Writing Prompts

Who’s in the mood for a writing prompt today? Let’s make it 1,000 words of flash fiction. Better yet, if you are writing a novel, set your story in your novel’s story world. And…. GO:

This one happens to be based on a true story. Blech!

Share your 1,000 words of flash fiction based on this writing prompt in the comments below, or share it on your own blog or website and post a link below! Continue reading

Writers on Writing

How to write a hook that offers the promise your #novel will fulfill

English: The main screen of Albite READER 2
Do the first lines of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland work for you? | English: The main screen of Albite READER 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author Dave King shared an interesting article yesterday on Writer Unboxed titled, Beyond the First Five Pages. In his post, he discusses the importance of writing a good hook that both draws the reader in and leads the reader properly into the rest of the story.

I’m only working on my second novel now (not counting the 872 false starts that I wrote before finally finishing something!), so I’m no expert. However, in my most-humble opinion, I think it is best to worry about your hook after the rest of the story has been written. Continue reading “How to write a hook that offers the promise your #novel will fulfill”

Valley of the Bees

The Kirkus Review of Valley of the Bees is in!

Great news! The Kirkus Review for Valley of the Bees is in, and it is pretty good!

Read the full review!

Here are a few high points of the review:

Webster has written a richly detailed work whose world feels legitimate and lived-in, letting readers gradually, seamlessly experience it, rather than overwhelming them with exposition. Meanwhile, Valley is an empathetic, compassionate protagonist who feels three-dimensional from start to finish. Her caring for the bees establishes an instant connection with the reader. The complications of her friendship with another teenager, Reyna, who has fallen in love with her, as well as the intricate bonds that tie her to her family make for an engrossing drama. Furthermore, her relationship with her grandmother, as well as the unfolding of a number of buried family secrets that cause her to question a great deal of what she thought she knew, provides a brilliant through line.

Continue reading “The Kirkus Review of Valley of the Bees is in!”

Writers on Writing

How writing a novel is like putting a puzzle together #amwriting

What’s the first thing you do when you put a puzzle together?

I posed this question to my spring semester creative writing workshop on our last day of class. I was trying to get them to think about what comes next for them, now that they have all started writing their novels. I also asked the question on my Facebook page to see what answers non-writers might come up with. Only one of them came up with the answer I was looking for. I got a variety of responses to the question, including:

  • Find all the edge pieces
  • Look for the corners
  • Sort the pieces by color
  • Throw the puzzle in the garbage because puzzles suck!

Continue reading “How writing a novel is like putting a puzzle together #amwriting”

Illinois

I’m officially an Illinois author!

I have a couple of interesting announcements for you today! First of all, I have been added to the Illinois State Library’s official list of Illinois Authors. You can find my listing among those of other writing Illinoisans, including Sherwood Anderson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Earnest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Carl Sandburg, and more!

Illinois Reads

I have also become an official Illinois Reads Ambassador. Which, honestly, doesn’t mean a whole lot– other than the fact that I will be receiving marketing materials from them to share. So, you might be hearing more from me about Illinois Reads programs and Illinois authors in general in the future.  Continue reading “I’m officially an Illinois author!”

Valley of the Bees

Enter to win a copy of Valley of the Bees #1! #giveaway

I’m giving away a free copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 over on GoodReads. Check it out now!

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Enter to Win!

I got more than 500 entries on my last giveaway, and I’m hoping to hit 1,000 this time. Visit GoodReads now to enter! Continue reading “Enter to win a copy of Valley of the Bees #1! #giveaway”

Television

To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters on PBS

Masterpiece has done it again with their new BBC movie, To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters. I watched it last night on the PBS channel on my Roku, and it was so good, I had to share. Check out the trailer:

An interesting element of this story is how the sisters are pressed to move forward with their writing each time their alcoholic brother screws up. These women lived in a time when a girl’s entire future rested on how well her father, brother, or husband did. If a woman of this period got stuck with a drunk or loser of any other sort, it could ruin her entire life. Oh, wait. That still happens today! Continue reading “To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters on PBS”

Blogging

Write on the World has a whole new look!

If you come here often, you were probably in for a bit of a jolt when you stopped by today. I’m teaching a WordPress blogging class right now at my local community college, and I got a little jealous when I saw the fresh, clean templates my students were using as they built their blog sites yesterday. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I finally decided it was time to update my blog site. It’s still a work in progress, but you have to start somewhere!
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Continue reading “Write on the World has a whole new look!”

Novel Writing, Uncategorized

How to organize your first draft #novelwriting

CaptureThe past few weeks, I’ve been working on my second “real” novel, and it hit me this morning that I’ve finally figured out how to organize my work in the first draft stage so I can keep track of what I’m doing. Because organization can be a key element of being an efficient writer, I thought I’d share my system in case some other writer might find it useful. I think the easiest way to explain my system is to paint a picture of it for you, so I took a screenshot of the first page of my actual document:

And now, I will explain what I have done: Continue reading “How to organize your first draft #novelwriting”