Tag Archives: The Writer’s Boon Companion

Four Quick Fixes for Chapter Starts and Finishes

galaxiesmallMost writing exercises are useful in some way or other, but some take us so swiftly and directly towards our goals, that they’re worth identifying and emphasizing. For example, taking a close look at the beginnings and endings of chapters.

  1. When changing POV character, it would seem a no-brainer that you want to get the new character up and identified as soon as possible. However, setting the reader directly into the character’s skin is more important still, while they’re learning whose skin they’re now wearing. The reader is naturally reluctant to leave the previous POV, and to name the new one too soon may cause the reader to set the book down rather than read on. To settle, see the next point.
  2. At the start of every chapter, and arguably every scene, we want to cover time, place, setting, tone, promise of genre, and a hint at the central conflict.
  3. At the end of every chapter, it’s worth making sure that it doesn’t actually “finish.” A great sentence that feels like an ending to the conflict may cause the reader to close the book. Sometimes the sentence must be removed; sometimes it works to move it to the next chapter.
  4. Watching out for rhythms in positive and negative starts and stops is a subtle way to establish storytelling authority. As author Beverly Boissery once put it to me, chapters that always begin positively and end negatively, read flop flop flop. If a chapter ends negatively, consider beginning the new chapter negatively as well, and end it positively, with a hint at future conflict.

Chapter starts and endings set us up to keep reading, keep invested in the characters, and love the book. Whether drafting or revising, these are fairly easy fixes to create even greater narratives.

I hope you’ll have another great week in your writing career. Cheers, Mel


If you enjoy Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, you might try her pocket-sized writing guide The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume. Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

From Pulp Literature Press

Literary Launch and Swordfighting Salon

It’s a party, and you’re invited!

melissaJoin us at Academie Duello this coming Sunday December 18th for a festive afternoon of readings, last-minute gift shopping, tea and swordfighting as we launch Issue 13 and celebrate the success of Something Novel!

From 2 – 6pm we’ll be filling the salle at Academie Duello’s School of Swordplay at 412 W Hastings in Vancouver with artisan tables, books, and baked goods.

Sip a cup of tea, courtesy of the Granville Island Tea Company, listen to some of our favourite authors read, and enjoy thrilling swordplay demonstrations by Academie Duello.

Artisan Fair

ragnar1

Get your last minute gift shopping done as you browse the tables at our artisan fair.

There’s something for every taste:  jewellery that ranges from sophisticated to saucy, with steampunk, gaming, and fandom flavours from CrossedPromise, Vicborgian Princess & Friends and Kristen Kahila; exquisite  hats, clothing, and accessories from authentic period pieces to pure fantasy from Dark Anachronisms,

tell-tale-2

My Tell-Tale Heart and Ragnar the Trader; books for children and adults alike from Barefoot Books, Reality Skimming Press, and our author tables; carvings, paintings, and artwork from the Carnegie Vending Cart artists, Melissa Mary Duncan, and Marika Purisima; decadent bath bombs and irreverant needlepoint from Layne Moore and Miss Stitched.

Author readings

We are thrilled to have readings from CC Humphreys, JJ Lee, Eileen Kernaghan, Sebastien de Castell, Jude Neale, Rhea Rose, Elizabeth Armerding, Graham J Darling, Daniela Elza, and Sylvia Taylor!  Books from these authors and several others will be available for sale and and signing.books

devonSwordplay Demonstrations

Devon Boorman, director of Academie Duello will take you through the history of European swordplay in three thrilling demonstrations of long sword, sword and buckler and rapier with team of expert students.

Issue 13, Winter 2017

issue-13-cover-smallAnd of course we’ll have copies of Issue 13 hot off the press.  Pick yours up along with any back issues you may be missing!  If the shipping gods are good we may even have early copies of The Writer’s Boon Companion available!boon-cover

Admission is by donation, and proceeds from the event go equally to support our non-profit organization and Academie Duello’s Youth Outreach Program.  We look forward to celebrating the season with you!

Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon
Sunday 18th December 2016, 2pm – 6pm
at Academie Duello, 412 W Hastings, Vancouver

 

 

85% Funded, 24 Hours Left!

Something Novel is 85% funded on Kickstarter!  Can we have a HUGE round of applause for all the amazing backers who’ve got us this far!  And a special HIP HIP HOORAAAAY for more than a dozen backers who have stepped up in the last few days and doubled, tripled, sextupled, or12-fold increased their pledges!

If you haven’t been to the Something Novel Kickstarter page, today’s your last chance.  Get your pledge in for your subscription, your copy of The Writer’s Boon Companion, and the novels Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries and Allaigna’s Song: Overture. stella-allaigna-2-small

Kickstarter is all or nothing.  If we don’t reach our funding goal of $13,970 by 10:30pm Pacific Time on December 1st none of the funding comes through.  Boon, Stella and Allaigna won’t happen, and neither will this brand new Canadian novel publishing enterprise.
If you want to bring these heroes to the page, along with brand new novels by established and emerging authors, consider tossing a nickel in the hat as an investment in a vibrant arts scene and the health of your future bookshelf.
With immense gratitude to all our backers!

Join us at Academie Duello

Join us to celebrate the success of our Something Novel Kickstarter campaign

We’re planning a party and you’re invited!

CC Humphreys

CC Humphreys

A Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon
Sunday 18 December, 2pm – 6pm
at Academie Duello School for Swordplay
412 W Hastings, Vancouver BC

This will be an entertaining afternoon of swordfighting and author readings.  We have ten local authors lined up to read, including CC Humphreys, JJ Lee, Eileen Kernaghan and Sebastien de Castell!

JJ with hat

JJ Lee

Tea will be served, and there will be a selection of baked goods and afternoon delicacies.  There will also be book sales, signings, and a craft fair featuring beautiful gifts by local artisans so you can get your last minute shopping done while being entertained.

Eileen Kernaghan

Entrance is by donation.  Half the proceeds go to supporting the magazine and the other half to Academie Duello’s Youth Outreach program, helping get kids get engaged and active.

Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell

 

 

 

 

 

 

boon-coverWe’ll be launching Pulp Literature Issue 13 there and The Writer’s Boon Companion print edition as well.

You can RSVP on the Facebook invitation to let us know you’re coming to the launch.  We’d love to see you there!

Jen, Mel & Sue
Pulp Literature Press

Time Management for Writers: Self Motivation

polycarpSelf-motivation is one of the great time management tools available to writers, and one of the most pleasant to employ.  If you’re geared up, it’s far easier to sit your butt in that chair and type.

One powerful way to self-motivate is to take a minute to contemplate our greater goals.  Picture the ideal life you want.  Spend a little time with the writer you intend to be — the writers you really are.  How will you spend your days?

The bigger the goal, the more challenging and meaningful it is.  As writers we can envision reaching it, without worrying about how we’ll take every step along the way.  Maybe we’ll have to slog every step, but writers love writing, so that’s completely okay.  Or maybe, from time to time, fortune will shine on us, through an opportunity for swift advancement that a writer’s hard work has readied each of us to accept.

If a career goal is our true desire, and if we can picture ourselves winning it, then the small steps we take towards it have more meaning.  And they may be more fun, especially if thinking about that red carpet to a writing nomination at the Oscars is on your mind, or a signing, or a great big royalty cheque.  Our goal may well be to write while smiling broadly.   These are the working moments when a writer feels as if time stands still, and (I smile as I type) it’s truly amazing how much we can get done when it feels like time stands still.

With a great attitude and steady incremental preparation, we are a long way towards creating the author’s life we want and deserve.

I hope it’s another brilliant writing day for you.

Cheers

Mel

For more inspiration from Mel, check out The Writer’s Boon Companion available till December 1st only on Something Novel.

NaNoWriMo rewards you don’t want to miss!

Our Kickstarter campaign, Something Novel, is just around the corner … and so is National Novel Writing Month.  That’s why we have a special gift for the first 50 backers:

The Writer’s Boon Companion

1-front-cover-roughThe Writer’s Boon Companion motivates, organizes, and invigorates you for 30 days.  This writing journal offers space for goals, reflection, and outlines, and offers what no other writing guide can, to wit, the future visions of a steam-powered robot.  Illustrated, insightful, delightful, and compelling, The Writer’s Boon Companion is a clever sidekick for the adventurous author.

Tmermaid-hunterhe print version of the journal will be available as a tiered reward on Kickstarter and our bookstore page.  However, we will be releasing an advance-copy pdf version on November 1st only for the first 50 backers on our Something Novel Kickstarter campaign.

That’s right, you can get an exclusive digital version to print and reuse as many times as you like, simply by being one of the first supporters to pledge a dollar or more!

What’s more, you’ll receive it as soon as you become a backer, long before the campaign finishes … which means if you pledge on November 1st you’ll have this handy companion to keep you motivated and inspired throughout National Novel Writing Month.

If you’d like to be reminded when the campaign goes live, visit our campaign preview page now and follow Pulp Literature on Kickstarter.  Or you can join our the Facebook event which will also notify you on November 1st.

Don’t let your Hallowe’en hangover stop you from getting a steam-powered start on NaNoWriMo!

Thaddeus, take me to Facebook!

Thaddeus, take me to Facebook!

Robot Muse, take me to Kickstarter!

Robot Muse, take me to Kickstarter!