Writing Advice

Writing Advice from Zoraida Córdova

by Mari Hotchkiss An unusual career path. As a young child in Ecuador, Zoraida Córdova grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories that were filled with magic and wonder. At six years old, she immigrated to the United States with her mom and grandma, causing her to abandon her love of stories. “I stopped reading.…

Creating Characters

creating characters

Happy Fall! Have you got your sweater? Your scarf? Your pumpkin-spiced whatever?Then sit down and talk with us about character.  Hemingway said, “When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.” But how do we do that? That’s the challenge, isn’t it? We loved our classes…

How To Happily Write A Query Letter

How to Happily write your query

We’re excited that Bill Kenower is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Bill is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence and Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion. In a blog he posted this past June, he shares his perspective on how he learned…

HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME

We’re excited that Erick Mertz is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Erick is a Portland-based ghostwriter and fiction/memoir manuscript consultant. Over the last five years as a full-time freelancer he has written manuscripts for a variety of clients. In a blog he posted this past December, he shares advice…

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes Lee Jessup, a member of our screenwriting faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writer’s Conference and the author of Breaking In: Tales from the Screenwriting Trenches and Getting It Write: An Insider’s Guide To A Screenwriting Career shares how to avoid ten screenwriting mistakes. You can find this post and others…

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living by Sonia Simone

Written by SONIA SIMONE Reprinted with permission from Copyblogger.  If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life: People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life. Smart, capable writers grimly pass around war stories on Facebook. Penny-a-word assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our…

Ten Tips for Writing an Effective Pitch

By Alyssa Schaffer and Joanna Szabo Pitching your manuscript can be one of the more intimidating aspects of the writing process, so we’ve collected a few essential tips to help you prepare your next pitch. Start with a hook. This should be one or two lines covering the most exciting thing about your book. However,…

Turn Bad Writing Days into Good Ones

Turn Bad Writing Days into Good Ones

The November 7th meeting of Willamette Writers brought William Kenower, teacher of the Fearless Writing Series, to the Old Church to share his perspectives for building up a strong writing life while keeping the topics that interest and engage us forefront in our minds. One of the things I enjoyed so much about Kenower’s presentation…

C. Lill Ahrens’ Tighty Writey Game

C. Lill Ahrens Tightens Writing

by C. Lill Ahrens The old saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees” can be a metaphor for wordy writing. Too many extra words obscure the view of your story. In contrast to “cutting,” (the deletion of an entire subplot, minor character, etc.), “tightening” is a delicate and complex process. Its goal is to…