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About KaraBosshardt

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    Interests besides writing? Hmm... Snorkeling, the beach, ballet (or dance of any kind), seafood, sushi, browsing the grocery store isles (the only type of shopping I actually like), trying authentic cuisine, petting stingrays, watching rockets launch from Cape Canaveral, watching movies, reading YA novels and spending time with my husband and parrots.

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  • About Me
    I write for the the fun of it. I'm here because it makes me happy. While my journey as a writer has been winding and even convoluted at times, at the end of the day I remind myself of the sage wisdom of Bob Ross: "We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” And I keep going.

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  1. Writing Hacks. Are they helpful or hurtful? I, for one, have never cared for the word hack in this instance because it makes it sound like you are potentially BS-ing your way through your writing goals, thus leaving your integrity at the door. I’ve also never really understood the entire “hacking” trend because in so many instances they are just using the word hack in place of the words tip or advice. However, with all that being said, we’ll say that hacking is a good thing for our purposes today because it helped me find some new techniques for novel writing that I couldn’t have found any oth
  2. These rules to writing that Hemingway has come up with are certainly interesting. I'll give him that. I can appreciate that his first rule about using short sentences helped changed novel writing today. Now we can use long and short sentences interchangeably to create different types of pacing in our stories when we need to. However, I also think he created this rule because he had his own personal contention with the style of writing during his time. It's certainly not one that I would suggest that writers adhere to now. As for the other three rules, well... Whether you watch t
  3. I found John Steinbeck's writing advice to be a bit vague and generalized. There were a couple things I agreed with like no rewriting until you've gotten everything down because otherwise that can be an excuse for not finishing the story. Been there, done that, so this makes sense to me. I also liked his mention that scenes nearest and dearest to your heart may not have an actual place in your story. However, take this piece of advice with a grain of salt because there can indeed be scenes in your book that you love AND are absolutely crucial to the overall plot. Just keep this in mind incase
  4. My very first manuscript was horribly cliché and pretty much plotless. In fact, it didn’t even have an ending to it. I never bothered writing one. It was clear to me that by 80,000 words there was no point in wasting my time on devising a resolution because there was never even a climax. It literally turned into one very lengthy exercise in getting to know my main characters—because I hadn’t bothered doing that before I started to write my novel. And this was okay at the time. I was brand new to creative writing and I just wanted to test my hand at being a writer since I’d never done anything
  5. When it comes to my all-time favorite fictional character it will always and forever be Andrew Wiggins, better known as Ender. I have loved fictional stories ever since I could read. I especially love fantasy and sci-fi. However, I had never really connected with a main character very deeply in a novel until I read Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, when I was in the latter part of Junior High school. I have since read that story multiple times and my 14-year-old self connects just as deeply every time. Every author’s dream, right, to have their stories cherished for decades? But why did
  6. Truthful, authentic, honest. All these words mean roughly the same thing, but in this case, I’ve chosen these words to describe writers and the stories they create. I’m sure you’ve all heard phrases such as “find your own authentic voice,” or “write your truth,” or “be true to your craft.” Or even “be honest with your readers.” I realize that these phrases are ambiguous at best and are usually tossed around at writing conferences to make a speaker sound like they know what they are talking about. So…what am I getting at? To be honest in what you are writing, or to be truthful in the story
  7. I completely agree with Elise on this one. Having a computer program randomly generate your characters is a neat idea if you're just practicing, or warming up to the idea of writing a novel, but beyond that I don't find this video useful. In fact, I got really bored watching it and the novel idea that was created to demonstrate this plot structure was also boring and full of clichés. I realize that Shaylynn (or however she spells her name) was doing this spur of the moment, and I'm sure she did the best she could, but I think that's where the main problem began. This video could have been
  8. Meg Latorre's "11 ways to improve your writing" are worth learning about if you're a new writer. While I find that she covers a lot of the same points that have already been addressed in other videos, there were a couple things that stood out that I think new writers should definitely take note of. Critique groups vs. beta readers - Meg takes the time to explain the difference between these and why you would find them useful during the editing phase of your manuscript. More than once she kindly encouraged writers to be open to making changes to their story upon receiving constructive crit
  9. Conflict should be at the very heart of every story you write. Its presence throughout your manuscript, or lack thereof, can literally make our break your ability to get published. Your main characters need internal conflict, they need conflict between themselves and other characters (more than just the conflict raised by the antagonist). There should also be conflict within the setting of your novel like a picturesque countryside that isn’t entirely what it seems, etc. etc. etc. Without conflict, or tension or raised stakes for the main characters, beginning with the first scene and endi
  10. I think the title of this clip is what throws you off because it uses the words "writing advice." Like Michael and Joe said, there isn't much writing advice substance to it. This clip isn't going to give you advice about the craft, but rather it's advice on an emotional level. What Neil Gaiman actually says is that this is how he "took his darkest period and turned it around." I always appreciate when famous authors allow themselves to be vulnerable and let people know what they went through in their early days, which is exactly what he does. I also think his use of the word "honest" to d
  11. Creating your author’s platform can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, and for good reason. There’s lots to worry about. What do I say about myself? What photo of me looks the best? What if I’m nowhere near close to being published? Do I start with a website first, or a presence on social media? Rest assured that all these questions, and more, get answered in my top picks of the week: #1: Your Author Platform – Is it Ever too Soon to Start? The short answer is no. It is never too soon to start and I’ll let Karen Cioffi explain why. #2: Do I Need a Platform and If So, How H
  12. While I'm not a writer of romance, nor is this a genre that I reach for at the bookstore, I can appreciate Jenna Moreci's advice. It sounded solid and down to earth. She really seems to know what she's talking about and her delivery is downright humorous. A few points she made that I very much agree with if you are going to commit to the task of writing sex scenes in your novel were: Don't make sex sound gross. Be mindful of your adjectives. Use sexy verbs. What does this moment in the book mean for your characters on an emotional level. Make sure the timing of these scenes
  13. Have you ever had a hard time figuring out what genre your story fits into? Or, maybe you know the genre of your story, but you don’t know how to structure it. Perhaps your book keeps switching from one genre to the next depending on which chapter you’re writing. If genre is feeling a bit hazy for you, or if you just want to understand it better then this week’s picks are for you: #1: Tinker, Tailor, Wizard, Spy: The Joys (And Dangers) of Blending Genre Elements W.L. Goodwater states, “When readers browse the genre shelves at the bookstore, they are looking to sign a contract with th
  14. Just like Joe, I too will probably be biased in this review, as I learned the majority of my plotting and story structure from Brandon Sanderson as well as from his friend Dan Wells, whom he mentions. While Brandon states that his advice is for those participating in NaNoWriMo, I think it can be used for just about any novel writing circumstance. I really appreciate how he goes in depth into plotting and story structure for beginners, instead of just skimming the surface like many others do. His advice to borrow your initial plot structure from a favorite movie in a favorite genre is fant
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