Friday, December 18, 2020

Writing about Tough Subjects: Award-Winning Debut Memoirist Shares Her Process

Katherine Quie's memoir, Raising Will, Surviving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD, received three golds in the Independent Book Publishers and Midwest Book Publishers awards this year. These awards were hard won for this first-time memoirist on two fronts: in navigating the challenges of parenting Will, her brilliant son, a blues musician who struggled with ADHD, and crafting of her and Will's story in a way that would benefit others.

Friday, December 11, 2020

What's at Stake? How to Ratchet Up the (Necessary) Tension in Your Book

Stories tell about dilemmas--someone facing a problem, someone learning, someone solving a mystery, someone growing. Dilemma is that question or quest your book addresses, small or large. Whether it's the best method of growing a bonsai garden or learning who killed the victim in a murder mystery or figuring out a new identity after a great loss, dilemma, also known as the dramatic arc, forms the path your reader travels through your book.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Planning a Brighter New Year for Your Writing Life--Are You Ready to Look Ahead?

Hard to believe, but 2020 is almost behind us.

Quite the year. If your writing has benefited from the retreat of forced isolation, you're one of the fortunate ones. Others, I know, felt too flat with exhaustion and worry to nourish any creativity.

Looking back, it took me to midsummer to regain my stride. Changes in my work life from suddenly teaching on Zoom took vast amounts of learning and preparation time I hadn't planned for. I had to revamp all my class materials--not a bad thing, in the end. But it ate into my writing time.

I had to lean heavily on my writing partner and writer's group to get started again--we were all in similar places, so we helped each other.