How Writers Can Feed Their Muse through Community

Hitchhiker

Today’s blog post is by Scott Stavrou:

Of the many trials Odysseus faced on his long journey home, one of the greatest was overcoming the seductive song of the Sirens that sapped strength from body and soul. Even the brave and stalwart Odysseus knew that he was defenseless against their allure, so he had his crew lash him to the mast until they had passed the island of the Sirens.

Likewise, the writer’s life today is beset by so many seductive but creativity-sapping siren-songs. No matter how strong your passion for writing is, the world offers too many perilous distractions. You have emails to send, bills to pay, social media singing out to you.

With all these many beguiling entertainments, obligations, and amusements, you sometimes have to remind yourself to lash yourself to the mast and ignore the many singing sirens of distraction and r-apply yourself to your passion for writing down your words, telling the story only you can tell and telling it as well as possible. Continue Reading…

Scene Structure: Opening Hooks

fishhook

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From Hook ‘Em on the First Cast:

 Hook, Line, and Sinker

What is a hook all about anyway? It’s a line that snags your reader and pulls them into the story. Often someone flipping through your book or looking at the first page online at Amazon.com will just read the first few lines. I have heard agents and acquisition editors say that they will pretty much decide to either stop or continue reading based on that first sentence, or possibly the first paragraph.

Yikes! So, that first line should be a doozy and one that really makes an impression. As I said before, don’t get so hung up on writing that first paragraph that you don’t move forward. You will probably come back and rewrite it, unless you came up with an opening line ages ago and now you’re finally putting that masterpiece in place. Sometimes as we’re writing our novel a great first line will come to us. Other times we’ll find a great first line somewhere on page three or four. Continue Reading…

First Pages of Best-Selling Novels: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

As we’ve been seeing each week in this exploration of first pages, openings to novels carry a heavy burden. It’s the make-or-break page for the reader. Many people won’t read past the first page if it fails to engage their interest. So writers need to pay huge attention to the first page—maybe not so much at the first-draft stage, but at some point before that novel is submitted to agents or published.

First pages need to be tight, with concise description, and jump right into dynamic action and hint of conflict. Every word counts, so excess verbiage and unimportant movement and speech must be eliminated.

We’re using my first-page checklist to go through the author’s first page to see why it effectively draws the reader quickly into the story. While novels don’t have to have every one of these checklist elements on the first page, usually the more they do have, the stronger the opening.

Today we’re going to look at my favorite read of last year—The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I was a bit wary upon reading the first few pages because, for me the opening was a little slow, but it quickly become riveting, and like a train barreling down a steep ravine, the novel kept me breathless and hooked until the last page. Continue Reading…

Recent Posts

How Writers Can Benefit by Outlining Their Scenes

How Writers Can Benefit by Outlining Their Scenes

We're been taking a look at outlining scenes these last couple of weeks. Using my scene structure ch[...]
7 Tips to Creating the Perfect Antihero

7 Tips to Creating the Perfect Antihero

Today's guest post is by Stephanie Norman: An antihero is the central protagonist in a literary p[...]
Scene Structure: Scene Beginnings and Magic Ingredients

Scene Structure: Scene Beginnings and Magic Ingredients

For this week's Throwback Thursday, we're looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive t[...]
First Pages of Best-Selling Novels: Leaving Time

First Pages of Best-Selling Novels: Leaving Time

This week, in our examination of first pages of best-selling novels, we're taking a look at a best-s[...]
Using a Scene Template to Craft Perfect Scenes

Using a Scene Template to Craft Perfect Scenes

Last week I introduced you to my scene template. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is to lay o[...]
STRATEGIC PLANNING IN 4 EASY STEPS

STRATEGIC PLANNING IN 4 EASY STEPS

Don't wander aimlesslystrategize your writing career!

 

 

Sign up for my newsletter and get cool updates on releases, special offers, and your free ebook!

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!