Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Script Frenzy

I participated in National Novel Writing Month last last November. A similar endeavor begins in April - Script Frenzy. From April 1 - 30, 2009 your mission is to write a screenplay totaling 100 pages.

Having learned some valuable lessons during my first attempt at writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, I give you the following tips:
1. Don't stop writing. You'll tell yourself you will come back to it before the contest ends and finish your novel/script. You won't.
2. Don't change story ideas half way through. Even if you determine your original idea for a novel or screenplay is the worst idea you've ever had, don't start writing something else. You won't finish that idea either.
3. Set small goals for yourself. You will not write 100 pages in a day or 50,000 words in a day. Start with a managable goal (say 8 pages per day) and stick to it.
4. If pages per day seems like too large of a number, set an average number of pages or words to write each day. Some days you'll write more and other days less. Setting an average balances out your writing over the 30 days.
5. Hook up with others participating in the Script Frenzy contest. You'll accomplish at least two things: 1. You'll meet other writers in the same spot as you and have a support network; and 2. you will be less likely to quit.
6. Keep everything that you write. I didn't complete National Novel Writing Month, but I did come away with good material (not all of it, obviously) that will evolve into future stories.
7. Good luck! Just by completing Script Frenzy or National Novel Writing Month earns you bragging rights to day, "I did it!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Royal Review

Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace has gotten another great review – this time from the Book Club Queen. Unlike most review sites, Book Club Queen also provides author interviews, discussion questions, book recommendations, and of course, information on how you can start your own book club.

What’s also unique about Book Club Queen is the focus on family and that sometimes rocky relationship with those we love in both the author interview questions and discussion questions. At the center of the novel is the relationship of the Pierson family and the deep bonds that bind us as family, and how far one is willing to go to protect those we love.

Click here for Catherine Johnson's Book Club Queen interview.