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How to Craft Characters: From Opening Lines Spring Voice

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Ask Sooz a Question, Writers, Writing Resources | 2 comments

Recently, I received this question in my inbox: How do you get to know your characters? Do you work on getting to know them well before drafting, or do you get to know them as you work? Honestly, at first I was like, “I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I DO THIS.” I’m such a free-writer and character is one of those things I really, really don’t plan well (I scribble things in my notebook, but it always changes as I draft). So clearly I can answer part 2 of the question with great confidence: No, I don’t work on getting to know...

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The Great Critique Partner Match-up!

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 8 comments

So I know that a lot of you out there are searching for The One–that person who makes your heart sing. Whose emails make your stomach flip. Who just gets you. I don’t mean The Romantic One (duh!). I mean The Critique Partner One! For me, critique partners and beta readers are invaluable. Basically, I am the writer that I am today ONLY because of my CPs. Getting their feedback and giving them my own feedback has taught me more about writing than ANYTHING else. Period. To help YOU meet your own magical someone, I thought I’d...

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: Adding New Ideas vs. Knowing When to Streamline

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Ask Sooz a Question, Writers, Writing Resources | 0 comments

I received an awesome question post in my forum last week, and I thought I’d answer it today. I thought my first novel was done except for proofreading, after being through many CPs and two passes with a professional editor I hired. Now that I’m about 25% into its sequel, I keep discovering new things about my characters that I’d like to go back and put in the first one as a connecting detail or foreshadowing. This is for characters, but for places too, because my trilogy is fantasy and I get more awesome ideas about the various...

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Publishing in an English-Speaking Country When You Don’t Live There

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Ask Sooz a Question, publishing, Writers, Writing Resources | 5 comments

I sent out a call last week for writing questions, and I thought I’d answer 2 today. (Thank you to everyone who sent questions!!) …the problem is, I actually live in another country, and I’d be trying to get published in an English speaking country. Can this happen? Have you ever heard of it? Will agents only accept manuscripts that come from people who speak english as their first language? Awesome question, and one I’m sure many of you are wondering about. Short answer: Yes, you can most definitely do this! Long...

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Brief blog hiatus!

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Stuff I Like | 4 comments

I’m off to Germany and France to visit my husband’s family. I’ll be back on 8/13, so I apologize in advance for delayed emails. Plus, there’ll be no newsletter this Friday! And, to send you off with a smile, here’s how I found my dog, Asimov, this morning… (That is totally MY bed and pillow.) I’d been calling his name from my office and wondering where the heck he’d gone off to… Well, now I know. Darn Irish setters. See y’all in 2 weeks!...

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Writing 3-Dimensional Characters

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Revising, Writers, Writing Resources | 0 comments

Recently, I received this question from Kaila in my inbox: I was wondering, could you please do a post on your “For Writer’s” page about creating 3-dimensional characters? At first, I was totally afraid to even TRY to tackle this question. I mean…gosh, are my characters 3D? Am I even talented enough or aware enough to talk about something so important? But then I wrote in my newsletter last week about motivations and consequences, and I realized that–at least for ME–there are 3 things that make a character...

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How to Write Romance, Part 3: Scene-Level Romantic Tension

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Writers | 13 comments

Last week, I discussed the importance of fatal flaws (and strengths) in romance (I also talked about hate-at-first sight on the NaNoWriMo blog!). This week, I want to look at what all of this stuff means on a scene-level. Like, how do we bring the romance to life in an actual scene? It’s All About the Feelings Consider this: when we read a book, we root for the people–not the events through which they move. Though we’re all curious about who killed Veronica Mars’s best friend, the reason we keep watching the show is...

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How to Write Romance, Part 2: From Character Springs Love

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 12 comments

As I mentioned in the first blog in this series, romance is all about characters growing. More specifically, romance springs from a character overcoming a fatal flaw. A character’s fatal flaw is her (or his) largest weakness. It is what holds your character back and keeps her from achieving her goals. For example, in E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View, Lucy Honeychurch is meek, easily persuaded, and lives life in a dull, uninspired way. She also isn’t happy, and we (the readers) quickly see that if Lucy tried to think more...

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Short Internet Break…

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Thanks | 17 comments

Hey guys, I know I promised a second post for the “How to Write a Romance” series, but clearly that’s not happening. I’ll be honest: my wrists are shot. They’ve been getting worse and I’ve been ignoring the pain (these wrist support bands are just for style!), pretending I don’t notice the obvious side-effects of overuse (ganglion cysts? Naw. Those are just gross knuckle bumps brought on by…a frog…peeing on me…?), and continuing to type-type-type all day long. Yesterday, though, I...

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How to Write Romance, Part 1: Do you actually need this?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 0 comments

A month or so back, someone asked me (in the forums) about writing romance. This is no easy topic to tackle, and it’s something that every author approaches differently. But, I thought I could share a few general rules and also share how I approach romantic elements in my own stories. Romance as a Genre I want to preface this series by saying that romance as a genre is a totally different animal from romantic elements in a story. The romance genre typically adheres to a certain structure and a certain outcome. In romance, the love story MUST...

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