Author’s Advice: Have Faith in Yourself

SHADOW OF ATLANTIS_front onlyYes, we CAN travel back in time…with books. Today Wendy Leighton-Porter, author of the Shadows of the Past time-travel novels, talks about a few of her sixteen time-travel adventures, and more. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know this interesting woman who spends her time writing and enjoying life in the United Kingdom and southern France. 

Wendy, my first question – what inspired you to write your Shadows from the Past series of time-travel novels?

My mother had always told me I should write a book. However, with a full-time teaching job, complete with lessons to plan, books to mark, exams to correct and reports to write in the evenings and on weekends, I never quite found enough time. When I gave up my teaching career, I found I no longer had an excuse. But what would I write? For some unknown reason, I had a sudden epiphany whilst on a flight from the UK to France. The idea for my “Shadows from the Past” series just popped into my head, almost fully-formed. I couldn’t wait to get started and, as soon as I was able to sit down at my computer, I found the first story just flowed out of me! [Read more…]

Writing “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

Storyweaving

As part of a Storyweaving Writer’s Workshop, I chose the following quote from a list:

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
-W. Somerset Maugham

I was then told to write the three rules of writing “dos” that work for me, and the three don’ts (in 15 minutes). So, here goes.

WHAT WORKS [Read more…]

A Fun Writing Exercise

Question: What will make me a better writer?

Answer: Write more.  Almost any writer will respond to the better writing question with similar advice. Figuring ALL writers couldn’t be wrong, I decided to write more myself and see if it worked. I participated in a fun flash fiction writing contest once sponsored by Emlyn Chand and Novel Publicity with the following rules:

  1. Write a romance story, including all the traditional elements of a romance novel, with the title “Kindergarten Love Blossom.”
  2. Use no more than 1000 words.
  3. The main characters must be…no more than five years old (nothing off-color).

As the blooms are starting to blossom here in Maryland, it seemed a good time to share this exercise. [Read more…]

Creating Your Story Mountain

    I like to share, particularly when I’ve invested time at a conference and gained information of potential value to others. So, read on, and consider having saved yourselves several hundred dollars and a few hours of your lives. In your chairs, I’ll bring you highlights of a lecture and exercise during the American Horse Publications’ 2012 Seminar in Williamsburg, VA.

Jody Jaffe and John Muncie’s dynamic “Better Story Crafting” session at the annual seminar provided tips I thought worthy of repeating.

As career journalists and writing professors, including workshops through their company, The Comma Factory, Jody and John’s discussion focused on the journalistic side. But as reflected in the couple’s own words in the conference program, “Good writing is good writing, regardless of the subject.” I believe the tips I’ve pulled out below apply to all writing, whether it be a blog post, fiction, journalism, or even a personal journal. I tend to like visuals, and points I can easily remember, which may explain why I connected so well with the workshop’s main point:

When writing a story, you are developing a mountain your reader is climbing. [Read more…]