Crafting an Authentic Beginning

As a book reviewer, I read a lot of first chapters and beginnings to judge whether I want to review a book. Instead of being moved by the cover or hype from other readers, I usually have only the blurb and the words themselves to guide me (I often haven't even seen the cover until … Continue reading Crafting an Authentic Beginning

Anastasia and The Importance of a Balanced Beginning

I recently watched the 1956 version of Anastasia with my friend and fellow-blogger, Christina Wehner. I grew up on the 1997 fantasy version and had long been curious to see the movie behind it. And it was interesting to watch, but I found the ending frustrating. Christina argued that it was designed to emphasize the … Continue reading Anastasia and The Importance of a Balanced Beginning

Books: Power on Printed Page…or Electronic Screen

To all those writers who've ever wondered what's the point. Why bother writing? What difference can it possibly make? Sometime about 1878, Oscar Wilde seemed on the verge of joining the Roman Catholic Church. He wavered back and forth on this for a few years until he read a book that changed him, turning him … Continue reading Books: Power on Printed Page…or Electronic Screen

First Chapter Challenges

When reading Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (which I reviewed here), I almost didn’t make it past the first chapter. Not because the writing was bad, or the hook uncompelling, but for a variety of other reasons. I wanted to examine what almost made me close the book, because if they could get past all … Continue reading First Chapter Challenges

Another Round of Critique

I know why I do this to myself. There's nothing like comments, complimentary or otherwise, from real readers. Readers who have never seen the work, who are coming to it with fresh eyes and giving me their honest responses. It's why I like Ryan Lanz's Under the Microscope feature so much, and this week, it's … Continue reading Another Round of Critique

Writing That Scene: A Christmas Carol

In the format of a non-traditional critique, Writing that Scene examines the fundamentals of what it takes to capably convey a scene to one’s readers. The opinion expressed is my own, and other readers’ opinions may and will differ. If you are interested in sharing a scene of your own for a future post, click … Continue reading Writing That Scene: A Christmas Carol

Never Mind Formality; Just Write

The very last chapter of Laurie Alberts’ Showing and Telling is the best one of all, I think. In it, she writes about beginnings and endings, and she encourages us, as writers, to forget all about making it good and just make it. She writes, “[A]ny way in is a good way in. You can’t … Continue reading Never Mind Formality; Just Write