• Browsing all articles by David Duhr | WriteByNight Writers' Service

    On Annoying Trends in Linearity and POV

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Dos & Don'ts     Comments 28 comments
    Apr
    13

    Discussion questions: As a reader, do you enjoy fiction with non-linear narratives and/or multiple points of view? And/or novels that switch between first- and third-person perspective? Why or why not? As a writer, how do you choose your approach regarding linearity and perspective? Have you ever written non-linear fiction, or a story or novel that employs multiple points of view? What do you see as the benefits and the potential pitfalls? Let us know in the comments. read more

    Packing an Emotional Punch in Your Writing

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 10 comments
    Apr
    7

    Discussion questions: Who are some writers whose work elicits a strong emotional response from you? Is that a feeling you enjoy? What types of emotions, if any, do you hope for when you read a book? And as a writer, do you aim to elicit similar emotional responses from your readers? Let us know in the comments. read more

    Quarter Pole Check-in

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 34 comments
    Mar
    31

    Discussion questions: One-fourth of the way through 2019, are you one-fourth of the way (or further) toward hitting your 2019 writing and reading goals? If so, congrats! If not, why not? Have your goals changed? Has your approach changed? What do you hope for from the rest of 2019? Share your progress with us in the comments below. read more

    Drinking While Writing

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 36 comments
    Mar
    23

    Discussion questions: What’s your take on “Write drunk, edit sober”? Do you drink or use drugs while writing? If so, how does it influence your work, your process, or your approach? If you don’t, why don’t you? If you used to drink while writing, why did you stop? Let us know in the comments. Use a fake name if you’d prefer. read more

    “I Am a Writer!” Your Aha Moment

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 39 comments
    Mar
    17

    Discussion questions: Do you remember your “aha moment” as a writer? The moment where you realized, for the first time, or acknowledged to yourself for the first time, that you are a writer, and that writing will play a prominent role in your life? Or are you still waiting on it? Tell us about it below. read more

    Your Ideal Writing Space

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 24 comments
    Mar
    9

    Discussion questions: What does your ideal writing space — or maybe your ideal writing retreat — look like? Is it in your home, or away from home? Describe your surroundings. What are you writing on? What are you writing with? How much contact do you have with the outside world? How many hours per day do you write? For how long are you there? read more

    Do You Like to Write?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 42 comments
    Mar
    2

    Critique Group

    Discussion questions: Share your thought on the following quote, attributed often to Dorothy Parker, as well as Frank Norris, George R.R. Martin, and loads of others: “I hate writing, but I love having written.” How do you feel about the act of writing? Is it torture or is it a pleasure? Or does your answer change with every session? read more

    Micro Nonfiction Challenge: Movie/TV Adaptations of Your Favorite Books

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 19 comments
    Feb
    23

    It’s time to kick the winter blahs right in the snowpants with a fun exercise and contest! read more

    Encouragement From Writing Teachers

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 25 comments
    Feb
    16

    Discussion questions: What words of encouragement from your writing teachers have kept you going through hard times? Do you think great writing can be taught? What specific lessons on craft do you remember being taught to you by specific writing teachers, and in what ways have they been helpful? Let me know in the comments below. read more

    “Making Your Book Awesome”: Nick Courtright & Atmosphere Press

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 3 comments
    Feb
    9

    More than six years ago, Nick Courtright walked into our writing center in Austin, Texas, for an interview and walked out as a WriteByNight writing coach and consultant.

    Since then, Nick has been a very busy man, publishing two books of poetry, taking over as co-editor at Gold Wake Press, and launching his own hybrid press, Atmosphere. Through it all, he’s been a valuable WBN coach and consultant.

    And as of late 2018, WriteByNight partners exclusively with Atmosphere to offer WriteByNight clients the chance to bypass the slush pile and get their book straight into the hands of Atmosphere’s executive editor: Nick Courtright.

    Nick and I recently had the chance to chat about Atmosphere, WriteByNight, our partnership, and the future of both of our organizations.

     

    Four years ago you launched Atmosphere. Not to be too general, but how’s it going so far?

    It’s going great! Each year has been better than the year before it, and I feel really confident that this will be our best year yet. It’s funny, because unlike some publishers who start with big-dollar ambitions, I started Atmosphere Press almost accidentally. I was working with a talented poet who didn’t want to endure the ordeal that is literary publishing’s ceaseless rejection tornado, and because I had years of experience in putting out books with Gold Wake Press, I asked him what he would think of my publishing his book for him. That was how Atmosphere was born — out of service to an author — and from that accidental origin something really wonderful has been built. I’m the author of two books myself, and I think the core value that Atmosphere started with — helping authors — is a big differentiator for us. read more

    Your Favorite 2018 Reading Experience

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 34 comments
    Feb
    2

     

    Discussion question: What was your favorite reading experience of 2018? When the combination of the book and your setting and/or circumstances was just right? Tell me about it in the comments.

     

    Last week on my podcast, Yak Babies, me and my pals talked about our favorite new books from 2018. Not necessarily published in 2018; just books we read for the first time and enjoyed thoroughly.

    I chose George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, a book that knocked me flat when I read it on a beach in Mexico, at which point I turned back to Page 1 and immediately reread it.

    It wasn’t my favorite 2018 book, but it was my favorite, and definitely most vivid and lasting, 2018 reading experience. read more

    Outlining Schmoutlining: How Do You Organize Your Writing?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 23 comments
    Jan
    26

     

    Discussion questions: Do you outline your writing projects? If so, how closely do you stick to that outline while you write? Or do you, like me, start with very little direction and try to write your way into a story? And what is your approach? 

     

    While we’re on this jag about organization (see: “Losing Your Writing, Vol. 2” and “Organizing Your Files“), I thought it might be interesting to talk about organization within our writing projects.

    As I’ve mentioned, I recently finished Chapter 1 of my novel. Then I lost it when my computer died, and for the next week and a half I waited to see if the dude at the computer repair shop could recover it.

    Many writers in that situation would move on to Chapter 2.

    I couldn’t do that, because I don’t outline. read more

    Organizing Your Files and Pages and Notes and Stuff

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 34 comments
    Jan
    19

     

    Discussion questions: When you have work/writing/notes scattered all over your living space and work space, how do you keep it organized, and how do you know where to find what you need? I’m talking computer files, index cards, random scraps of paper, photographs, notes scribbled in margins of books. Or do you have a good way to avoid descending into such chaos to begin with? Let me know in the comments below.

     

    After last week’s chaos involving my lost chapter, and all of your wonderful feedback on how to avoid future such catastrophes–organizing external storage on Google Drive, flash drives, etc.–I started thinking about organization in general.

    If you’re anything like me, you have work/writing scattered everywhere. If you’re even more like me, too often you don’t know where to find what you need. read more

    Losing Your Writing, Vol. 2

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 27 comments
    Jan
    12

     

    Discussion questions: What do you use/do to back up your work? What’s your most horribly horrific horror story involving lost writing? Let me know in the comments below.

     

    I owe some work to my new writing group, and the new group coincides with a re-envisioning of my fiction: What started as a novel and then became a linked story collection is now again a novel.

    So on Saturday I sat myself down, wrote Chapter 1 at the top of the page, and dove in.

    Monday afternoon, after about six hours of work over three days, I had a 2,500-word chapter.

    Not only that, it felt like a good chapter. Something that, after a small amount of revision, I’d be comfortable sharing with the bunch of strangers that make up my new group.

    Monday night, my computer died. The photo above? Of the sad faces behind what looks like prison bars? That was the graphic on the screen that led me to believe that this experience was not going to end well.

    And it didn’t. My computer is unfixable, and the file, my new Chapter 1, is unrecoverable. read more

    In 2019, You Will!

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 16 comments
    Jan
    5

    Happy 2019, WriteByNighters! I feel like this is going to be our best year yet. Are you feeling the same?

    And what better way to kick it off than to talk about what we want to accomplish as writers and readers.

    “Resolutions” can be an intimidating word; if you prefer not to, don’t use it. Goals. Wants. Hopes. However you phrase it, I want to hear what you’d like to achieve between now and December 31.

    Our tradition has been to ask you to complete the following sentence:

    “In 2019, I will _______”

    But “will” is edging into resolution territory, so this year, let’s try something new:

    “In 2019, I _______” read more

    Your 2018 Writing Accomplishments

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 28 comments
    Dec
    29

    I was planning on doing our annual writing goals post for this week, but I think I want to push that off to next week and instead allow us all a minute to acknowledge the great things we did in 2018.

    If you set a 2018 literary resolution, did you hit it, or at least make good progress toward it?

    (Maybe you announced it in the comments of 2018’s goals post?)

    Did you grow and improve as a writer? As a reader?

    What was your greatest literary achievement in 2018? The thing you’re most proud of as a writer and/or a reader? read more

    Best of 2018

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Dec
    22

    Christmas is in only three days, New Year’s Eve is in only nine days, 2019 is staring us in the face, and many of us are out on the road, or on the tracks, or on the water, or in the sky, or, just as likely, stranded somewhere due to weather.

    And we need reading material! To get us through these dull and lonely hours of lines and waiting.

    I figured I could either write a novella-length post for you this week on a particular topic or offer variety in bite-size chunks.

    We published about fifty posts in this space this year, and if you’ve read all of them, you’re my hero. But between general busyness, life hiccups, and the fact that not every blog post topic will grab your interest, I suspect few of you have done so. Hell, I doubt I’ve read them all!

    So I thought I’d pick some highlights from our blog this year and offer them up this week as extra reading material for your travels. I’ve chosen ten of my favorites. Some I picked because I like the content or have some fond memory of writing it; others I chose not so much because of the post but because of the wonderful discussions you guys sparked in response to it.

     

    I’m going to start with a couple of posts that might come particularly in handy this week:

    read more

    The Best Part of Self-Publishing Your Book

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 4 comments
    Dec
    15

    In last week’s post, “The Hardest Part of Self-Publishing Your Book,” a few WriteByNighters took the time to discuss with us the pitfalls they had to jump across during the process of self-publishing their books.

    This week, those same WriteByNighters have given even *more* of their time to tell us about the most rewarding parts of self-publishing. 

    read more

    The Hardest Part of Self-Publishing Your Book

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 2 comments
    Dec
    8

    Since announcing our new publication assistance services, we’ve received more than the usual amount of questions about self-publishing, particularly: What is the hardest part of self-publishing your book and are there any easy parts?

    We figured who better to pose these questions to than WriteByNight clients with real-world experience. Four helpful writers responded: Dana Frank, Assaf Raz, Dan Hays, and Marcia Drut-Davis.

    We’ll tackle the “easy” part next week, but for this week we’re going to start with the hard stuff. read more




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