Are You Aiming for Their Writing Success?

These five women authors are the top five of the Best Female Novelists of All Time (adapted from Ranker)  On your road to success, you may wish to follow the path of someone who has been there. In this series of blog posts, we’ll briefly review the writing lives of these authors. When you are aiming for writing success, understanding what others’ success looked like helps.  Virginia Woolf 1882-1941 British author, Virginia Woolf, produced at least ten novels, many short stories, plays, essays, and reviews. Virginia started writing in 1900 at eight years old. Her first published piece appeared in 1915. This home schooled author wrote about artistic theory, literary history, women’s writing, and the politics of power. Her novels fall into the women’s literary fiction category.  Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible. Virginia Woolf While working on her first novel, she asked friends and relatives for advice. Thereafter, she allowed no one to see her manuscripts.  She wrote standing for a while because, like a painter, she wanted to step back from her canvas to get a better view. And she experimented with different […]

Are You In Love With Words?

Are you in love with words? Most writers I know are. Many readers are. So for this month’s fun quiz, let’s test our word knowledge. How many do you know? You’re on your honor—answer to the best of your knowledge. Scroll down the page to find the answers. Don’t cheat and look the answer up.   Quiz Questions A manzanilla is what?  What is entomophobia?  An arctophile collects what?  What do philatelists collect?   An irrational fear of trees is called? What is the blob of toothpaste on your toothbrush called?  How long is a zeptosecond?  What are fulgurites?  Do you know what mondegreen means? What is Tenebrescence? Bonus Questions Three of eight 2019 Spelling Bee Champions spelled these words correctly. Do you know what they mean? Auslaut is the word for what sound? Pendeloque describes what? What is an aiguillette? Answers A manzanilla is what? A light sherry. What is entomophobia? An irrational fear of insects. An arctophile collects what? Teddy Bears What do philatelists collect?  Stamps The word for an irrational fear of trees is? Dendrophobia. What is the blob of toothpaste on your toothbrush called? Nurdle How long is a zeptosecond? A trillionth of a billionth of a second. Read […]

Dirty Little Secrets to Writing a Good Story

In my post Two Secret Rules for Writers, I said the secret was that there isn’t a secret in writing. I may have to take that back. The truth is there are dirty little secrets to writing a good story. One secret? There’s probably no new story under the sun. Why? Are we writers’ incapable of an original thought? Heck no! The originality comes from the blend and the bend of the story as told by that particular writer at that particular time. Stories come from the stories we have consumed (read, heard, or viewed). So they are all a melding of a ton of different things. Study Story To write the best stories one must study the masters. Study the successful stories. What makes them tick? And how can I use that in my story? Pantsers decry outlines and story structure to their story’s detriment. The way the human brain processes story demands a structure we can recognize. You don’t have to start from an outline, but whatever you write must have the parts in it to be successful. Mish-Mash I’ve mixed bits and pieces of Westerns and Space Opera and Thrillers and mythology. Yes, they went into one […]