorm–protected, but barely. Eventually, the silt gets in, even if it isn’t yours. On my low days, I take it into my very cells and feel heavy with it. Stay in a bad mood. Snap at my son and husband. On good days, I channel it into writing. It just so happens that the protagonist of my novel and her best friend/co-protagonist have to get into some seriously screwed up situations, too. And on a regular old sunny day with blue sky flaunting herself out … Read More
Psst…Hello–you there, NOT doing NanWrimo, let’s talk. You wouldn’t build a chicken coop out of straw, a car out of wood, a house out of plastic blocks…(If you would, don’t bother reading on) right? The perfect material exists for every structure, and this is also true in writing. The perfect material unit for building a narrative is… the scene. I can turn this into an advertisement if you like: The Scene! A sexy simulacrum of real time…a self-contained unit that never fails to make a story when stacked one after the other. Now bigger, sleeker, with 50% more. Okay, so maybe not. Still, I cannot repeat enough how powerful a tool the scene is. And lest you think it’s optional, … Read More
There are many kinds of writers, but a certain breed of them is gathering energy right now, building up storage for the long month of November, when they will eschew family, jobs and social mores to write 50,000 word novels just because. The fact that “Nanowrimo” is now a word more often recognized than not, is a testament to the power of creative zeal. It is the zealous who madly whip out novels in a matter of months or days, who carve out new paths toward publication with the mighty power of “whythehellnot!” in their pen. Not only have I been lucky to interview tons of these folks during my time as a contributing editor at Writer’s Digest magazine, but … Read More
Maria Schneider over at www.EditorUnleashed.com has been offering great resources for writers on the state of publishing, social media, and more since she launched her site a year ago. Has it really been a year? Maria and I met some years ago now when she was Editor of Writer’s Digest magazine and I was the persistent, hounding, perpetual writer who pitched her probably weekly, if not daily, until she finally decided that the only way to keep me off her back was to take me on as a contributing writer. I honestly don’t think I have ever had more fun writing than under her tenure for those glorious years. I interviewed some of my favorite writers, followed writing trends , and felt part … Read More
This week, students in my online course “Finish What You Start” have been encouraged to strike up a relationship I call the “accountabilibuddy.” (Yes, I borrowed that from an animated tv show). This is someone, preferably another writer, whom you both respect, and fear a little. By “fear” I mean that you will listen to this person’s admonishments and criticism. You take them seriously. The accountabilibuddy’s job is to hold you to the goals you set for yourself as a writer. I have my students write a letter to this person using the following template: Dear x You know that I’m a writer, and frankly, I am a damn fine one! But I need support to help me finish my … Read More