I love trying new things. I love telling stories. I love working with different mediums. That’s how I started writing in the first place and how I came to make a book trailer for THE CASQUETTE GIRLS.
One of my favorite aspects of making the trailer was watching figments of my imagination turn into tactile objects. Whenever our production designer, Matt Whittle, would text me questions like “Okay, what does the altar at Vodou Pourvoyeur look like in your head?” I’d get really excited. First I’d send him any actual description from the book, and then he’d really dig into my head, “Tell me everything.” After I garbled everything out, I’d get a text a couple days later like, “Is a complete cat skeleton overkill?”
What happens when you’re in the middle of completing your daily word count for NaNoWriMo, and you hit a wall? Writer’s block is never fun, but it’s especially panic-inducing when you’re trying to write 50,000 words in one month. Waiting around for “inspiration” to come can be both time-consuming and frustrating. Here are 5 tips on how to get through writer’s block:
Do a Ten Minute Free Write Session
When trying to find the perfect words, you can get stuck and lose momentum in your writing. Remember, the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to just write the first draft. Doing a free write session, where you write non-stop for a set period of time, can help keep the words moving. Even if you end up writing something entirely different from your story during the free write, at least you’re still writing! You might even come up with a phrase or idea that you can use in your story later on. Continue reading →
Many people struggle to be creative. We see creative people and their work around us and compare ourselves. We don’t know how to be creative, or worse, we did once, and now we’re feeling blocked, bored or unsure. Tired of this happening to you? Continue reading →
Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2014? Fleshing out characters for your novel-in-progress or novel-to-be? Today we offer fun doodling prompts for character development from author and master doodler Lisa Currie, whose new book ME, YOU, USis just out from Perigee Books. You can download and print these exclusive prompts by clicking on the hyperlinked words in the text below. Share yours with us on social media! (And check out the examples I did for the MC in my NaNo project below!)
U.S. Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, did it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did it. So did Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Bill Gates, Winston Churchill, Larry David, and Vidal Sassoon. Famous authors throughout the ages have done it, including Vladimir Nabokov, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Keats, Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. They were doodlers, all of them. Good thing, too, because recent studies* have shown that doodling unleashes the power of the creative mind. Think of it as creating off-road trails between neurons. Continue reading →
We’ve just updated our Waiting to Be Discovered section with new books for you to enjoy! Giving and receiving feedback are what make Book Country such a supportive online place for aspiring authors. Take a look at these titles below and start reviewing! Continue reading →
About a month ago, I received a call I felt like I’d been waiting for my whole life: a publisher was making an offer on my book. It was the middle of the day, and I was at work, so as soon as I got off the phone, I burst out of my office door and announced that Atria was buying my book. Cheers, hugs, and champagne followed (have I mentioned how awesome my co-workers are?). I called my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend. I cried tears of joy, relief, and sheer exhaustion. The moment itself was a lot like I’d dreamed it would be. And I’d had plenty of time to dream since, like so many of us, I’d wanted to be a writer most of my life.
But while the big moment was everything I’d hoped for, the path that got me to that moment was decidedly not. What follows is my step-by-step guide to publication, although I am not sure it is a guide anyone will want to follow. (Unless you really prefer twisting trails to straight roads.) Continue reading →
NaNoWriMo doesn’t leave much room for preparation. Try the following five-line outline method to help you survive the insanity that is NaNoWriMo without completely flying by the seat of your pants. It helped me win NaNo last year and it can help you too.
Step One: Create your logline
The first line of the outline is the logline. It covers the main character, what s/he wants (goal), what stands in his or her way (obstacles), and what will happen if s/he doesn’t reach her goal (stakes). Two great articles to guide you are Writing a Killer Logline and Writing Killer Loglines.
Here’s the logline from my 2013 NaNoWriMo project:
When lightning fries the village well pumps, Elías must redeem himself in the eyes of both Elders and family by journeying through the ruins of Andalucía to find help before their water supply runs out.
Writing this summary of your story before you begin will help focus your idea enough to get started. Don’t worry if you tweak it as you work—this logline has been through multiple revisions in the past year! Continue reading →
If you’re a writer and you’re trying to decide whether to go to a regional or national conference, then my advice is to go. Granted, my experiences are limited to conferences related to the romance genre, but I think some things are going to translate no matter what genre is represented. Whether it’s a national or regional conference, there are going to be pros and cons—and I feel in most cases, the pros will outweigh the other.
What conferences can give you:
1. Networking with other writers at various stages in their careers. A conference is one of the best places to meet a critique partner or mentor. It’s also a place to be with like-minded individuals. I cherish those few days a year where I can walk up to virtually anyone and have something in common with him/her. Continue reading →
The reviews don’t lie! Ten new highly lauded books in the Book Country community are featured in the Top Rated section of the Read and Review page. Find out why these books are so good and get inspired! Continue reading →
Congratulations to Phil Klay! His book, REDEPLOYMENT, is one of five finalists for the 2014 National Book Award for fiction. Phil Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged, Phil earned an MFA from Hunter College in NYC.