I let my subscription to Writer's Digest expire a few months back before signing up again, and I have to say, I missed it. It's the best $16/year you'll ever spend, if you're a writer. Every issue is full of articles covering the craft, promotion, interviews with people in all areas of the trade, and best of all, it's not genre-specific. RWA is great for romance writers, but it's nice to hear about writing success and struggles and advice in very different areas.
Anyway, my favorite articles from the November/December issue:
"How to Develop Any Idea Into a Great Story" - gives some great, off-the-charts ideas for "bending" the traditional into the absoutely fresh and innovative. Among other suggestions: add insane characters; play up the pain of blood ties between characters; don't overplay the emotion; and my favorite (talking about starting in the right place): "Everybody's bloody and panting, everybody's heart is broken, everybody's hanging on by theor fingernails. Now what? Let the story begin!"
"Overcoming Writers's Block Without Willpower" - my favorite subsection in this article talked about eliminating one's constant dependence on technology. Don't check anything (email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, voicemail) while you're supposed to be writing. Just write.
"The Amazing Mr. Appel" - I'm not sure I love him or hate him, but the winner of Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition has not only won before, did not only place 4 times this year in the Screenplay category, but is also a doctor at Mt. Sinai Hospital, a teacher at Gotham Writer's Workshop, and holds 4 Master's degrees and a J.D. (in addition to his medical degree). Um, yeah. Anytime I feel overwhelmed by my life and job, guess I better look to this guy (who apparently doesn't sleep) for motivation.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!