OK readers, today's post is culled directly from the pages of the October 2009 Writer's Digest. And if you're a writer and you're not getting this magazine, you're missing out. It has great articles and advice for writers in all genres and at all steps of their writing journey. One of the best investments for very little $$, I assure you.
"The Passion for Prose," by the illustrious literary agent Donald Maass has some great advice for writers: make sure there is passion on the page, in every scene. He believes that passion in one's story is what separates the mediocre stories from the truly great ones. My favorite piece of advice here: "...nothing in a story is meaningful until its meaning is clear to a character...include not what a particular plot turn means in the grand scheme of things, but instead what it means to your POV character...illuminate not what has changed, but how [the character] has changed."
By the way, I haven't read his writing guide Writing the Breakout Novel, but I know many, many people recommend it highly. If you've read it, what's your take?
Writer's Digest runs a contest each year to recognize writers' websites that are designed and maintained solely by the authors themselves. This year's top 3 were www.brianwask.com, www.freelance-foodie.com, and www.ezrapoundcake.com.
Know someone you'd like to nominate for the 2010 contest? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Best Writer's Website" as the subject line. And yes, you can nominate yourself!
Finally, a couple of writing prompts for any of you who might need a little creative nudge:
1. Pick a color, make that your title, and write a poem inspired by that color.
2. Seven people board a small boat for a tour of the islands, but when the boat returns to the dock, only six people remain on board...
There are also great articles in this month's Writer's Digest about online writing communities, interviews with best-selling authors like Lee Child and Jennifer Crusie, and advice on getting the most out of writers' conferences. I defiintely recommend picking up a copy at your local bookstore if you're interested!