Tag Archives: Writing

Want to Be a “Success”? Learn to Be an Outlaster

Kristen Lamb always has meaningful posts, and this is no exception. This New Year’s post will help you set priorities. Been there, experienced that, kept on writing! You can do it too!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons

Happy New Year! 2015 is now here and it is up to us what we will do with the time each of us is allotted. We all have heard the saying, “DaVinci had the same 7 days and 24 hours.” I would actually make a different point. Folks like DaVinci, Mozart, Shakespeare actually had LESS time.

There was no electric lighting and pulling all-nighters was a good way to go blind by candlelight. Thus, I’d say the difference is that these artists lived intentionally.

We all want to know the secret to “success.” First of all, I am going to add a caveat. “Success” is a very personal thing. What is “success” for you isn’t “success” for me. Yet, study after study shows that people who write down their goals are far more likely to reach them.


We have forced our…

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Simplify and Write

I’m becoming picky with my time. With this new year, I decided to focus 90% of my time on my writing. Last summer, with the release of Shades of the Future, and all the ensuing marketing and publicity, I spent so much time supporting my writing that I didn’t get any writing on my new novel done. I realized I had an issue with finding time for writing.

Thankfully, I have wise and patient writing friends, many of whom advised me on how to overcome the “time for writing” issue.

“Forget everything else and just write,” one friend told me.

“Writing more books will create the following you want, not blogging,” another friend said.

“Writing is what you do. Do it first, do it now, do it always.”

They’re totally right. I’m taking their advice. I’ve spent the last two months paring down my list of “things I do besides writing.” I’ve cut my blog posts to one a week. I’ve reduced my RSS feed to the most essential ones that fuel my creative writing. I’ve cut back on my nonfiction writing assignments.

It feels fabulous. My time is precious, and I know yours is too. When we only have an hour or two a day to spend writing, taking care of social media, and keeping in touch with our writing partners, cutting back on other tasks is freeing.

It feels good.

How about you? Are you simplifying this year or doing more?

Best Blogs of the Week in #WriteTips, #YAlit and #Amwriting

Here are some posts you may have missed this week in my Twitter feed. Bookmark this page so you can read them at your leisure.

Just Plain Entertaining and Fun

The imprisoned French cat Henri chronicles his captivity. http://youtu.be/Q34z5dCmC4M #cats #funny

Classic Jane Austen with a modern day retelling. Moms, are you doing this to your daughters? The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. http://youtu.be/KisuGP2lcPs #classiclit #yalit #janeausten

Writing Inspiration/Motivation
Learn the Craft of Writing

7 Setting Basics to Bring a Story to Life. Post by @jodyhedlund http://tinyurl.com/7zgor4q #amwriting #writetips

Writing Contests and Markets
Agents and Editors
Social Media Tips

Write well and read prolifically!

Best Blogs of the Week in #WriteTips, #Writing, #Amwriting and #Teaching

Here are some posts you may have missed this week in my @suzannelilly Twitter feed. Bookmark this page and you can read them at your leisure.

Writing Inspiration/Motivation

Tips about tools for writing that you have right now. http://t.co/hAaaPfuD #writetips

6 types of book titles that get noticed. Fun read & memorable titles! http://goo.gl/525F6 #amwriting #YAlit #MGlit

Pushing Yourself to be Better, interview of @aswinn at Writer Unboxed. Great info! http://tinyurl.com/6ud9m55 #writetips

Staying Flexible. (Not as in yoga, as in writing.) blog.janicehardy.com/2012/04/guest-author-delilah-s-dawson-better.html

Learn the Craft of Writing

Playing with Chronology in the Written Narrative by @wordstrumpet. #amwriting #writetips http://tinyurl.com/6vhjsot

Why Writing the End is No End at All on the Romance & Beyond blog. http://goo.gl/eFISz #amwriting #fiction

4 tips to add a new twist to a tired old plot. http://tinyurl.com/77o6kfb  by @Janice_Hardy #amwriting #writetips

Can’t figure out what genre your book fits into? Check out this list by @Janice_Hardy http://goo.gl/aEjcR #amwriting #writetips

Great article: Beyond the Cliche, How to Create Characters that Fascinate http://tinyurl.com/89wxokt #writetips #amwriting

How to be Subtle with Subtext. Post at QueryTracker by @StinaLL . http://goo.gl/LuR7U #amwriting #writetips

Teaching Writing Tips

Remember these rules about subject-verb agreement. Post by @Yukongraham http://tinyurl.com/d6oxmm3 #writetips #teaching

Social Media Tips

What are the proven best times to promote your books? http://tinyurl.com/6osvha6 #pubtips #writetips

Write well and write prolifically, my friends!

Tips for Writers, How to Write What You See

It’s there. In the upper left corner of the vision in your mind’s eye, the character waits. He’s a patient character, because he wants you to take the time you need to describe him just so. He wants to be described so definitively that all your readers will be able to see him clearly. He doesn’t want to be a ghost or a wisp of thought that changes shape for different people. He wants to be as concrete to them as he is to you.

If your character is still a bit of a ghost to you, sit down for a while and get to know him. Find out all his secrets, all his dreams, everything that makes him tick. Then find out more. You need to know everything about him, because if you don’t, how will you make your character real to your readers?

How Do Writers Bring Characters to Life?

First, they write down everything they know. Then, they think of more things, and write them down too. Perhaps they want the character to have a defining quirk. The author writes one down. Then another and another, until after several ideas, one of them comes to life. You’ll know you’ve hit upon the right ideas when your character becomes unforgettable. Here’s an example:

The old woman hunched over her rusty shopping cart, fishing through the black plastic bags as she stood on the street corner waiting for the red light to change. “Hah!” she yelled triumphantly and raised her hand in front of her face, gripping her prize. She slipped the dentures into the canyon of her  gummy smile and smacked her lips around the porcelain. The streetlight switched to green and she trundled across the intersection, clicking her newly found teeth in rhythm with the shopping cart’s clackety wheels, ignoring the drivers watching her from behind the safety of their windshields.

In this example, you see several things that make this woman memorable. However, the technique used is action showing her quirks, rather than just telling about them. Use action to develop your characters, because as we all know, “actions speak louder than words.” This is just as true in writing as it is in day to day life.

Enjoy your writing!

Picture Prompt Monday August 1

It’s Picture Prompt Monday. If you’ve ever been around peacocks, you know they’re not all feathery fun and beautiful colors, as some people might have you believe. They can be aggressive, especially if you happen to have food in your hands. That’s why I took this picture from a distance. This young fellow and I had a slight run-in previous to this snapshot.

Try to write a story for this picture with a hook that keeps the reader glued to the page.

Peacock in a garden in Kauai.

Image by Suzanne Pitner

Happy writing!

Writing Picture Prompt Monday January 31

It’s Picture Prompt Monday with a writing prompt to kick start your creative writing muscles or as a story starter in the classroom.

Armor glove on modern desk

Image by Jon Sullivan at Public-Domain-Photos

I love this juxtaposition of old and new in this photo. Time travel? Medieval research? Murder? Take this photo and make it into a fantastic short story. Who knows? It might be one you’ll want to enter into one of the contests listed on this site.

You’re totally welcome to post a link to your story or blog post about this picture in the comments. If the story is micro-fiction, (750 words or less,) you may post the entire story in the comment.

Have fun, and happy writing!