Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are you excited with your writing?

Sometimes I get frustrated with my writing. I think I am never going to be published.
I wonder why I waste my time (and it is very time consuming).
I think I should be out there trying to do something to help contribute to the family income, because I fear I am never going to be able to do that with my writing.

 But then the excitement creeps back.

I am nearing the completion of a manuscript that I have worked on, off and on, down through the years. I see how much better it is now than when I finished that first draft of it years ago.

I see the changes. I see the ending. And, I fall in love with it.

 Even if it is never published the traditional way, I am happy with my accomplishment. I see how I have grown and how my manuscript has grown. In addition, I see how it has actually become a good story that I am proud to have written.

That is when the excitement comes back.

Are you excited with your writing? I hope so. Comment and share your excitement with us.
We love to hear what is going on with our fellow writers.

And, I am happy to see that I now have 100 followers! A big thank you to all of you who follow me.

Feel free to check them out. 
There are some great writers listed among my followers on my side bar.

 posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where do you get Ideas?

Where do writers get ideas?

A lot of times we get ideas from writing prompts. My story Lucy of Tupper's Hollow came from a writing prompt. They said to pick up a book you were then reading or a book you had just read or one next to you and use the first sentence from that book and start your story. The book laying on the floor next to me was Christy by Catherine Marshall. I love that book. I remember reading it first when I was in junior high and I have read it many times since then. One test of a good book is that you never tire of reading it over and over.

My middle grade book idea came from what I would love to have happened to me when I was 12 years old. We all  love adventures and mysteries. And this story is an adventure every child would love to experience.

We all put a little of our lives in our stories. A character may have the same traits as you or someone in your family. Your little oddities, habits, figures of speech, snippets of your lives work their way into your manuscripts. That is one way we make them unique and special to us. That is one way to put fact into your fiction.

Other ways to get ideas are:
eavesdropping, dreams, news stories, daydreams, what ifs, wouldn't it be fun if..., if only I..., I wonder what would happen if..., If only I could..., etc.

And of course, our imagination and ability to make things up.

What makes you a writer is putting these ideas down on paper and writing until you are finished.

Never quit, never give up and have fun.

Where do you get ideas for your stories? Do you put in little snippets of personal family info into your fictional stories?

Posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing Happenings

Hi everyone, it has been busy here in the Blackberry Patch and I haven't had much time to post.
Spring is here! I just hope that winter doesn't decide to poke his dreary head in on us again. (But we all know he will)

My husband got spring fever a few days ago and tilled our garden. Nothing is planted yet, but it might not be too early to put out a few onions.

I have my manuscripts ready to mail out to the WVWriters annual contest! Whew! Now I can get back to normal around here.

There is a great call for submissions over at Write From the Heart. Go check it out. Linda is a funny lady and a great writer.

I won a pre-release copy of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression!
I am so excited. Angela and Becca have a great blog called, The Bookshelf Muse. If you haven't visited their site before, go check it out. You will not be disappointed.

I am also reading Vada Faith, a book by my friend Barbara Whittington. Go check out her site, Writing - the ups and downs. 

 As you can see, there is a lot going on in the writing world. We had our weekly writing meeting yesterday. I took my synopsis of my MG and we tweaked it a little. I don't know what I would do without my writing friends.

Writing Tip: Instead of using adjectives like beautiful, pretty and handsome, get more specific. Describe their features that show why you think they are beautiful, pretty or handsome.

What's happening in your world?

Happy writing.

Posted by Janet Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Critique Groups - CBI Clubhouse

I love my critique group! We meet once a week and everyone is really helpful with their advice.
We write and critique all types of writing - children's, poems, short stories, articles, novels etc.

I now belong to a second critique group! It is only composed of children's writers.
It is an on line critique group and I am anxious to get started with the fun. . . and work!

I belong to the Fighting Bookworms of CBI Clubhouse. They put out a downloadable newsletter every month and have a great website. They have expert guides to help you with every type of children's writing. They have a Step by Step Writing Course for members, they  have lots of helpful articles and videos, free e-books and forums.

And, they now have private critique groups you can join. They will place you in a critique group depending on your experience and what type of children's manuscripts that you write.

I just got placed in one and I am looking forward to starting the process.

If you are interested in checking them out, you can click onto the link to their site from my side bar. There are a lot of things you can do and look at on their site without being a member. But members get to do a lot more. 

As writers we need to associate with other writers. They are the only ones who understand what it is like. Writing and critique groups are great. I think we all need them no matter how advanced of a writer you may happen to be.

I am not advanced by no means. When I joined my writing group around five years ago, I didn't know a thing about writing. I learned quickly after I started going to the meetings. I wish I had started writing sooner, but we are never too old to learn.

Three P's of Writing:

Do you have another word you can add?

Happy Writing!

Posted by Janet Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Monday, March 5, 2012

Out of Place

Have you ever been reading one of your manuscripts and found words or sentences that were out of place and did not need to be there?

I bet you have.

Sometimes it takes someone else reading your writing to point this out to you and sometimes you find them yourself. Words and sentences are sometimes hard to cut, but it makes for a better story.

Just like this robin, your words may be pretty, but they do not belong in the picture. This robin would be right at home in the yard pulling  out worms, but I am not used to seeing them sitting on a snow covered branch.

At our last meeting, there were a couple of places in my manuscript that I was not sure about. I wondered if those sentences could be worded differently or completely removed. When my writing friends also pointed out the same areas to me, that told me something had to be done. A few sentences were deleted and others changed around a little to fit in.

You can do a perfectly good paragraph of describing and showing something, then that pesky little last sentence goes and tells what you just got through describing. Strike that pesky little 'out of place' sentence from your manuscript. It is not needed!

The calender is catching up with me. Only ten more days until the deadline to submit my stories to the West Virginia Writer's Conference Writing Contest.

Are you facing any writing deadlines?
I like deadlines! They keep me writing and keep me moving forward.

Happy Writing!

Posted by Janet Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart