Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do: An Author’s Explanation

book magic

Most people who don’t write think they have a basic understanding of what it is to be a writer. A writer writes books. A writer toils over her manuscript. A writer tells stories. A writer uses her imagination. Though these things are true of writers, it hardly scrapes the surface of what being a writer really means. Given the long hours, possible misery, minimal praise, and general neurosis that comes of living the writing life, maybe it’s time we talk a little about what’s so fantastic about being a writer, and why we crazies are so intent on following this crooked and meandering path. We are Explorers As writers, we get to explore parts of the world others only dream about. From the safety of our desks we wander dripping jungle paths, sail around the world, fight in battles long … [Read more...]

Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It

Chris Mandeville

by Chris Mandeville Welcome to “Tools for Writers,” a new semi-regular feature of Kobo Writing Life. I begin this series by sharing a tool that can help in any stage of fiction writing. I’d like to say it’s my best-kept writing secret, but that would be a lie. The “secret” is a basic pattern found over centuries in narratives around the world that’s come to be known as “The Hero’s Journey.” It’s a structure so fundamental to fiction, it was embedded in my subconscious before I could read, when my dad told me bedtime stories. This structure was then cemented by the books I grew up on: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games. (Okay, you caught me — I was already grown up for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.) When … [Read more...]

Muffle Your Muse

muffle your muse

By Sean Platt Of course authors want to sell books. Unfortunately — even though the advice is long in the tooth — doing so isn’t as simple as “write what you want and readers will find you.” Too often, conventional writing advice will suggest that writers simply follow their muse, to write from their hearts and wait for the readers to come. But most authors who have been writing for a while know the folly of blindly following that advice. You have to write for readers first if you expect commercial success. And yet, the opposite advice, that you should only write for the crowds and never with your passion, is potentially even worse. Sterling & Stone, the publishing company I run with my two storytelling partners, David W. Wright and Johnny B. Truant, has published more than … [Read more...]

One Fictitious Moment: Writing Historical Fiction

As a huge fan of historical fiction, Angela Misri thoroughly enjoys writing about her detective Portia Adams as she strolls the streets of 1930s London. But there are some tricks to writing in a time period that are not your own. Check out this video for a few timely ideas: Watch for more writing videos on this blog, or you can subscribe to Angela's Youtube channel One Fictitious Moment. Angela Misri is a Toronto journalist, writer and mom who has spent most of her working life making CBC Radio extraterrestrial through podcasts, live streams and websites. The latest book in her A Portia Adams Adventure series releases on March 24th, 2015. Check out Angela's website to learn more about the Portia Adams series. … [Read more...]

Interested in Taking your Writing to the Next Level?

IPR

  Then why not let a host of industry experts guide you on your writing journey to help you shape your writing, sell more books and even reach a new international audience. IPR License, in association with The Writing Bank, has announced a new six-part course for writers. The course comprises of six modules hosted by some of the leading voices in the publishing world. For full details on each session, please click here. In addition, there will be a final one-on-one event with industry professionals to receive advice on your work and plans followed by networking and celebratory drinks for completing the course. Due to demand, IPR and The Writing Bank have opened up individual session bookings alongside the full six session course. An Early Bird 25% discount offer is available … [Read more...]

Can This Be Over Already?: Confronting the Truth about Endings

Panic

By Shayna Krishnasamy You’ve done it. You’re embarking on the final chapter of your book. You’ve reached the denouement. You type out the word “Epilogue” with shaking fingers. You can’t really believe it. You’ve reached the end. This is the end. Terrifying, isn’t it? Well, terrifying might be a strong word, but many authors have mixed emotions when they come to the end of their book. Maybe the novel isn’t what they hoped it would be. Or maybe they don’t have their next writing project lined up, and the idea of all that free time is alarming. Maybe they enjoyed writing the book so much they’re sad to see it go. Or maybe they’re relieved to finally be done with a book they lost interest in writing a month ago. Whatever the author’s feelings about the ending of her book might … [Read more...]

Subway Scribbles

Lydia Author Photo

By Lydia Laceby “You have to make the time.” It’s something you hear writers utter when asked how they find the time to write a novel. Whether it’s at midnight with a glass of wine when the kids are in bed, or in the wee hours of the morning before they’re up demanding breakfast; whether you take one evening a week away from your spouse or one morning on a weekend and ignore the housework. You have to make the time. Your novel will never get written otherwise. And in my experience, I have found this to be true. You can always find thousands of reasons not to write, particularly in this age of social media. But you have to sacrifice something. Sleep, cleaning, sex, cooking, exercising, spending time with your mother — something has to give. For me, that sacrifice is in the … [Read more...]

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