Tag Archives: art of war for writers

Reader Wednesdays

What Im reading now

Still gleaning some sound advice from James Scott Bell’s  The Art of War for Writers (fiction writing strategies, tactics, and exercises)

Reminders as I write:

We all have our strong, and not so strong writing tricks, habits and patterns. And we are all trying to become better writers, no matter what our level of experience. We need to expand and stretch in our craft, try new things to enrich our writing.  Bell tells us: Decide what tactics you want to keep at the front of your mind as you write. Keep a list of these reminders with you during writing time. These will change as your writing changes/develops.

Here’s my current list:

THE BIG PICTURE= Remember to look at how the little scenes feed into the whole story; don’t go tangent crazy

DIG DEEPER =  the first draft is OK for simplified, clichéd descriptions, but I need to dig deeper for the perfect word/phrase to paint the precise picture (go easy on the adverbs)

ACTIVE = change those passive verbs to active! >>Anyone have references or exercises they can recommend?

NO TEARS IN THE WRITER…= no tears in the reader – infuse each scene with strong, deep emotions. Stop and reflect first person experiences to bring emotion and truth to the scene.

What are you reading? What are you learning?


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Filed under Advice, books, Reader Wednesdays

Reader Wednesdays

What I'm reading now

I’m a voracious reader, as every writer should be. My fun reading list consists primarily of YA novels, since that is what I write and love to read these days. Perhaps I’ll break down my favorite characters, plot or theme for a post or two. One day.

But this series idea came while I was scribbling away in my hardbound journal while hiding out in Michigan last weekend. Hiding out from the internet, phones, TV, family and pretty much life in general. All that distracts me from Writing. My. Novel. So, while journaling, I was also reading my other favorite genre: books on writing craft and writing life. Like fiction, I can read several books simultaneously (I am easily distracted.) I figured, since I’m reading these great books on craft and doing the exercises or otherwise gleaning knowledge and motivation, why not share my findings with you fine readers? Kind of like an on-line nonfiction book discussion/group/thingamajig. Win-win?

So, let’s start with authors who inspire us and why. In The Art of War for Writers (fiction writing strategies, tactics, and exercises) – James Scott Bell, Bell suggests we find pictures of 3-4 of our favorite authors. Bonus points if the picture reflects the essence of these authors and why you admire them. Mine area always changing, but when I thought about it, I came up with this list…

Laurie Halse-Anderson

~ Laurie Halse Anderson…

  • mass-producing,
  • writing across genres
  • prolific and poetic
  • Her characters make me ache
  • writes about the tough stuff with painful truth
  • words that follow me into bed at night

o   REMINDS ME… to speak from my VOICE


Becca Fitzpatrick

~Becca Fitzpatrick…

  • Was never interested in writing,
  • took a fiction course as a joke
  • if she can do it, I can do it!

o   REMINDS ME…of what’s possible


Stephen King

~Stephen King…

  • The master
  • Determination
  • experience
  • hugely successful
  • always working
  • he’s real and he’ll kick my ass into gear!

o   REMINDS ME…to put the work and extra effort in!


Toni Morrison

~Toni Morrison….

  • A legend
  • Weaves worlds with her words
  • Plucks your heart
  • Writers in layers, each scene peeled back to reveal a new surprise

o   REMINDS ME… of the beauty of writing, why I want to keep doing this

>>>>>>>>What do you think? Who would be on your list and can you find these authors’ photos to hang around your writing area – filling your space with experience, passion, motivation and art? I’d love to hear who you selected…


Filed under books, Reader Wednesdays