Showing category "Writing Advice" (Show all posts)

Conflict: Not Just For Reality TV Shows

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, January 11, 2016, In : Writing Advice 

Conflict. I finally understand now why it is the single most important thing to many creative writing teachers. I grabbed a book to read while waiting on my computer to update and returned to I Brake For Bad Boys, a collection of erotic romance short stories I bought back in college.

The second story, Something Wilde, by Janelle Denison, was so well-written I bought two of her books. And then, in my twenty-two year old clumsy and unpolished way left scathing reviews of how bad they were in com...

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What's Up Doc? Part 3 of 4

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, In : Writing Advice 
Psychology has much to say on relationships and we (I speak for Americans primarily here) are obsessed with it. Is it hard science? Nope. When it comes to romantic love the heart wants what it wants when it wants it. In other words, love will fuck you up, and it can be a very good or very bad thing depending on luck. 

But is it really luck? How does the heart make decisions without the brain’s input? Put simply, it doesn’t work that way. Your heart is actually the primitive part of your br...

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What's Up Doc? Part 2 of 4

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, In : Writing Advice 
In this installment of examining how psychology can help writing, we’re going to look at some lifelong mental disorders that are surprisingly common in real life. Manic Depression (called bipolar by many), borderline personality disorders, and antisocial personality disorder are all conditions you would think belong only to villains, but they in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM make a sufferer automatically bad (but the last two make going bad much easier). With regular therapy and in many cases medici...

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What's Up Doc? Part 1 of 4

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, October 18, 2014, In : Writing Advice 

My educational background is in psychology, and I went pretty far with it. So often my friends ask me what you can use from psychology in writing fiction. The short answer is: understanding science doesn't have all the answers, and remember that correlation is not causation. However, if they want a long answer, well...there's a lot.

I remember going into an Introduction to Personality class in my undergrad years. The first thing the professor said was "if you're not a psych major, but a writ...


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Reflections on Plotters Vs Pantsers

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, In : Writing Advice 
I have recently been exposed to the terms plotter and pantser via a Red Sage author questionnaire. Basically a plotter plots everything out in advance and a pantser makes it up as they go along. Let me make clear: I HATE pantsers with the fire of a thousand suns. That is my gut reaction, but let me give you real world examples why being a pantser is horrible for your readers.

First up, let's take an example most people know (but know that I had to vomit about twelve times while writing this): ...

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Bad Writers and the Readers Who Hate Them

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, In : Writing Advice 
In Media Res is a valuable tool for any author. Starting your story in the middle of an action scene sets it up as fast paced, instantly has a bit of mystery to hook the reader, and saves you the pain of figuring out how much back story to throw out with the first over-thought line. Done right it's interesting. Done wrong it's a migraine.

I don't like to pick on many other authors because much of our opinions on their work are merely just that: opinions. I have no wish to start a war, but some...

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Sexbomb (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, June 17, 2012, In : Writing Advice 



Taking a break from the more structured lessons, let's explore one of the most popular questions people ask me: how do you write a sex scene?



Not quite, though this way would actually be trickier    Credit



  
 

It's very individual, but first let's explore a dirty litte trade secret. Dianne Warren, who has written most of the top love songs of the last 20 years, wrote them as a virgin who'd never been in love. I write inspirng romances and I'm so commitment phobic if I spend a night with a man I ...

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All Things Must Pass

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, April 13, 2012, In : Writing Advice 


Happy Friday the 13th to you all. For you superstitious ones, avoid black cats today, and don't walk under ladders, or break mirrors. For the rest of us, happy Friday.



Ignore the hoomin, we're not bad luck, we're too busy taking over the Internet

 

I had an interesting conversation last night over very good beer with a fellow writer, one who's somewhat starting out, who asked a good question (that proved he was a real writer): "How do you stop?" As in, once you get going, and you have to be some...

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Extemporaneous Anachronisms

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : Writing Advice 


I'm going to tell you a secret. Pull up your chair real close. Closer. No! Not that close, I can smell your lunch on your breath. There. Better. Okay, here goes: I love to read slightly-better-than-mediocre writing.


Guilty pleasures are often the best things in life

 

Er, wha? I know, I know, but writers get inspirations from the strangest places. For me it's the above-mediocre writing, you know, a story with great potential but the author fucked up one aspect. I read that and it makes me think ...

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Smoke. Smoke. ARE YOU SMOKING YET!?! (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Writing Advice 

 

There are many “subliminal” messages we are “treated to” every day. Even if, like me, you don’t watch TV to escape them, they’re still there. I can’t tell you how many damn times I’ve watched a “public good” ad online about taking to teens about sex and had to run out to buy a burger. Wait, wha? Well, those ads always seem to take place at the dinner table and families always eat either chicken or beef. Come to think of it, I eat way too much beef. Humans should only have...


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Fantasy v. Reality

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, March 25, 2012, In : Writing Advice 

Fantasy wins, but reality pwns
 


Before the official post, I'll share a funny story with you that's true. Friday I met up with my best friend who gave me a tray of baklava, for she knows my sweet tooth is small, but I can never pass up baklava. Ever. She called to let me know she got home okay and asked me to kiss my dog for her. So I did, but at that moment he smelled the baklava, jerked his head, headbutted me...and broke my nose. Kind of funny, but now after 36 hours the swelling is going do...

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The Remainders Of The Day or Fucking Muse (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, March 23, 2012, In : Writing Advice 


Inspiration is one of the most common things writers struggle with. It either rains or pours. We know about the drought times, aka "writer's block" but not about the buffet time. It's frustrating just as much, and if you've never experienced it, picture this: you had a big lunch at home and are stuffed when a friend calls you up and invites to you a $2.00 all you can eat steak buffet, but you're so full you feel sick, and now you feel pissed off in three ways. That is the feeling of having to...

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By The Numbers

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, In : Writing Advice 


The first thing most publishers, editors, and agents will ask is "how long is your piece?" or "what is your word count?" Now, what they mean is (for books) did you research enough to know general fiction shouldn't be 100,000 words, but historical romance or fantasy can be? For articles, they really want to know, "will it fit on the page?" and for short stories "will it fit in the room allotted for the cover design?"



Sorry, but it's true
 

 
No matter what they want to know they make you focus on ...

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Pet Peeves

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
How would the story have gone if Scrooge had a beloved cat? What if Scarlet O'Hara had St. Bernard in the middle of house training? What if Heathcliffe and Catherine had to argue over which one got the beta fish? Yeah, there's a reason why pets aren't very common in novels; they're expensive, time consuming, and little shit factories.

 

Or sometimes downright shit-your-pants scary, suitable only for Bond villains


 Oh, they are also our best friends, and the unconditional love of...a dog is a bea...

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Mental Illness in Fiction

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, March 5, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Hello my friends, I do apologize there was no post this weekend as promised. I was kept busy with my night job dissolving a business partnership that had reached its limit due to mental illness. My former partner has Borderline Personality Disorder, Manic Depression, and of course underlying anxiety with Histrionic tenancies and solid Narcissism. I am a licensed therapist so this means plenty to me; in layman's terms she's batshit insane.
 

Imagine if craziness were this simple...we'd be callin...

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The Dangers Of Reading

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
If reading isn't dangerous, why ban books? Why was illiteracy so popular when the Christian church ruled the western world? Reading gives you ideas, makes you think, challenges you perception. Dangerous stuff right there, those in power prefer ignorance in the masses, and writers are the vanguard of freedom of the mind.

Still, there is a reasonable line of too dangerous, when you just have to say "fuck it, censorship got it right!

Now we've all heard the reading-is-fundamental spiel, but we're ...

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Conflict or How to Make Writers Fight

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, February 6, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Conflict, conflict, conflict. Just hearing it makes me feel like Marty McFly being called "chicken." Most so-called experts and teachers will try to tell you conflict is everything. Once you write enough, you realize just what it is:

It's a *spoiler* TRAP!

Seriously, some say "conflict is everything." Oh, really? Let's invent time travel and ask the greats that. Seeing people get bitch-slapped by Dickens could become my new favorite hobby. In prose you have important elements: characters, plot,...

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Scheisse! or How Real is Too Real? (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, February 4, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Eating, drinking, fucking, shitting, pissing, belching, sweating, farting, nose-picking, wedgie-undoing...these are things all humans do. However, of this list, what is the only one you regularly expect in most fiction? Fucking. Humans are weird about that, they love their fucking, and disavow their nose-picking.

 
Fetish erotica manages to combine many taboo behaviors into one!


However when was the last time you read a story where the protagonist solves the crime while taking a shit? How many t...

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The Art Of Murder

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, January 30, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Death is the answer to life, the final summons for the jury-duty of the afterlife. One truth of fiction is the average novel has more death than a battle between clashing ethnic clans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Writers are obsessed with it.

The beauty of doing it creatively is most deaths you create will have as much forethought put into them as only serial killers can execute.

Meet your writing soul mate!


 There are a few keys to stick to when murdering a character. Remember that murder is most oft...

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Damn You, Ray Bradbury

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, January 27, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
I have many heroes, and one is Ray Bradbury. Oh, I immensely enjoy his horror writing, but one thing the man is a genius at is taking short stories and re-writing them, mashing a series together into a novel, rewriting quick-fixes. And it's always brilliant.

Now my editor friend suggested for a romance novel I, instead of the one I was writing which is..."alternative," as she put it, I should re-write a traditional erotic story of 1 man, 1 woman. Okay, no big deal, right?

So she suggested Auto ...

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Research: A Lost Art

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, January 22, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
When I was a child, born in 1980, I dreamed about the Millennium, and as a result I was fascinated with people alive at the turn of the previous century. How curious it must have been to have been born before the American West was settled, and live to see the blacksmith be replaced by the mechanic as the automobile came about. Stranger still to have been alive before women got the vote, or before penicillin. I wondered what I would see in the next century.

Some of it is pretty cool. Computers,...
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New COMM Paperback & When the Banshee Sings

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, January 20, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
First up, the 2nd edition paperback of Case of the Missing Millionaire is now available on Amazon.com and ships anywhere! Click on this link to buy. It's $8.99 and available now.

Moving along, one of the hardest things for most writers is to finish a story. I'm not bragging when I say it's easier for me, I am many things but "sentimental" has never once been used to describe me. Still when I finish one I feel sad, morose, and mopey, and the only thing to cheer me up is to plan a sequel, even w...
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Plagiarism: The Modern Twist

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, January 13, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Today I w as on the Literotica discussion board with fellow authors there, checking on things after posting a new story (Wolf Tales I: The Claiming) and found a thread about a serious plagiarism problem facing erotica authors. I snockered at how quickly professional writers who craft novels and smith-words devolve into name calling that would embarrass a ten year old, but one writer did contribute a good link: Amazon's Plagiarism Problem.

 Both writers and readers need to be particularly on gu...
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Writing With ADHD

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
The one surprising question I never get when telling people I have ADHD (going on 30 years since I was diagnosed) is how it affects me when writing. The short answer: I need to do 50+ things at once, but they need to have a theme and help me focus. So when writing I ignore the phone, limit browsing the web, and watch movies on my laptop while I write. Movies are better than music because they have both the audio & visual component, and tell a story.

Here is a list of the movies I most commonly...
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Happy New Year & Kindle Lending

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, January 1, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Happy New Year, one and all. All right, in all pragmatic fairness, no one can ensure 365-6 continuous days of happiness, so um, Survive the New Year?

First off, my first novel Case of the Missing Millionaire for Kindle is now available through Kindle Select for 90 days. This means if you're a Kindle user and have Amazon Prime (I do and if you don't, Prime is soooo worth it. For something like $75 a year all your 2-day shipping on Prime products is free and your overnight is only $3.99. I proba...
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Writing At The Holidays

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, December 17, 2011, In : Writing Advice 
Finding time to write this time of year is a tough thing, even for someone who doesn't do most holiday parties like me. There is shopping for the New Year's Eve getup, all the birthdays (for one I am flashmobbing a Taco Bell tonight, you know, like ya do), and all the normal things make it tough to keep focused on writing. Add in what most people face: holiday baking, travel, Christmas shopping, and it's a nightmare.

I would suggest my personal strategy: save up your anger and write death scen...
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Fixing Characters

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, December 1, 2011, In : Writing Advice 
Back in 2008 I taught creative writing, and most of my students had been writing most of their adult lives, and wanted to learn tricks. There really aren't many tricks to writing fiction, but there are simple guidelines. Most classes will try to tell you there are firm rules, and yes, when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation there are (if you can see what was wrong with the punctuation in the previous clauses then you are a master of punctuation!). When it comes to style, voice, or...
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Networking: Heaven & Hell

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, In : Writing Advice 
This weekend was a tumultuous one in the world of writing, and today was crazy! 

First today I finished the final chapter of Darkness Calling, the story I have had the deepest love/hate relationship with. I based it off a dream I had when I had just started dating my ex-husband. Writing was slow, and then for 2 years I took a break from it while suffering deep depression after my divorce. My fans hounded me enough that I caved and returned to writing it this past year. Saying goodbye to the ch...
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Of Dubstep & Thanskgiving

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, November 26, 2011, In : Writing Advice 
I hope everyone had a good holiday. I'll be honest: I did not. I have always and will always hate Thanksgiving with a passion and surviving it is the best I can look forward to. The funny thing is i almost believe I tempted the universe by comparing the family dinner I attend to dubstep: the words/lyrics are stolen, the pace changes randomly, and there's no art to it. Over the last 48 hours dubstep keeps being foisted on me, no matter how much I hate it.

So my mood is a bit dark, actually bett...
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Notes on the Neurotic, Psychotic, and Erotic Art of Writing


Nora Quick A blog on writing and my thoughts on the subject, many humorous, and often birdwalking

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