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elisehartkipness

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Everything posted by elisehartkipness

  1. This video spoke to me and I recommend taking five minutes to watch it. But understand, this won’t provide how-to-advice. It is about Neil Gaiman’s personal journey and “darkest period.” Like Kara, I also appreciate when a successful author opens up about their struggles. Gaiman says the most important lesson he learned was to “be honest” in a way that made him feel vulnerable. Easier said than done. Right? Audrey is completely correct that advising a writer to be honest is “…a true statement but not altogether useful for the writer learning their craft.” Boy do I hear that. And, yet… As a television reporter, I needed to learn to act “natural.” Acting natural required years of voice lessons, critique sessions. On and on. But, at some point, I also needed to be brave enough to find my own style. Something I’m not sure I actually accomplished on television but am reaching for in writing. That’s why I like this video. It’s a reminder to digest as many lessons as possible. But then, discern what resonates as truth and grab it.
  2. I think Meg’s video is one of the best I’ve seen. She does a great job outlining the basics. This is a perfect “how-to” video for new writers. I especially like her pointers on the mindset a writer needs to be successful. Her advice is both supportive and realistic. I too was not a fan of the helium voice. I did love the first voice change that went into the lower register. I didn’t expect that, and it made me laugh.
  3. This Reedsy video will only confuse a new (and seasoned writer). Not only was it hard to follow but it implies writers can just magically poof the elements of a novel onto pages. Rinse, wash, done. The thesis ignores pretty much all the main elements needed for story development. I’m not saying that the Save the Cat template is at fault. The application of the template described in the video is where my grievance lies. I really disliked that the characters used here were randomly generated from a computer program. That implies that characters can just appear and work within a narrative. That might be fun for a game or a writing exercise but not for the creation of a successful novel.
  4. Like Kara, I also don’t write sex scenes. I tried once and failed spectacularly. After listening to Jenna Moreci’s advice I understand why! If you plan to write a sex scene, I wholeheartedly encourage you to watch this video. Jenna outlines ten tips to help writers with sex scenes and provides practical how-to advice. If you want to go there, Jenna shows you how. On top of that, she’s super engaging and funny with great line after great line. I think my favorite is when she advises “…ramping up the heat and toning down the yuck.” Also, the quality of the video is excellent and the graphics, delivery and editing are all top notch.
  5. I agree with the Kara and Michael that this is the best video we’ve reviewed so far. Brandon Sanderson puts the viewer at ease with his encouraging and relatable manner. There are good practical tips here. Sanderson gives the new writer a roadmap to create scenes and structure and he also provides tools to get the writer’s ideas flowing. Like Kara, I also like creating monologues from the point of view of my main characters. It helps me dive deeper into their personalities and discover their idiosyncrasies. While his last point (“prime your mind”) is good advice, it doesn’t work for me. I have a hard time thinking about my story ahead of time. I need to be in the act of writing or outlining before I can work details out in my head. The more time I spend at the keyboard, the more my story brain kicks into gear. One quick note about the production. I think the video would benefit from graphics. Five simple graphics would be a nice visual break in the twelve-minute video and would help reinforce the main points to the viewer.
  6. Thanks for posting, Kara. I really enjoyed reading these articles. And who doesn't love something titled, It's Okay to Make Mistakes.
  7. I’m with Kara and Joe on this video—it is horrible. I can’t decide if the video is a failed attempt at some pseudo reverse-psychology thing, bad comedy or if Alexa Dunn is just plain mean. Yes, writers need to write and shouldn’t fall into the trap of finding excuses. You can tell me that in five seconds. And you can even tell me it in five seconds without yelling. For someone who claims in the video that mental health is important, Alexa certainly isn’t considering the mental health of new writers. Just to list a few of her pointers: Your first draft sucks; You will never have an original idea; If you’re young, no one cares about your life. Wow! Where did such omniscience sprout from? Sure, your first novel might suck. And your second and your third. How about some advice to avoid that? What have you learned that you can share (besides “Just Write!”)? And how can she claim that every 20-something year old woman or man working on a memoir hasn’t had an interesting experience worth writing about? I mean the generalizations in this video are exhausting. Speaking of generalizations, the one about family and friends actually made me feel bad for her—momentarily. Until I remembered how much she yelled at me. I’m sorry if Alexa’s circle doesn’t care about her work, but don’t generalize about my family and friends! Honestly, that’s just rude. This video is all about Alexa Dunn and not about the new writer or any other writer. Take a strong pass on this one. Unless you happen to like getting screamed at. Or you’re looking for a new drinking game—a shot of tequila every time Alexa mentions Reddit.
  8. This video works. First, I completely agree that writers need to immerse themselves in the writing process. Green suggests writing a minimum of 1,000 words a week. But he states it’s less about the number and more about the need to stay connected to the story. Like Green, I find that if I take a week off it can lead to two weeks, a month and then I have to reacquaint myself with my characters, plot and story again. What a waste of time. I also like Green’s point that reading, researching and thinking about your story is part of the writing process. I just think it’s important that new writers don’t use that as an excuse not to put fingers to keyboard. And you don’t need to do all your research at once. But if you are working on characters and someone suggests you stop and reread Winesburg, Ohio (thank you Michael Neff ) then you should. Green also provided some very practical advice about remembering discrepancies or problems in your draft without stopping your flow. And his suggestion about writing your big scene out of order intrigued me. Overall, I think this is a great video for beginning writers. I also liked Green’s energetic presentation, the quick edits and the incorporation of questions from Twitter. It’s interesting to note, Green got his points across in four minutes, less than half the time of the other videos I have watched so far.
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  10. My first reaction to this video is to ask whether these ten writing points are Stephen King’s or the creator of the video. The video is highly edited and draws from many different interviews over what appears to be years/decades. I would have more faith in the clip if it was assembled from a single interview and had more context around each point. Taking the video as is, I would encourage new writers to skip it as I think it could lead them astray on their journey. I’m particularly disappointed because I really enjoyed Stephen King’s book On Writing. I actually went back to the book to see if he really believes plotting to be so antithetical to good writing. I was aghast to read he does, although he’s not as brutal about it in the book. Like GM Browning said in his review, you don’t just magically learn craft any more than you magically learn to be a great athlete or chef or performer. You may have talent but there are decades of technique and skills required in an education. And plot is certainly one of the most important in writing a novel. Not wanting to believe poorly of King, I’m telling myself that he’s so far along in his craft that he doesn’t think about the steps needed because he does them automatically. My bottom line—avoid this video but still cheer for King.
  11. I think this is a good video for writers looking for a pep talk. As an author who recently started sending out queries and manuscripts, I enjoyed hearing about Nathan’s writing journey. I liked how Nathan defined failures as “setbacks in a longer journey.” That’s a nice way to think about it. Nathan offered additional inspired tips to deal with adversity. What Nathan didn’t do, in my opinion, was to provide a concrete guide for new writers. There was no discussion about plot, structure, POV, etc. And his approach to drafts and writing goals felt overly broad. Bottom line, if you want specifics about novel writing, I’d take a pass. If you are looking for some encouragement, then, by all means, this video is worth a watch.
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