All Things Writing

The Craft of Writing


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2020 Writing Workshops

I’m launching a series of Coaching videos in February. This series will take you from picking out your pencil to completing your first draft. I’m excited to get these up and running. I hope you’ll check them out. Meanwhile, if there’s something you really want to know, please put it in the comments and I’ll include it in the video!

~gina


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Getting Started

You know what you want to write about. You just don’t know where to start — you can’t find “your way in.”

This is one of the most common problems for any writer — newbie or not. There are so many ways to tell a story, and so many stories that can be told from a set of facts. Which is the one that is most compelling? Which will hook the audience you’re interested in?

One of the first ways to decide on the way in is to listen to yourself when you tell others about your research. You’ll find that the aspect that “sings” to you is the one you bring up every. single. time. The others? Not so much.

Another way to decide on the way in is to picture yourself speaking to your intended audience. Which parts of what you have to say are the parts that will get them to come and listen to you speak on a rainy fall evening? Some of the info you have is necessary to set the background and to help things make sense, but that can vary with the telling.

None of this is doing it? Sit down and complete this sentence: I’m writing a story about ……………………. When you can finish the sentence in just a few words, you have your narrative thread.

Time to get to work!


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Ready for the Freelance Life

It’s pretty appealing. You write all day. You’re your own boss. You can work from anywhere…

The Freelance Life.

When it works well, it’s phenomenal, but it doesn’t work at all without putting some skin in the game up front. Skin in the game as in planning and preparing for the leap to freelance living.

As a writing coach and small business consultant, I’ve worked with scores of wannabe freelancers. The time they’ve taken to plan their entry into the freelance world has paid off handsomely. These writers have a realistic idea of what to expect, a workable plan to get them to where they want to be, and the confidence to hit the ground running.

The next Writing Plan Class starts May 21st. 

 


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How Long is a Short Story

Here’s a terrific post on the length of five short stories each, by seven celebrated short story writers.

You’ll find counts for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Alice Munro, Flannery O’Connor, and Edgar Allan Poe.

You’ll find counts for A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, Eyes of a Blue Dog, One of These Days, Death Constant Beyond Love; A Sound of Thunder, The Pedestrian, The Small Assassin, The Veldt, There Will Come Soft Rains; Cathedral, Why Don’t You Dance, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, So Much Water So Close To Home, Where I’m Calling From, Hills Like White Elephants, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, A Clean [,] Well-Lighted place, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Indian Camp; Runaway, The Bear Came Over the Mountain, Family Furnishings, The Moons of Jupiter, Cortes Island; A Good Man is Hard to Find, The life You Save May Be Your Own, Good Country People, Everything That Rises Must Converge, Parker’s Back; The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart.

The long story short {yes. I crack myself up} The average length is 5,100 words.

What do you think?

Success in 2018 – Leslie Siddeley

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Leslie Siddeley's narrative nonfiction piece, Storms and Memory on Ocracoke Island1


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Writing Needs

It would help me to know what sort of writing info interest you. Can you answer these three questions?


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WriteStrong!

In my roles as a writing coach, editor, and tutor, I get a LOT of questions about grammar. Many of the questioners can recite a rule from childhood – the problem is, the rule didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now.

I also get a LOT of questions about how to plan a piece of writing, research it, organize it, and start to write it. For me, those mysteries are no longer mysteries. I actually have actionable advice that leads to results.

The WriteStrong! program is on the SavvyFreelanceWriter Facebook page. It is a place to find answers to those questions. You’ll also find videos, classes, and materials to use to answer your questions and get you writing over the coming months.

Links to my Fiverr gigs – for coaching and writing a book proposal – will be there, too. (When I figure out how to get that to work!)

Meanwhile. Got questions? Ask away!

~gina


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Writing Coach

Finally! I’m finally up on The Writer’s Center Resources Writing Coach page. I’m very excited about this. I taught a couple of Intro to Narrative Nonfiction courses and plan to teach more. I’m also planning to offer an online course on Narrative Nonfiction through this blog. All in all, I’d say everything is falling into place.