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The Writing Is All That Really Matters

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Writers, Writing Resources | 5 comments

I get a lot of emails (and tweets, tumblr asks, facebook messages, etc.) asking me about my process–and that’s great! I love sharing what I do, and I love hearing about what YOU do. But the thing is, no matter what my process is (or her process…or his process), at the end of the day, the writing is all that really matters. I think it’s easy to get caught up in different “methods” or “outlining plans” or “character creation schemes” because we’re all looking for that Top Secret...

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How to Craft Characters: Deepening with Backstory

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Ask Sooz a Question, Truthwitch, Writers, Writing Resources | 4 comments

This is the third post in this series on crafting characters. To recap, here are the components I consider when crafting my characters–and these are in order of importance: Voice Desperate need Backstory/history Behavioral/speaking quirks Looks/physical quirks Today we’re discussing backstory and history. Now, I’m sure many of you are wondering WHY history/backstory is #3 on my list. I mean, a person is the sum of their past, right? It should be the most important thing! Yes…but no. A Tale of Two Bros Let’s say...

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How to Craft Characters: Desperate Needs

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Ask Sooz a Question, Writers, Writing Resources | 7 comments

This is the second post in this series (find the first post on voice and opening lines here). To recap, here are the components I consider most important when crafting my characters (note: this might be VERY different from what you do, and that’s 100% okay): Voice Desperate need Backstory/history Behavioral/speaking quirks Looks/physical quirks Today we’re talking about desperate needs–or what your character wants so desperately that he/she will do anything to get it. Some people think of this as the “goal.”...

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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 | 9 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 | 15 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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