Now in its second year, the Writers' Forum is a compilation of the month’s important publishing news and helpful writing information for authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. For readers, there are links to southern Wisconsin bookstores to preview their... Continue Reading
The Three Rs: Reading, wRiting, and Roaming
I've talked at length before on my website and at writing conferences about how archaeology and history have inspired my fantasy novel writing. The amazing megalithic structures of Ireland have been particularly significant to my storytelling, often making their way onto my covers. This has made July an incredibly exciting month so far with discoveries of previously unknown megalithic structures near Newgrange in Ireland’s Boyne River valley. With Ireland experiencing a severe drought, the outline of a rather large circle was captured by drone photography just a short distance from the Newgrange passage tomb. This is an open circle with concentric markings creating a large circle surrounded by two more circles of what are presumed to be old post holes.
I was curious why... Continue Reading
I joined my very first critique group, Chicks of the Trade, in January of 2008. Six women writing everything from romance to sci-fi to horror to mainstream contemporary fiction (me). We gathered at an Italian restaurant in Rockford, Illinois with our first chapters in hand. I’d never met these women before and I’d never written a word of a novel, yet alone a whole chapter, so it was pretty scary. But the chicks gave incredible feedback and support and without them I’d never have finished my book.
Critique groups are terrific for setting deadlines and making sure you get the writing done. They’re also great at pointing out what’s working and what’s not. Writers have to realize that their writing isn’t perfect even though they may think it is. It’s a hard lesson to learn. Every... Continue Reading
Now in its second year, the Writers' Forum is a compilation of the month’s important publishing news and helpful writing information for authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. For readers, there are links to southern Wisconsin bookstores to preview their upcoming events. I’ve been an independently published author since 2014 and provide this information to assist others in the way that generous writers assisted me when I was at the beginning of my indie pub journey. On a professional level, I also use my publicity and editorial skills to aid other authors through my company Lost Lake Press... Continue Reading
Prewriting exercises to improve dialogue-writing skills
I’m an advocate of prewriting exercises. Similar to a jogger stretching her muscles before taking a loop around the block, a writer should loosen her mind before tapping the keyboard. This month, I’m discussing exercises in relation to writing dialogue. The craft of composing dialogue is a specific skill that every fiction writer should have; it’s a technique that conveys plot and character, and it speeds storytelling. Like it or not, modern readers expect books with plots that are accessible and quick to understand; concise dialogue assists that process. My suggestions for... Continue Reading
There are four outstanding writers who entertained me during the months of April and May, Beth Flynn, Theresa Shaver, Nora Roberts, and Holly Tierney-Bedord.
I became a fan of Theresa Shaver many years ago when I first read her Stranded Series. I was delighted to find out that there was a book five! (As a side note, for those of you who read a lot and want to keep track of new releases by authors you love, take the time to follow them on Amazon or BookBub or on the author’s website. You’ll get a nice notification when their next book releases, so you don’t miss anything.)
Frozen: A Stranded Novel continues the story of a class of Canadian teens who are originally stranded at Disneyland in California when an... Continue Reading
A few years ago, I met Kelly DiNardo at a writing conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Kelly was an instructor that year, and we struck up a conversation where I learned that she had recently relocated to Madison from the East Coast. I have to admit I was fascinated by her freelance writing career, which included publication in well-known national magazines. Later, Kelly was the visiting author at our Books & Beer Book Club in Columbus, Wisconsin when we read her biography of the striptease artist, Lili St. Cyr. Kelly has been practicing yoga for years and, even after her move to the Midwest, she has maintained her co-ownership of the Past Tense yoga... Continue Reading
This Month's Featured Articles:
Can You Trademark a Word? #CockyGate
Morality Clauses in Publishing Contracts
The Book Industry Study Group's Interest in POD (and more)
GDPR - How the EU is Changing How Authors Do Things in the USA
Now in its second year, the Writers' Forum is a compilation of the month’s important publishing news and helpful writing information for authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. For readers, there are links to southern Wisconsin bookstores to preview their upcoming events. I’ve been an independently published author since 2014 and provide this information to assist others in the way that generous writers assisted me when I was at the beginning of my indie pub journey... Continue Reading
As summer approaches, I’m recommending some great beach reads. Okay, they aren’t mysteries or romance novels. They are books about writing craft, but if you’re a writing nerd like me, you’ll enjoy them.
This month, I’m recommending works about craft that are opposites. The first series takes time to read, and the concepts the author presents take time to digest. The author presents the information using logic, and his work is highly structured. The second book is a delightful and classic reference book that’s been updated.
Anything written by Larry Brooks
(... Continue Reading
I’m so glad to talk with author R.R. Campbell about his upcoming 2018 release “Accounting for it All”. Campbell is a Wisconsin author and editor as well as the host of Writescast, a podcast for writers, by writers.
Ryan, tell us a little bit about how you got started writing. Have you always been a storyteller?
I've always loved stories. I remember as a young child I wanted to start a newsletter that everyone in my extended family could contribute to, so we could stay in touch between holidays (this was pre-internet, of course). Though that enterprise ultimately didn't come together, throughout my childhood I tinkered with writing short stories, poetry, and even wrote a serial for my fifth-grade class during our free-write time.
I was also on competitive... Continue Reading