4 Creativity Lessons We Can Learn from David Bowie’s Rich Artistic Career

Wonderful ideas!

A Writer's Path

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by Maja S. Todorovi

In January 8, 2017, we celebrated David Bowie’s 70th birthday and marked a year of his passing. Let us remember how great artist he was:

Ever since I was a little kid, as a great fan of gothic and mythological stories, my first recollection of David Bowie has to do with his role in the movie Hunger. Along with that came an interest in his music and artistic work, which later translated in true admiration.

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One Tweet a Day: Good, Bad, or Meh?

Legends of Windemere

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A while back, I stopped doing a promo tweet every 3 hours to having one go live at 12 AM and pinning it once I woke up.  This gave me one tweet a day and the new one was always at the top of the feed.  I haven’t really reported on this since I can never tell if it helps with sales or not.  Yeah, I’m terrible when it comes to this since I focus more on the writing side of things these days.  So, I’m going to do a quick Pro/Con thing here.

Con

  1. Your promo will come and go in other people’s feeds rather quickly.  Unlike the people who tweet multiple times throughout the day (I’ve seen 3, 6, and even 1 hour intervals), you don’t have the flood effect.  So you can’t depend on people stumbling onto it after maybe an hour at most.

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TIMELESS BLOG TOUR AND EDITING TIPS FROM CRYSTAL COLLIER

Hey, everyone! I’m excited today to be participating in the Blog Tour for Crystal Collier’s new book, Timeless. Thank you, Crystal, for sharing your new book and offering up some editing tips.

At the end of the post, you’ll find the link to Crystal’s Rafflecopter Giveaway. Don’t forget to enter!

 

 

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?
 

BUY: Amazon | B&N

How to Fix Your Sagging Middle

Thank you for having me here today!

So you’ve written this story with an epic beginning, a killer end, but the middle–ugh! No matter what you do, you can’t seem to fix the saggy, boring, drawn-out middle.

Here are a few quick tips to whip that middle into a gem.

First, we have to diagnose the issue. Often middles suffer from one of these:

1. Passive character action
2. Lack of focus on plot
3. Where did the tension go?

Correcting character passivity: 

Characters need to change and grow in a novel. It’s a known truth. Otherwise, we end up with “cardboard” characters, and who wants to hang out with them? I mean, they can’t even talk back to you!

The protagonist needs to be changing and challenged by everything that comes their way. No one wants to read about someone smoothly sailing over their challenges.

A big issue I run across is a character who is merely reacting to everything that’s happening rather than actively seeking after their goals. It’s fine for a character to react to their world, but when you hit the 50% point of a book, that HAS to change. This is the point at which the character has been pushed and shoved and won’t take it no more! From this moment on they must actively go after what they need–whether that be a relationship, independence, power, wealth, revenge, justice, or peace. (And if your character doesn’t BREAK, maybe that’s the issue?)


Focusing the Plot:

But your character does change and grow and pursues their goals. What is wrong?

Have you looked at the plot? A dynamic plot has a strong beginning, a dramatic turn around at the middle, and a powerful end, but that’s not all. The middle of that plot should contain no less than 3 (and preferably more like 6) plot points that DRIVE us toward a need for resolution. Try creating a plot chart where you actually measure where your action falls. I’m serious here–an actual graph. Estimate the tension for each plot point along the way on a scale from one to ten. (This means you have to clearly identify the turning points in the manuscript–any time something happens that motivates major change.)

Every time you hit a plot point, you’re going to go from a negative to a positive motivation, or the reverse. Technically, every chapter should be balanced by a negative to positive (or the reverse). This is one way to get to the next issue…


Where did the tension go? 

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There was a point at which I started chanting “tension all the time” while writing. There must be a juicy carrot–a mystery or desire hanging in front of the readers face to keep them moving forward. What question do you want readers asking in each chapter? What feeling do you want them to experience at the end of each chapter? Don’t leave it to chance. Actually, ask yourself these question and answer them–then implement the answer if it doesn’t already exist. Keep a mystery/need in front of the characters, and only let your readers relax about once every 60 pages. Keep them worried. Keep them hopeful. Keep them wondering.

In the end, middles only sag if we don’t build the proper structure beneath them. Go forth and support! You’ve got this.

What advice do you give for sagging middles? Have you been able to fix a book from the middle?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

 

Thank you, Crystal!! Now don’t forget to click on the link below to enter Crystal’s Rafflecopter Giveaway!

(An email address is required for awarding prizes.)

 

https://www.crystal-collier.com/spinner/

 

Spooktoberfest 2015-LOST IN A NIGHTMARE

Hey all! This is my third year participating in Spooktoberfest, a flash fiction contest and blog-hop sponsored by two of my favoristest bloggers, Dani Bertrand and Jackie Felger and the blog they co-author together Cover Girls.  spooklist2015

They’re switching it up this year using Scattergories, so it’s far more challenging for me than previous years.  Look what I’ve come up with.

These are my words in Scattergory order, and my piece is 397 words.

Hyena, pantsuit, Leticia, Spiced pumpkin latte, Welcome to my Nightmare, dog, pureed monkey placenta, motorcycle, pocket watch, sapphire, Red Hots and Reese’s Pieces, eel, Band-Aids and peroxide.

 

LOST IN A NIGHTMARE

Crap. I’m lost. Why can’t my motorcycle have GPS? I sip my spiced pumpkin latte as I ponder my next move. I pull my sapphire encrusted pocket watch from my pantsuit and glance at it. It’s almost midnight. My brother will kill me if I miss his Halloween party again.

I hop back on the bike and make a U-turn. As I approach the traffic light, I see shadows forming on the road. Reminds me of a scene from ‘Ghost’. Creepy. A chill goes up my spine, but I ignore it and focus on the light. Before I can utter a sound, I’m yanked off the bike and dragged down the street, pocket watch flying. I see nothing. I hear the cackling of what sounds like hyenas in the distance.

Then I’m dropping into water. The fall feels everlasting; it’s no more than a few feet. I panic. The water is inky black but there’s land ahead of me. I see a fire. My arms thrash in the water fighting an unknown predator. I pull out an eel. I shriek and run towards shore. I make it, though I have cuts on my feet.

A woman in a green cape approaches me and whispers, “You’re perfect. I have Band-Aids by the fire for your cuts. I’d hate to become infected during transit.”

“I don’t understand.”

“My name is Leticia. You are perfect for transporting me back to the upper realm. Eat this.” She holds out a bowl. “I made it myself. It’s pureed monkey placenta mixed with peroxide. It makes spirit transfer less painful.”

“No. Who are you?”

“It isn’t a request.” She shoves me the bowl. “Eat! I only have until midnight. You’ll know soon enough.”

I try to swallow the lump in my throat; this can’t be it. I take the bowl with my right hand and punch her in the face with my left. She goes down, whatever or whoever she is.

The next thing I hear is Welcome to My Nightmare, and my brother Alex shaking my shoulders. “You had a nightmare, you’re drunk, and you just punched me in the face! Last time I invite you over for Halloween!

He snatches a box of Red Hots out of the candy bucket and storms out of the living room. I snuggle with my dog Sophie. At least he didn’t take the Reese’s Pieces.

 

 

How to Write a Book Blurb . . . Maybe . . . I’ve Not Idea What I’m Doing

Legends of Windemere

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I was asked to write a post about writing a book blurb.  At least I think I was since it’s sitting on my topic list with a blogger’s name next to it.  To be fair, I have part of a shopping list on this thing too.  Still need to pick up those eggs.

Now I’ve written several book blurbs and synopsis and one or two of them could even be called good.  The thing is that I truly hate writing these things because they leave me drained and stressed.  Why?  Because there is so much I want to say and I never know what’s the important stuff and what hooks should be used.  Keep this in mind as I tread into the list.  As I said in the title, I don’t always know what I’m doing.  In fact, I had to rewrite all of mine…

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