Building Characters- Part 1 (February 2018)

We’re revisiting our roots this month and getting back into the craft of writing with the start of a series on character development. Being romance and women’s fiction authors, we feel strongly that characters are the most important part of your story. The decisions they make drive plot and, when they’re written well, they can feel so real that readers form deep connections to them. We’ve all read that book where we desperately wanted to have a beer with the main character– that’s the feeling you want to create as an author!

In our February episode, Alexis and Julia kicked off the conversation with a discussion about building characters. Both of them talk about the different techniques they use to before and during the writing process, as well as some tricks to help them continue to strengthen those characters through the editing process.  Check it out here:

Or, as always, give us a listen on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Here are links to some of the things we mention in the show:

Thank you so much for listening/watching! We’ll see you in March   with more fun craft of writing talk (which is seriously one of our favorite things, ever!).

If you found this episode helpful, please consider leaving a review wherever you watched/listened to it. And if you feel inclined to drop a dollar in our tip jar, check out our Patreon page for more information (and fun bonuses).

 

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What is Scrivener? (April 2017)

We realized that we mention Scrivener a lot on First Draught, so it seemed like a good idea to devote a show to what it is, what we love about it, and how we use it in our daily writing lives. One of the number one takeaways from our conversation is that there is no one right way to use this software– we each use it differently. Our hope is that by sharing our experiences, we’ll give you some direction to start playing on your own and figure out what works best for you. (And when you do, drop us an e-mail or leave a comment here, we’d love to hear about it!)

We’ve included a couple screen shots at the bottom of this post that highlight Julia’s method of using Scrivener for a series bible and how Alexis uses it to organize promotion for her books. As an added bonus, Julia will be making a Scrivener series bible template, and would be happy to send you a copy when it’s ready. Just drop by her website and send her a message (you might as well sign up for amazing newsletter while you’re there, too– just saying.)

And of course you can also listen on iTunes or SoundCloud and drink along with us (details here).

Screenshots:

Julia’s series bible (note the folders on the left, to see how she is organizing and writing her whole series in this one file):

 

How Alexis uses Scrivener to organize promotion:

 

Links:

Details about Scrivener

Details about Vellum

And finally, you didn’t think we’d forget to show off these two beautiful covers we talked about, did you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for watching/listening and reading! See you next month!

Note: This show was not sponsored by Scrivener/Literature & Latte. We just like their product and wanted to share. 

How to Tackle Revisions (February 2017)

You’ve written the draft, sent it to beta readers or a critique partner, and now you’ve got a bunch of notes on your manuscript. What next?

In this month’s First Draught we tackle how to sort through all those suggestions, a few different ways to organize the editing process, and what to do when you think you’ve gotten some bad advice. We also debate how much whiskey is really in Alexis’ glass, and whether Julia has a future as a telemarketer with her new headset.

Grab a whiskey, wine, or beer (we have recommendations for all three) and join us:

If you prefer to listen, you can find this episode on Soundcloud and iTunes.

Huge thanks to Jess L. for suggesting this topic on Twitter. Have a topic you’d like us to take on– leave a comment here, drop us a line at firstdraughtwriters@gmail.com, or catch any of us on Twitter (@AlexisAnneBooks, @The_Julia_Kelly, @marychris_e).

Show Notes: Avoiding the Dreaded Info Dump (October 2016)

We had a lovely e-mail from a listener a couple of weeks ago (hi, Ellen!) asking a question about one of our craft-related topics from a previous show, and it reminded us just how much we enjoy talking about that stuff. Since we hadn’t done a show focused on craft in a while, we capitalized on this good energy and decided to dive into the mechanics of writing.

This month, we tackle how to tell the “story behind the story” without just dumping it all on the page (aka, The Info. Dump). When you delve too deeply into back story you run the risk of losing your reader, so we’re giving you tips on how not to do that. And also taking cookie analogies way too far… you don’t want to miss this.

Watch the show here:

Or listen on Soundcloud or iTunes.

While you’re watching/listening, we’d suggest you sip on an Oktoberfest, some hot chocolate, or– if you’ve just run 8 miles or aren’t feeling so great– some good ‘ole fashioned water (but, in a fun mug).

And finally, here are a couple things we mentioned on the show:

  • Sarah MacLean’s Rule of Scoundrels series
  • The example of “weaving in back story” or “leaving breadcrumbs/cookie crumbs” that we mentioned from Alexis Anne’s The Storm Inside (breadcrumbs in bold):

    Jake nipped my earlobe at the exact same moment he flexed his hips into mine, and I forgot everything I was thinking. Everything but him. I didn’t think about the ten years he’d been gone or how much I hated him. All I could feel was his hard body pressed up against mine, his rough hands as they desperately roamed over my skin, and the intensity in his kiss. We’d always made an explosive combination; that clearly hadn’t changed.

Thanks so much for watching/listening and please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what topics you’d love to see on future shows. Cheers!