Tuesday, November 08, 2011

For Writers - Beating the Block with Lauren Baratz-Logstead

Where did October go? My apologies for another prolonged absence - it was a crazy month. I taught a month-long online workshop with my friend Jen, McAndrews, presented the same with her at the Emerald City Writers' Conference, and also presented a workshop for Thurber House. (Shout out to workshop attendees!) Oh, and I also visited my kids at college, hung out with my friends at a writers' retreat, and finished one project, while starting another. My head is still spinning! BUT...

Today's a celebration, so I'm happy to come out of hibernation to bring you Lauren Baratz-Logsted, whose brand shiny new book
LITTLE WOMEN AND ME hits the shelves today!

Happy release day, Lauren!!!

For anyone who doesn't know Lauren, she is one of the most prolific writers I know. Lauren is the author of books for adults, teens, and kids, including THE THIN PINK LINE, THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER, and the super fun SISTERS EIGHT series.

Here's the official blurb for LITTLE WOMEN AND ME:

Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily-not the four March sisters-who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys a modern twist on an old favorite.

You can find out more about this book and about Lauren by checking out her website, and by following her on twitter.

Lauren's tip:

Please don't hate me but I've never suffered from "writer's block." I'm sure it's a painful condition for those who do suffer from it, but for me as a writer to say "I can't write" makes as much sense to me as a window washer saying "I can't do windows."

All of that said, there are times in even a never-been-blocked writer's life that production on a novel slows down. When this happens, I deal with it in one of two ways:
1) work on an entirely different kind of writing for one day, an essay, a short story, a blog post, it really doesn't matter what it is - the idea is to keep yourself writing something so you don't lose confidence in your competence as a writer, even if you've temporarily gone stale or sluggish on a particular project;
2) jump ahead to a scene in the novel that you've been dying to write - there's nothing like working on a scene that you're truly excited to write to re-energize you so you can get back to the butt-in-chair work that is most of a writer's life.
Hope these tips help!

This week's links:

Food for Thought on Pen Names (Readers Rule) Are they pointless?

Shake it up (Beyond the Margins) Excellent tips with examples

12 Writing Fiction Checklists (Fiction Notes) Links to other posts.

10 Benefits of Rising Early (Zen Habits) And how to do it.

10 Hard Truths About Writing (Grub Street Daily) From Lauren Davis

7 More Truths About Writing (Writers' Digest) from Diana Jenkins

6 Things to do Before Submission Day (Beyond the Margins) Good reminders

5 Choices That May Not Be Helpful (Writer Unboxed) On becoming a more confident writer

5 Elements of a Resonant Closing Line (Wordplay) Last line as important as first.

Inspiration (Distraction No. 99) What inspires Sarah Zarr

Notes on Craft (Beyond the Margins) Great post.

Characters in the Round (Gail Carson Levine) Love her.

Act Naturally (YA Highway) Why writers should experiment with theater.

Building Suspense (YA Cafe) "Suspense isn't what, but how."

Writing Scenes (Buffy's Writing Zone) With Tom Huang

How to Start Writing a Novel (Nathan Bransford) Excellent post.

Writing a Novel Synopsis (Jane Friedman) Excellent tips.

Lessons from Madeline L'Engle (Lena's Lit Life) Writing as wish fulfillment

My Secret Source for Ideas for Stories and Characters (Time to Write)

Different Ways to Hook Your Reader (The Other Side of the Story) with examples

Criminal Plotting (Beyond the Margins) Crime writing

Candid Writing (Beyond the Margins) Break your own heart

Creating Fear in the Hearts of Readers (Paranormal Point of View) Do's and Don'ts

The End (Fantasy Fiction) Wrapping up your stories

Macro Revision (Writer Unboxed) Take it one piece at a time.

Are Successful Writers Just Lucky? (Kristen Lamb) Answer: it's not just luck.

How to Write Your Bio for a Byline or Query (Writing Sideways)

The Submission Process (Writer Musings) Links to other posts

How to Get an Agent (Jill Corcoran) From an agent.

What Three Agents Want to See (Falling Leaflets) Interesting.

What Editors Want (The Greenhouse Lit Agency) "What I heard in New York"

Special - NaNoWriMo Help Links:

NaNoWriMo tip #1 - read the 30 tips from last year (Galley Cat)

NanoPrep - Planning your novel's beginning (Janice Hardy)

NaNoWriMo: The elements of Act 1 (Alexandra Sokoloff)

NaNoWriMo: The elements of Act 2, Part 1 (Alexandra Sokoloff)

How to write and SELL your NaNo book (Jill Corcoran)

NaNoWriMo #25 Strategy for introducing your Hero (Story Fix)

NaNoWriMo #27: How to optimize your scenes (Story Fix)

Break the rules and be a NaNoWriMo rebel (Keystrokes and Wordcounts)

How to plot your NaNo writing time (using story structure) (Lia Keyes)

Backwards NaNo - the reward system (It's All About Writing)

Best tips for writing quickly and well (Time to Write) Great for NaNoers

Now go. Write!