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Autumn 2008 Series

Monday, September 8, 2008

So this morning, I’m wondering what I can blog about this week since the conference prep series is over (much to some of my readers’ great relief), but I don’t want to start another series right before I go out of town. And then I realized: I have a bunch of series I said at the beginning of the year that I was going to do and haven’t gotten around to yet. So I’ll put it up for a “vote” for y’all to decide which series should come next—beginning September 29th:

Say What?: We’ll look at how to make our characters’ communication realistic—from dialogue to facial expressions to body language. We’ll also discuss how to find the balance between dialogue and narrative, and figure out what’s up with dialogue tags.

Marketing, Branding, and Self-Promotion: In addition to Networking, learning how to build name-recognition, brand yourself by claiming a unique niche of the market, and market your own books—both prior to and after publication—are some of the most important skills all writers need to learn.

Writing to the Market: Can you write what sells without compromising the story of your heart? How can you find out what’s selling and what isn’t? What do editors really mean when they say what kinds of stories they’re looking for? I hope to include lots of feedback and advice from published authors on this subject.

Feeding the Muse: How can we keep the flame of creativity burning when we’re completely burned out by real life?

As always, I’m open to suggestions for other topics, and would love for you to submit questions you have about any of these topics so that I can be sure to cover them.

  1. Monday, September 8, 2008 2:27 pm

    I vote for “Say What?”, followed by “Writing to the Market” though my market is considerably different than almost everyone here.

    “Marketing, Branding, and Self-Promotion” sounds like quite a bit of it would be redundant from the last two weeks’ worth of posts.

    “Feeding the Muse” sounds like it would either be extremely short, or incredibly stretched.


  2. Monday, September 8, 2008 2:50 pm


    How fun that you’re letting us vote. Thanks.

    I’m torn between “Marketing, Branding, and Self-Promotion” and “Say What?” Since I have a number of books on dialogue, I’m putting the marketing option first. And then I’d like to see you cover “Writing to the Market.” I’m not interested in “Feeding the Muse.”

    Hope the input helps.


  3. Monday, September 8, 2008 3:12 pm

    This is fun! I think that “Say What?” sounds the most interesting.

    I’d also be interested in learning about ideas for inspiration as far as plots go…I’m not the type that has a million ideas swirling around for a new story and I’d like some ideas on brainstorming. Thanks!


  4. Monday, September 8, 2008 3:21 pm

    Another vote for “Say What?” because I think I could use that help right now, and I haven’t seen that type of series done anywhere else.


  5. Monday, September 8, 2008 5:05 pm

    Yup, my dialogue needs help. I vote for Say What?


  6. Monday, September 8, 2008 5:50 pm

    Looks like I’m the odd one out (big surprise)–I’d love to feed the muse.


  7. Monday, September 8, 2008 8:05 pm

    I say “Say What?”


  8. Tuesday, September 9, 2008 12:50 am

    Bonus topic for “Say What?”:

    When, if ever, do you think adult language is okay in a story? I’m really curious how most of your readers feel about that topic.

    Obviously, it’s not something I personally sweat because, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. But using that quote as an example, I think it’s too extreme to completely hate on the concept (though personally choosing not to use it is perfectly understandable). There are dozens of classic movie lines that just wouldn’t be the same if they had to be tamed down to a G rating.

    Just a thought for a sub-topic since that seems to be the favorite category by a decent margin so far.


  9. Tuesday, September 9, 2008 7:22 am

    I vote for the first one, “Say What?”. I’d love to hear how you guys differentiate the voice of the hero and heroine. That’s my biggest problem with dialogue at present…I think!


  10. Tuesday, September 9, 2008 1:53 pm

    “Say What?”

    But then I LOVE dialogue – any scene where I have more than one person (preferably more than two – because believe it or not I write dialogue better (or it’s easier I should say) when there’s three or more. Probably because every story I’ve done there’s always been a trio and so I started writing with three characters in a scene long before I started with two or even one :))


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