Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tension and Link Salad

I generally have to be removed from a piece I’ve written for quite a while in order to see it’s weak points. I’m still learning what my writing weaknesses are. Tension is a big one for me. So that’s what I’m focusing on right now. I have to write provoking and tense scenes. This literally makes me squirm in my seat. I have a love/hate relationship with those feelings. I think almost everyone does.
I’ve read that having enough tension is a problem for a lot of writers that are starting out. As a regular person I don’t like to feel anxiety but what’s the point of a story without it. Then the story is just a bunch of people wandering around and doing stuff without any real focus. That’s often what happens in real life but it doesn’t make for a good story. I have to remind myself repeatedly that when it comes to writing, the tensions should be over the top.
With that said, I want to share some resources with you. Below you’ll find a little Writer Link Salad.  

If you don’t know who and what Donald Maass is then it’s a literary agency worth researching. He’s also a person who has written a great book called Writing the Breakout Novel and there is a workbook that goes along with it. On the agency website I would like to draw your attention to a link called What We’re Looking for This Month. I clicked the link recently to find that Donald Maass is on twitter and he’s been posting weekly writing prompts. So far there are 41 prompts and these very closely resemble some to the prompts found in the book and the workbook. I recommend checking all of this out yourself.

Jennifer Jackson is a literary agent. I started following her blog quite a while ago (back when LiveJournal was popular). Following agent blogs is a good way to get information about what they are looking for and what they don’t want. She is also on twitter as arcaedia.

Duotrope’s Digest is a free resource for writers. It lists a lot of the writing opportunities out there by due date. You can get your feet wet by searching out an anthology, magazine, or ezine to submit your work to. But be careful and stick with the more established folks on the list. You can also use their free online submission tracker. I use it. I didn’t realize how useful it was until I realized that I can’t remember everything all of the time. Over time as you submit a piece here and there it’s helpful to know where you have and haven’t sent your work.  
Have fun!