Writing in the James Bond Movies


Writing in the James Bond Movies

by Adam Huddleston

For Christmas this year, my lovely bride gifted me a boxed set of all of the James Bond movies up to “Skyfall”. While the 007 motion pictures are known for their action and suspense, I can’t wait to dig into each movie to see how well they are written. My plan is to watch every film in the series chronologically from their release date. While I’m enjoying the harrowing escapes and cool gadgets, I’m looking to see if the dialogue sparks.

What are some of your favorite movies? If you are a writer, have you ever watched those films as a literary critic? I encourage everyone to try it. It can only strengthen your writing chops.

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2016


Outtakes 227

2016

by Cait Collins

About this time every year people begin making resolutions. We plan to do this, quit that, or finish something, but before many weeks pass, the resolutions are forgotten. Therefore, I resolve not to resolve. In other words, I will not make resolutions for 2016. However, I do plan to write better and write smarter.

Writing better means…

Removing unnecessary modifiers from my work and replacing them with more vivid nouns and action verbs.

I will create better setting using photographs to guide my words.

I will not skimp on the research. This may mean using “place holders” while I do the research and continue the creative process.

I will not stress over little things like names, color of eyes, or height. I will let the small stuff reveal itself and then edit. I will get the story down and fill in the blanks later. This will be a working draft that I will use to craft the manuscript, but it will not be presented to my critique group.

I will time-line and character-sketch, but I will not outline.

I will not force the process. If I can’t seem to move forward in the story, I’ll take a break and do something else creative. I have a new book of 500 Writing Prompts. Maybe I’ll describe my Sweet 16 birthday or perhaps I’ll open one of my adult coloring books and create beauty.

Writing smarter means…

The first draft will be better and more reader-ready. I will no longer hide behind excuses like “I had this idea and just had to get it on paper.” I’ve used that line with my critique group on too many occasions. No more excuses.

I will not wait until the last minute to prepare for a critique meeting. No more writing my chapter on my lunch break and then rushing home to print it.

I will not pre-plan or over-write the story to the point it has lost its life and emotion.

While I prefer books for my research, I will make better use of on-line sources for fast answers

I will stop trying to juggle three or four projects at a time.

This is not a resolution for 2016; it is a plan to make myself more productive and less frustrated. I anticipate I will finish the edits on my memoir and make good progress on my new work, Three by Three, if I stick to the plan.

I wish all writers a productive and prosperous New Year.

Stockpile People


Stockpile People

By Rory C. Keel

 

A writer needs to have a stockpile of people. No, not like in the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but a file full of descriptions, characteristics and quirks of real people.

The truth is that all characters are based somehow on actual people. Think about it, even the characters you invent are based on elements taken from real people. The people you place on the page come from someone that you, as the writer, have seen or come in contact with, either personally or by hearsay.

The Gathering

To place these characters on your page, you must own them, every part of them the good, the bad, and the ugly. To do this you need to try and understand real people. Interact with them, watch them and observe their condition in life. When you finally know them, they are yours. Gather them up and stockpile them by writing them in a file. They will be glad to repeat their behaviors on the pages of your writing.

Roryckeel.com 

 

NEW YEAR WRITING GOALS


NEW YEAR WRITING GOALS

“The only way you can write is by the light of the bridges burning behind you.”
Richard Peck

 

It’s a New Year for writing goals dear WordsmithSix followers!

As I think about my writing goals for 2016, the above quote from the award winning playwright and children’s author Richard Peck really speaks to me. What it says to me is that writing is more than just a “mind” exercise. We grow and improve each day. Every story we finish and submit, or shove into a desk drawer, is a lesson in grammar, character development, and plot structure. The hardest part is to keep pushing ourselves forward.

The year 2015 was sluggish for me. I’ve got two middle grade novels and a picture book out there that’s not garnering much interest. We’ve put one novel “on the back-burner” as my agent suggested. To keep busy during “the wait”, I’ve been researching and writing nonfiction articles for magazines, submitted work to several anthologies, and posted tons of blogs for various sites. I really kept on task .

Is the purpose of my writing just to keep busy? This isn’t writers block. I’ve got loads of fiction ideas in various stages of completion. What I’m lacking, I’ve decided, is heart. The heart to stay with one writing project, make it the most phenomenal story I can, and see it to the end.

Quality, NOT Quantity.

As I stare at the 2016 goals sheet, I’ve decided to forget about striving for daily word counts and endless list of contests to enter. Instead, I’m considering what are some of my weak points that I can improve upon in the New Year? How can I write the best book of my abilities and then, make it even better?

Who knows if my work will ever be read in 2016, other than by my WordsmithSix critique group? So many things in this business are beyond our control. I want a new project that will remind me of how fulfilling and fun writing can be. Which unwritten book will I come to every morning with excitement? Which story spark can’t be ignored?

Once I have the answers to these questions, that’s the spark I’ll write on the goals sheet. That’s the one I shall pour my heart into.

 What about you? What’s your writing goals for 2016?

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
William Wordsworth 

Wishing you a blessed and productive New Year!

 

Season’s Greetings


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Season’s Greetings

By Nandy Ekle

This

This Is

This Is The

This Is The Christmas

This Is The Christmas And

This Is The Christmas And New

This Is The Christmas And New Year

This Is The Christmas And New Year Greeting

This Is The Christmas And New Year Greeting For

This Is The Christmas And New Year Greeting For All

This Is The Christmas And New Year Greeting For All Those

This Is The Christmas And New Year Greeting For All Those Who

This Is The Christmas And New Year Greeting For All Those Who Follow

Word Smith Six

May your New Year be full of post cards from your muse.

More Funny Quotes on Writing


More Funny Quotes on Writing

by Adam Huddleston

This week I wanted to share a few more humorous (and often quite true) quotes about writing.

I wrote a few children’s books. Not on purpose.

– Steven Wright

If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.

– Doug Larson

Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.

– Gene Fowler

I was sorry to hear my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and I am not feeling very well myself.

– Mark Twain

It’s splendid to be a great writer, to put men into the frying pan of your imagination and make them pop like chestnuts.

– Gustave Flaubert

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial “we.”

– Mark Twain

Christmas Week


Outtakes 226

Christmas Week

by Cait Collins

 

I thought I’d try a little poetry for my Christmas week blog.

 

Two days before Christmas and all through the land

The old North wind was blowing to beat the band.

With nary a tree or hill to block the blow

We hunkered down expecting a big snow.

 

I made my list and checked it twice

Forgetting gifts would not be nice.

I had lists for the office, the family and more,

With list in hand, I head for the store.

 

Christmas dinner, the office pot luck, and a larder to fill

With the crowds and empty shelves it was no thrill.

No pickles, no carrots, the dinner rolls out

I stomped my foot and bit back a frustrated shout.

 

What happened to Christmas, the fun and the love?

Why can’t it be simple instead of a humbug?

I try to be merry and not a Scrooge

But sometimes, yes, sometimes I border on rude.

 

So, sing me a carol, a warm winter song

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll sing along.

And I will be joyful and so full of mirth

I’ll be the happiest writer on earth.

 

It may not be pretty and it may not rhyme

I never promised it would be sublime.

Poetry is not my strong suit I must admit

But it’s better to try instead of quit.

 

Happy Holidays.

What’s Your Genre?


What’s Your Genre?

Natalie Bright

As you think about your writing goals for the New Year, have you thought much about genre?

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you develop blogs, tweets, and promotion around your stories.

What kind of people will be your readers?

Where can you find these people?

Do your readers have other interests in common?

What blog topics can you focus on that directly relates to your published works?

Here’s to a productive New Year!

A Little Magic


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

A Little Magic

By Nandy Ekle

He walks on the stage with a certain flair and the audience applauds. Removing his cloak with a swirl, a deck of cards appears in his hands. He pulls them from the box as his lovely blond assistant rolls a table out in front of him. She waves her hands in an arc and prances off the stage with a huge smile on her face.

The magician lays the card deck on the table and then removes his white gloves. He shakes his arms slightly at the wrists to prove he is not hiding anything there. The audience barely breathes while anticipating how he is going to amaze them. The music swells and the lights dim.

With an almost dainty movement of his hand, he pulls several cards from the stack on his table. The magician balances them against each other in perfect harmony. He pulls another few cards and balances them on top of the first layer. As he continues building his card house, the audience leans in closer and closer. The building is growing and each layer elicits a gasp from the crowd. Deftly, artfully, the wizard draws the crowd closer and closer.

As the last card is tenderly placed at the top of the tower, the crowd has climbed onto the stage to be closer to the card house. The magician stands back for the audience to admire his work of art. As they inspect the fragile building on the table, the illusionist leans closer and blows a quick blast from his lips. Instantly the cards explode in the air and turn into snowflakes.

The audience erupts into a cacophony of cheers.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

Visualization


Visualization

by Adam Huddleston

 

During my family’s recent trip to east Texas for Thanksgiving, I had a great opportunity to notice the differences in topography between the Panhandle and the Piney Woods regions. Growing up near Sulphur Springs, I took for granted just how beautiful that area of the state is. We now live in Canyon, just south of Amarillo, and while it has its own charm and splendor (try watching the sun set over the plains without believing in a higher power), the towering trees and rolling hills of my childhood will always hold a special place in my heart. This brings me to my point: when writing, work hard to help your reader visualize the surroundings.

Describe the flora around your characters. The length of grass and its color, height and species of trees, and types of flowers in the area go a long way in making the story world vibrant for your reader.

Mention any sounds the character might hear. Do they live in a bustling city with car engines and the constant murmur of passersby, or are they in a peaceful rural setting with only the wind rustling the leaves and the simple cluck of chickens?

Smells can play an important part as well, especially food. Describe what the character tastes and how it makes them feel. Try to relate it to a specific experience in their past.

With a little work and imagination, you can make your story’s environment jump off the page and pull your reader in. Happy writing!