Friday, January 31, 2014

Carrie and Alton Barron on "The Creativity Cure"--An Interview with Two Clinicians about Their New Book

Carrie and Alton Barron are two physicians, well known in their respective fields of psychiatry and orthopedic medicine.  Carrie is on the faculty of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and Aldon is recent past president of the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand and a long-time orthopedic surgeon for the NY Philharmonic Orchestra.  I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie when she began attending writing classes with me at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center in New York's Westchester County--and Alton some months later.  Passionate about creativity and its power for healing, their new book, The Creativity Cure (Scribners, 2012), is garnering rave reviews. 

This week, they share some of the process of writing a nonfiction book, staying passionate about their subject during the long journey, and what happens when it gets published.

When did you begin writing this book?  What were the stumbling points and the Ah-ha! moments that you remember?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Check Out The Write Life's List of 100 Best Websites for Writers--We're Included!

This is one of the best collections of writing websites I've seen.  Spend some time enjoying it.  (We're thrilled to be included.  Some heavy hitters in this line up and lots of excellent and inspiring stuff.) 

Click here to visit.

Friday, January 17, 2014

How Writers Reveal a Character through "Container"--The Environment of a Story

A memoirist was trying to write about the sadness she felt at her father’s death.  Her writer’s group gave her unexpected feedback:  while it was clear she was very sad, when they heard her speak of his death, her feelings on the page were abstract, hard to really grasp. 

“They don’t feel any of the sadness I feel,” she told me.  She cried when she wrote, so this confused her.  

When I read the chapter in our next online class together, I too noticed how distant the writing felt.  My take-away was an almost-intellectual sorrow, a wistfulness, rather than any strong emotion.

A very intelligent woman, this writer worked as a psychologist.  She knew people, she understood how they ticked.  But she hid her “character,” herself, behind her thoughtful prose, rather than revealing it. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Patterns of Change--How Do You Create Strong Conflict in Your Fiction or Memoir?

Most stories foster change.  Either change in the situation, in the character or narrator, or in the reader and their understanding of a topic.

Most writers know that change in story comes from conflict.  Conflict is a dilemma presented to a person and it forces action.  It makes a person realize a truth, right a wrong, change behavior or thoughts, move to a new city or job or relationship, do something different. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Making Your Own Book Trailer--Guest Blog by Authors Juliann Rich and Aren Sabers

You've seen them:  short, sassy movies, using imagery, themes or even text from a soon-to-be-published book.  A moving visual image to entice you--the reader--to purchase that book.  

Book trailers have come out in the last decade.  From novelty item to common device used by publishers and authors to pique interest, generate web presence and platform.  Even used in school classrooms by teachers to entice reluctant readers or prompt discussion, designed by students as part of arts-and-communications curricula.

Are you excited about making a book trailer?  Authors Juliann Rich and Aren Sabers, creators of their own successful book trailers, share their best tips in this guest blog.  Their websites and trailers are listed at the end of their post--be sure to check them out.  Fun, entertaining, and moving--and hopefully offering excellent reasons to read their new books!