What to Read While I’m Away

Next week I'll be following one of my new rules for productivity--I will take breaks from Dianna's Writing Den--so I thought I'd gather up some posts for you to read during the week I'll be away. Today's posts are all about writing fiction. Circumlocation at it's best or worst--at Live Write Thrive will tell you about the concept of circumlocation. Hint: It's similar to overwriting. Worldbuilding: Coming of Age Rituals and Coming of Age over at Marshall Ryan Maresca's blog discusses the many different options for coming of age rituals. Sci-Fi Deak Style is the first of a new series of posts on the Penumbra blog about "science that doesn't work well in science fiction... But has to". This post introduces the series and the conundrum many science fiction writers…
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The Writer’s Poison

Guest Post, Inspirational, Writing
Today's post is a guest post written by one Joelle Fraser. Please give her a warm welcome. Last month, I became a published author for the second time. You’d think I’d feel successful, wouldn’t you? I have two books with prestigious houses, both of which received excellent national reviews; I’ve been anthologized and gotten awards, been flown by Random House on book tours and chauffeured around by media escorts, been interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air. And yet, like every other writer in the world, I can name a thousand others who’ve achieved more. Much, much more—whether it’s money, fame, acclaim, awards, or a combination thereof, there’s always someone who leaves you in the dust. Success, I learned with my first book, The Territory of Men, is a moving target that…
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Dealing with Repetitive Strain Injury

Inspirational, Writing
I made this item the last on my list because it is the most difficult to deal with. While everything else can get in the way of your writing, most things won't stop you dead in your tracks the way RSI does. I've had RSI for about five years now. It gets better, then it gets worse. Sometimes it's better for an hour, then it gets worse. Sometimes it gets better for a couple of months before it gets worse. Sometimes it gets consistently worse every day for a long time before slowly getting better. It never completely goes away. Saying no to an extra assignment or night on the pub is challenging, but it gets easier. It's also a good exercise as once you're a full time writer, you'll…
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Rules for Productivity

Goal setting, Inspirational, Writing
I mentioned last week that I realized I was over committed. The truth is, I've known it for a while, but I denied it. I wanted to be super woman, to be able to manage eighteen projects at once while still in school and even working. Unfortunately, I'm not super woman, and I reached a point where I couldn't deny it anymore. So I decided to create a plan. But it didn't turn out to be like any other plan. Instead, it's a list of rules. Some of it is taking my own advice from my series on finishing projects. I know how to finish a project. I've written over a dozen novels. Yes, editing is always slower work for me, but that's no excuse for the pace I've been…
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Author Interview: Meggan Connors

Author Interviews, Reading Related
Today's guest is Meggan Connors, author of Jessie's War. I'd tell you about it but I think she can do a better job. 1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Jessie's War? Jessie's War is a western steampunk romance, set against the backdrop of a prolonged American Civil War and the Nevada silver boom. It's about a woman who, after spending years trying to put her life back together after the deaths of everyone she loved, suddenly discovers that the lover she had given up for dead is alive, and needs her help.  Needless to say, when he shows up on her doorstep, she's got some trust issues. But when she discovers her father may be alive and held hostage by Rebel forces, she turns to Luke…
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Progress Report March 2013

Goal setting, Writing
Today it's time for me to be accountable, to share my progress with all of you. March has certainly been more productive than February was, but I'm not satisfied with my progress on most of my goals, and I've realized that I'm severely over committed. Falling behind on your projects is one thing. Staying behind on them is another, and it usually means one of two things: either you're over committed, or you're not really dedicated to the goals you claim to have. I've realized that I'm suffering from the former problem and I'm currently working on a plan to address that, which includes some changes here at Dianna's Writing Den. But that's a conversation for next week. Today I'm going to show you why I need to kill some…
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Travel Writing From Home

Guest Post
by Jordan Clary Travel writing might conjure up images of exotic resorts, luxury cruises or riding across sand dunes on a camel, and while, travel writing can, indeed, open up some of amazing experiences, it’s not necessary to travel far or even travel at all to write and sell articles. You can start with your own city, neighborhood or even backyard to find ideas for travel stories. Every place is a destination for someone and you are the best expert on your area. Learn to look at your own town with new eyes. What might a visitor like to do? What are the local products? Are there any specialized niches you can fit into? Most of the ‘rules’ for travel writing are the same as for anything else. A well-written,…
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Managing Writer’s Block

Inspirational, Writing
Many writers speak of writer's block, an inability to create new work or to finish a project. They discuss a mental wall stopping them from reaching the creative part of their brain. Hundreds, probably thousands, of articles have been written about writer's block, what it is and how to cure it. Yet there are also hundreds, if not thousands, of writers who don't believe in writer's block. I take the middle ground on this one. Writer's block could be anything. It might be all in your head, but that doesn't mean it's not real. Often it's a symptom of other issues in our lives or the story we're working on. Other times it's just an excuse for not wanting to write. What's important is moving away from the term "writer's…
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Fiction or non-fiction?

I'm always on a quest to get to know my readers better, so today I'd like to hear from you: Do you read primarily fiction or non-fiction? Which do you prefer reading? Which do you prefer to write? Answer in the comments below and feel free to ask me a question of your own.
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Dealing with School/Work Related Interruptions

Inspirational, Workshops, Writing, Writing
School and work are both important, but focusing on one or the other to the exclusion of all else can be dangerous. We're often told to put these things above all else, which can lead to self-neglect and even self-hatred. Capitalism tells us to focus on what makes us money and ignore that which nourishes the soul. Since these beliefs have been drilled into us since we were kids, they're difficult to ignore. Unfortunately work and/or school will probably always be factors in your life. The key is to make sure that they don't interrupt your writing time more than absolutely necessary. So how do you keep school/work out of your writing time? 1. Don't take on extra responsibilities. If you don't have to stay at work late, don't. If…
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