Authorpreneur

Confession time. Half of this word really scares me. Also, it makes me a little angry, a little frustrated, and a little unsure about my ability to succeed as a writer. Here’s why: I’m not so sure that the skills needed to be a successful writer can cohabitate with the skills necessary to be a great entrepreneur, brander, marketer, social […]

What Does it Mean to Be a Storyteller?

“If you’re going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all.” -Joseph Campbell “Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.” -Plato We have been reading Lawrence Block’s Telling Lies for Fun and Profit as our group selection for the craft of writing […]

Learning to Read like a Writer

Reading and writing are akin to inhalation and exhalation. Technique can be taught, but the essence—the art—of writing is not a one-to-one transferrable skill. It takes so much of who we are, what we have experienced, to make writing that resonates. It is deeply personal. An internal probing of our own experiences and sensations. So, how do we learn to […]

. . . and Where?

On to the question of place. Much like time, place is an under-examined element of creating a compelling and intelligible story. I, for one, was not sure how to get my character’s bodies gracefully around the space of my fictional world. There was a lot of walking into rooms, and climbing into cars, and other mundanities in my first draft. […]

When?

Who? What? When? And Where? Somewhere in elementary school we were all told that these are the questions you must answer to write a story. I want to focus on the last two, which often get overlooked. Without them, a story is incomplete. The seemingly trivial matters of time and place are two elements of storytelling which are as integral to […]

Tracking Changes

One of the most beneficial elements of the Agile Writers Method is our tightly-knit critique groups. But what do you do with the edits from your two beloved co-sojouners? There is some disagreement among the Agile Writers. One camp believes that your edits should be entered immediately every week, while they are fresh in your mind. The others—in the name […]

What’s In a (Pen) Name?

At this week’s meeting, as a number of writers have recently completed first drafts of their novels, our leader Greg Smith was gathering official titles and author names with which to update our website (agilewriters.org). This mere housekeeping activity opened into an organic discussion by the group of the decisions surrounding Pen Names. Of course there is strong historic precedent […]

5 Reasons WordPress.com is for Authors

One of the first recommendations I give to my writers is to create a website and a Facebook page. This is the beginning of creating a platform for selling their book. Even if the book isn’t written yet, the new writer needs to create an interested following. The easiest way to do this is through social media. As a writer, […]

The Hero’s Journey – In a Song

At Agile Writers we use the Hero’s Journey and break it down into 8 stages to tell a compelling story. But compelling stories don’t come just from novels. Here is the Agile Storyboard in a nutshell: The Hero – learning about the hero in her ordinary world The Special World – something happens to the hero and she is cast into […]

The Hero’s Journey

When I started on my journey to discover the secrets to great stories, my first stop was Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” In it, Campbell dissects the elements of the great mythical stories from antiquity to today and from around the globe. He observes that the same patterns emerge. A hero starts out in their ordinary […]