From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Using YouTube to Market Your Creative Writing Part II: Examples

A while ago I posted about using youtube to market your creative writing. Today I want to continue that with a couple examples of videos that are themselves works of art that can help you expand your audience. The thing about youtube videos like this is that you can add them to your list of beautiful creations, and then link from the videos to your blog or website and get more attention for your books and other work. Win-win.

Anywhere, here are two videos that I think are beautiful examples of what writers and artists can create in video format.


I hope you both enjoy these videos and learn from them.

Sarah Allen

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fashion for Writers

I feel a little superficial for writing this, but honestly I think its something fairly important that no one really talks about. I mean the whole dress for success thing. Writers are notorious for being unsociable basement dwellers, but it doesn't have to be that way, and the way you dress can play a part.

If you want to be a celebrity novelist, dress that way. If for you that means pencil skirt suits, great. If for you it means black skinny jeans and vests, awesome. If it means shorts, flip-flops and t-shirts, wonderful. The key is to dress nice in whatever style it is you like. I kind of like attention, so I like the idea of dressing to get that attention. You are an interesting person who deserves to be known, and your attire can help make that known to the world.

Also, the right clothes can do awesome things for your confidence. I have huge self-confidence issues, but when I feel like I'm dressed nice and look pretty good, it's a lot easier for me to put myself out there. It makes me feel stronger, and more willing to take risks. There are lots of ways to learn how to dress your body type. Take advantage of what God gave you, both your mind and your body.

I know this is kind of a weird subject for a writing blog, but like I said, I'm thinking along the dress for success lines. Even if you're a shy, like many writers are, you can't get away from the need for attention just to sell your work. This includes stuff like signings, television interviews, writers conferences, book tours, etc, and in these situations you're selling yourself almost as much as your work. Obviously fashion is not one of the important things about being a writer, but I think its something that can be used to your advantage in your writing career.

Hope this helps. Let your clothes work for you!

Sarah Allen

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Enter Man with a Gun

In one of the writing books I've read it talked about a writer who, whenever things were dragging or getting boring, he would send in a man with a gun. Metaphorically or literally, both work. I really like this idea and it's helped me get through important but perhaps boring scenes, and create a more overall exciting story.

This idea has helped me as I'm writing my way through my novel. Just think, how can things get worse? Who is the last person she would want to see right now? And then make that worst thing happen or bring that undesired person in.

'Man with a Gun' could be something like a haunting dream, a letter from a relative, someone in the hospital, something found in Grandma's attic, a natural disaster warning, an unexpected pregnancy, anything that can jolt your characters into passionate action. A plain old man with a gun works too.

I'd love to hear your ideas about keeping things going and going interestingly. I hope this helps, and best of luck in all your writing!

Sarah Allen

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Personal Artistic Quirks and Kinks: Break Down Scenes

Ok, so this is kind of a weird subject, but its something I've been thinking about lately. What I mean by "personal artistic quirks and kinks" is this: what are the things you look for or watch for? What specific something will automatically make you list a book/movie/show as one of your favorites?

I'll use myself as an example. My personal kink is break down scenes. A well done break down will make me love the book/movie/show. House is a good example of this. I love House not because of the medical mysteries but because of Hugh Laurie's awesomeness at break down scenes. (See season 6 finale, among others). Monk was awesome for the same reason. I'm not sure why I feel this way, or what it says about me, but it is what it is.

So what are your kinks? I'm curious. I feel like having those kinks in your own writing is inevitable. Is that the case for you? What I mean is, everything I write has some form of a break down scene. For me, that's what art is: breaking down a character, pushing them to the extreme until you see who they are and what they really want.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Sarah Allen

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The First Draft as Outline Theory

If you're anything like me, it takes hours to bleed out a thousand words of writing. I can't help it, I analyze and stress over every word and every sentence, and that is so not helpful for cranking out a first draft. So this past week I have come up with an idea that has actually helped me quite a bit. I call it the first draft-as-outline theory.

Basically, you just write through your first draft with a mindset that its not actually a first draft, but just an outline. A very detailed, sentence by sentence outline. It is basically to tell you what information needs to be in which sentence where. Tell yourself that yes, these aren't the exact right words, but your just getting it out there and you can come back later and rewrite the entire thing as your real first draft. Don't look back. As much as possible, let the words just come and remind yourself that this is just an outline, you'll write it better later. Put it on a sticky note on your desk if you have to.

Following this pattern I've come up with the first 2500 words of my novel in the past few days, which for me is a ton. I will never fully get over my bleeding habits, I don't think, so its still a slow process, but its definitely faster thinking of things this way then it was before. I hope it helps you guys too.

Sarah Allen
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