March 21, 2016

George R.R. Martin Masterclass

Have several videos here for ya. Tiff calls this first video a masterclass in and of itself. It's more like an interview, but George does talk quite a bit about the craft writing, biographical information aside. Enjoy:

March 11, 2016

Fiction Writing Podcasts from The University of Iowa

  The University of Iowa offers recordings of writing events associated with itself in a podcast called "The Writing University." I recommend you subscribe and download here if you're the podcast type, if you're not, that's alright, I made this post for you so you can listen online instead.

  The links below are all of the fiction recordings from The Writing University that caught my eye. Enjoy.

March 10, 2016

Brandon Sanderson Creative Writing Lectures

  Brandon Sanderson is an extremely talented, best selling science fiction and fantasy author. From the Stormlight Archive to the Mistborn series, from the Rithmatist to Steelheart, he's an amazing writer with a large fan base.

  He taught several years at BYU and recorded his 2012, 2013, and 2014 course lectures from there. What this ends up being, when watched as a whole, is basically a FREE UNIVERSITY COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING. That's exciting, so I put it in caps. If you're looking for creative writing tips, or creative writing lectures, and you want them for free...this a great place to start.

  Below are the links to his 2012 and 2013 creative writing course lectures as provided on his website, a link to the 321 Class recorded in 2014, and a link to a podcast Sanderson is a part of called "Writing Excuses." Several of the links on his website are broken, which is why I took the time to provide every link to the different lecture videos myself.

  If you found this helpful, be sure to follow us for more writing tips and resources.

February 08, 2016

Pre-Writing a Scene

  The idea is simple: 10 or so minutes to pre-write key events, quotes, and development you want to hit in your next scene. But it does WONDERS, especially for those with ADD. It increased my writing speed, my finishing rate on stories, and has been instrumental in blasting past any blocks to actually get some fiction writing done.

July 18, 2015

Free Productivity Tools For Writers Part 2

If you haven't read part one, here it is. Now with no further ado, let's jump in.

Focus Booster

If you lose track of time, procrastinate, or often get distracted and wander over to facebook because you can, this can be a great tool to keep you on track. Focus booster in its free version is basically just a timer that will display over every other application and change color the closer you are to the time limit.  The app chunks your time into time blocks and schedules you breaks, and the timer remind you to stay focused and that your time is finite.The default setting is 20 minutes working with a 10 minute break. I find these 30 minute chunks helpful, but you can set the work and break times however you want, 50-10, 30-5, whatever. Could be used well in conjunction with Slim Timer, a time logging tool talked about in the first productivity tools post. You can download Focus Booster here.

March 02, 2015

Starting a Writing Group

The story of my writing group:

A little less than a year ago a work colleague found out about my writing and asked the simple question: "Have you tried National Novel Writing Month yet?"
"Well no, not yet," I replied. And he went on to tell me that it was one of the best things he'd ever done was try it out and meet with a local writing group in Monterey, CA. He got SO much done, he said, more than he ever had before, "and it felt really good to have that support and camaraderie you know?" Hm, I thought, and told him I would think about it, he made it sound so great.

June 15, 2014

Driving the Plot Through Conflict: Three Questions When You're Stuck

You're writing such a great story, or novel, chapter, tale, vignette, allegory and suddenly you think, crap, what comes next?

Well, you don't want to just continue haphazardly and risk it being completely bad, no matter what some artistic-types preach about just getting it out there on the page. Because well, let's face it, either you're drawing a complete blank or you're a perfectionist. At the same time you like the idea you had, and you really don't want to abandon it. What do you do? Where do you go next? How do you get unstuck? These are questions that bother a lot of writers.

May 15, 2012

Writing With Your Heart

"No thinking - that comes later. You write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is... to write, not to think!" -Sean Connery as William Forrester

Two posts ago I quoted Stephen King saying that the most important advice he could give up and coming writers is to simply "Read a lot, and write a lot." Sage advice. Simple, laconic, direct. But it leaves some people wondering how, why, or what the thought process behind that may be. Watching "Finding Forrester" the other day for the first time in a long time and hearing the above quote was like a light bulb flipping on in my head. The perfect way to explain simply...writing, and why it is the first key to writing.

August 01, 2009

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

For those of you who do not know, Ray Bradbury is a critically acclaimed writer most famous for his novel Fahrenheit 451.

All I can say is that this guy is amazing, the whole 29 minute video is worth the watch. If nothing else however, watch about the first half, as many bits of helpful advice for writers are revealed and Ray Bradbury does the perfect job of passing on "The Zen of Writing." At 5:45 the actual talk about writing begins. Quite inspirational to writers, Ray Bradbury a hilarious, wise, all-around great man. Enjoy.

How Reading Helps Your Writing

Stephen King’s age-old advice to success as a writer: “read a lot, write a lot,” it’s just that simple. Reading is essential to becoming a GOOD writer, and even a GREAT writer. The “write a lot” portion will be covered in later posts, but for now I will detail a LARGELY overlooked aspect of becoming a writer: reading helps your writing. Here's how:

Helps build a better command of the language: You can not help but get rubbed off on by good writing, it’s infectious. Bad writing can be even more beneficial because it leaves an imprinted emotion with each error you read. The subconscious memory of you reading the messed up passage and saying "Whaaat the eff" to yourself will be with you forever.

Free Productivity Tools For Writers

Everyone loves free tools. But most of all, we love free tools that are actually helpful. If you're looking for a way to stay on task, organized, and push past the roadblocks of the writing occupation, then you will find at least one of these to lend you a hand. Enjoy: