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Members, Meetings andHow to Write. Tags: member meetings how to write books

Once again, the blog took me by surprise how does that happen? Its on my calendar? So what to write?

Ive had the wonderful Angela visiting this week. We will be putting her back on the plane today, but hopefully we will see her again. If the pleasure of my company doesnt pull her back to Spain, then Im sure the lure of Gencianna, my mare might do the job. Here at Writers Abroad, we all have writing as a common love, but its wonderful to find we have other things to share (especially if those things relate to horses.)

We also had the pleasure of lunch with Chris and her husband Rod, which was lovely (and to be repeated shortly.)

I had a great week. We talked about writing (not as much as we probably should have and Im sadokay not very sadto say I did not get my writing goals for the week done) and discussed some of my favourite how to write books. Im personally a huge fan of how to write books, though I in no way follow any one method. I just find that they stimulate my brain into thinking along new pathways.

So I thought Id list my five favouritesthese are a little slanted toward structure as thats what weve been discussing the most. I know not everyone likes to plot their novels, but I find a study of structure can also help you at the editing stage. So you have your first draft, you read it though and its greatmostly. Theres just something niggling thats not quite right. Then identifying the beats of your novel (or searching for them and not finding them anywhere) can really help pinpoint problems and make the story stronger. So here goes

Larry Brooks Story Engineering this is probably my favourite at the moment. There is so much information and the structure makes almost perfect sense to me (And I love the way he gives the protagonist a name in each of the four parts; the Orphan, The Wanderer, the Warrior and the Martyr.)

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler this is based on the heroes Journey and explores the powerful relationship between mythology and storytelling. Its fascinating even if you dont write.

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder. This is actually for screen writing, but works equally well for novels, particularly thriller/mystery types.

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books Book 1) by Gwen Hayes for anyone trying to write romance. This is short and sweet and totally nails it!

And finally, Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V Swain. This isnt just structure, its everything, and is one of the best books on writing Ive ever read. It was also first published in 1965 which makes it almost as old as me and shows that fundamentals do not change.

So that's my current five favourite how to write books. Can you let me know your personal favourite (I recently got an Amazon voucher for my birthday) and I can maybe try a few new ones?

This Week - 20th February 2017
Category: Site News

Last night, I stuck a bright pink sticker on my computer saying - THIS WEEK to remind me to do this. Somehow it totally failed to impinge on my consciousness. But better late than never

Its a cold wintry day here in Spain. But the almond blossom is out and there are narcissus in the garden, so signs that (hopefully) spring is not too far away.

On a personal note I have a book on sale this week and a Bookbub featured ad on Thursday (yay I love Bookbub!) and I have a new release next Monday Falling for the Bad Girl, book 1 in a new Brazen series, so youll probably see me around (trying) to drum up some trade in various places.

The Blog this week is from Beike and shes talking about widening her horizons. Shes sharing her experiences taking courses in creative writing from the University of Iowas MOOC program and how it has opened up new opportunities for her.

The Monday Muses today come from Alyson with some great word and visual prompts. And there are already a few muses to go read (but then Alyson was early, as opposed to me, whos late!)

The Bragging stool has been a little quiet but huge congratulations to Sue, who this week celebrates 52 weeks on Ad Hoc. Without a break. Yay! And congratulations to Laura also on Ad Hoc this week.

Challenges theres still time to post in the February challenge, just pop over to the forum and check out whats there. Or go crit one of the challenges already posted (my next stop!)

And finally, the next Formal meeting is next Sunday, 26th February at 4PM and will be chaired by Maggie. See you there.

Category: Writing
Tags: goals

Well, its that time of year againgoal setting time. Actually, Im a little late, but I was totally distracted in December due to the procurement and arrival of the newest member of my household (but in my own defence I did actually have a goal to get a horse.) And heres a picture of Rufino just because

So goals. Do we need them? Should we plot out our writing lives with a detailed, in-depth outline, or should we pants our way through the year, writing what we like, when we like (and having heart attacks when we realize we have a deadline looming and no book.)

I love the idea of setting theory. Among other things, I think goal setting gives focus, motivation and direction. And I also think its great to share your goalsseems to make the whole process a little more accountable. But Im not that good at following them in practice and I dont get too bothered if I deviate along the way.

I tend to think in terms of long term-goalswhere do I want to be in five years? (okay, if Im honest, I never get very far with this onejust too difficult.) Mediumwhat do I want to achieve this year? Usually an overall wordcount and a list of books to write. And short termwhat do I need to do today? Im not the most organized of people, but Ive Ive started doing daily lists on OneNote and each morning I jot down a list of the things I want to do that day. So today I have WA Blog, Plot Brazen 3, send outline of spec book to Liz, goals for 2017.

To help me get started writing this blog, I looked up goal setting on google and SMART goals came up again and again. So what is a SMART goal:

Specific: Im going to write specific books (actually this is the bit thats proving difficult at the momentIm not sure what I want to do) and Im going to ride Rufino every other day.

Measurable: Im going to write 600k words this year. And Rufino is going to be fit enough to do a 60km ride in April.

Attainable: Okay 600k might be a little ambitious, maybe 400k? And 40km for Rufino (He huffs and puffs going up hills at the momentI dont think hes very fit.)

Relevant: each individual goal should be relevant to where you want to get to and as soon as Ive decided that...

Time-bound: every goal should have a time frame. This might be dictated by deadlines or self-imposed.

So with number 1 crossed off my daily list, Im off to work out what I plan to do for the next twelve months. Do you all set goalsif so are you SMART about it? If notwhy not?


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