Current Stories on COWRITE.NET

This seems like quite an interesting idea. I think, you guys should give it a look. ^-^ is a writing game.

In realtime you create a story together with others. Everybody proposes and votes sentences. After a minute only the best sentence is kept.

Are you good at coming up with possibilities how to continue a story? Are you creative and imaginative in finding good follow up sentences? Can you quickly find a nice sentence that develops the story into the direction you’d like it? One that the others like too, so they vote you up? Watch the video below to get more of an impression.

(update) Now starting to organize two daily tournaments: One at 11am GMT, which is 12:00 CET in Europe, 10pm in Sydney, and the other tournament at 9pm GMT which is 22:00 CET in Central Europe and 4pm US Eastern Time. Looking forward to see you there.

I’m @malie129 on twitter. Don’t forget to tell your friends if…

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Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  

How to write more, faster, now

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

After I publish a book, I tend to fall into a mild bout of postpartum depression. To head that off, I’m writing a new crime novel as I prepare to launch the finale to This Plague of Days. This new one has a very fast pace and I’m also writing it fast. This isn’t going to fall into a plotting versus pantsing discussion because, Thor knows, we’ve all hit that gong plenty hard already. Today, let’s talk about how to discover your story.

Here’s four writers to pay attention to, in case you don’t care what I think:

1. Anthony Burgess had a cool trick I’ve used. Pick three words at random. Those words will appear in your next chapter.

Go! You’ll find gooey, fudge brownie richness with that one tool alone.

2. E.L. Doctorow said writing a book is, “like driving a car at night. You never see further…

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Published in: on May 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  


Fantasy Author's Handbook

Worldbuilding—the creation of completely imagined settings—is the cornerstone of the fantasy and science fiction genres, and the exercise can be enormously fun and immersive in its own right. In fact, the biggest challenge for most genre authors isn’t “when can I stop worldbuilding?” but “how can I stop worldbuilding?” There’s always another question to be answered, another secret ritual, another set of military or political ranks.

In my eight-week Worldbuilding class, I break the task of building an SF or fantasy world into six broad categories. And though the class is about how to build compelling settings, I try to keep circling back to what I insist is at the heart of the whole enterprise: story.

A story is characters in conflict. Stories are about people doing things. And as storytellers we always have to start with characters, put them into an interesting situation, and think of…

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Published in: on February 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

What authors should stick in their ears and eyes to succeed

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

The following is a list of resources for anyone interested in writing and publishing. I’m going to head off any rancour immediately and tell you this is neither meant to be a comprehensive list nor is it in any particular order. Okay? Okay. Read on.

1. Joe Konrath’s blog: Arguments are made. Elucidation ensues. Many writers have become author/publishers after reading Konrath’s blog.

2. Self-Publishing Podcast: The guys behind Write, Publish, Repeat often have great guests, but co-host David Wright who is the soulless soul of the show. Always NSFW. New episodes every Thursday. Joanna Penn appears this coming Thursday. (i.e. week of Valentine’s Day, 2014.)

3. The Creative Penn (podcast): Joanna Penn talks to movers and thumpers in self-publishing. Expect a plethora of brilliant pieces on book marketing. Joanna is very innovative so you’ll no doubt discover resources here you didn’t know you needed. 

4. Dead Robots Society (podcast): They…

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Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

►► ‘Read Tuesday’ — Discount on “After Life” for 36 hours

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 11:56 am  Comments (2)  

Brainstorming better book titles (and what can kill a good one)

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

1. The tone of the title should match the genre. If your thriller’s title makes potential readers think of young adult romance, keep brainstorming.

2. Non-fiction titles tend to be linear promises to provide solutions to a problem you have identified. Deliver.

3. Intriguing is good. Confusing is not. That’s a fine balance. I loved the titles Bigger Than Jesus and Higher Than Jesus. However, it’s pronounced “Hay-soose” and it’s about a funny, hardboiled Cuban hit man. Titles you (and I) have to explain (endlessly!) are not good titles. The cover treatment by Kit Foster of Kit Foster Design saves me from readers who buy my crime novels thinking they are religious books. Also, I do have another solution to this problem. I’ll explore that next year, after a couple more books are written. In the meantime, I remain an idiot for thinking those titles would serve me better than…

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Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

#NaNoWriMo: Story stuck and stalled? Try this.

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

You’ll probably get stuck from time to time. Most everyone does, so don’t panic.

If you get stuck often, outline more to save writing time and stay on track. Keep in mind that outlines are merely guidelines. You’re just dating your outline casually. It’s not serious and you don’t have to marry it. With the shadow of commitment gone, you still have your free and fun, bright and shiny creative mojo working for you.

I’m a pantser, but I do have an idea where my stories are headed. We may take a winding trip to get to our destination, but we will get there, hoping we won’t get stuck and be forced to back up thirty pages or so before we can move forward again. I’ve had to do that. It sucks, sucks away forward momentum and saps confidence. So let’s crash through that mental block and get unstuck.

Solutions to get…

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Published in: on November 13, 2013 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  

The Writing Books On Which This Budding Author Depends

A Momentary Equilibrium Issue

The Writing Books On Which This Budding Author Depends

It must be said that I have a pretty extensive library of books, and I’ve begun to add literary magazines to the shelves now, as well. A good part of this library includes books on writing, on editing, on reading like a writer, and those full of writing exercises that keep me from falling prey to the boredom-born monster who goes by the name of Writer’s Block.

Continue Reading

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Published in: on November 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Keep riding

Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Donate to my NaNoWriMo Fundraiser, and I’ll insert a character with your name into my NaNo Novel!

A Momentary Equilibrium Issue

There are 10 days remaining until the end of the fund-raiser for the Office of Letters and Light, and I’m only about halfway to my goal so here’s my idea:  for every increment of $10 donated I will write you something and send it to you.  In this instance, for every $10 you donate, I’ll create some fiction for a character with the name of your choosing (could be your name, could be the name of someone you love… or hate, or it could just be a crazy name you want to see in a story).  Much like a commission, the rewards will be as follows:

  • $0 – $9: A beautiful thank you letter, written in your favorite color of ink, with my quill, and sent to you (or scanned if you prefer not to share your address with a stranger).
  • $10 – $19: A character with the name you…

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Published in: on November 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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