Our Mission Statement:

The mission of Pens & Pages Writers Guild is to facilitate and encourage writers of all genres, to share resources and tips about the writing process and, most of all, to provide a positive and productive forum that will encourage and support each writer in his or her creative endeavors.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The book I was telling you about is called Page After Page, and the author is Heather Sellers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I write -- when I write -- in a fugue of intense concentration at the laptop until I reach the breaking point of near insanity or complete, cramped fatigue. (Hmmm... maybe I have just had a clue as to why I cannot seem to make myself sit down and write... very interesting...)

Like Amanda, when I tackle (and yeah...I mean 'tackle') poetry I like to use a #2 Pencil -- preferably a Ticonderoga (they just feel good) -- in a notebook... but I'll take any scrap of paper and have even pressed old receipts into service.

I think my hand gets too cramped trying to write out prose fiction longhand. The short bursts of actual writing coupled with the long, drawn-out plotting and planning of that 'just so wording' that goes into poetry writing (well, at least my poetry writing...) seems better served by the tactile pleasure of holding a pencil in hand.

As with everything else in my world, I'm a bit OCD about writing stories, and feel that I have to research until I'm a babbling idiot -- even if none of it ever goes into the story. I need to find a way to rein that tendency in, as I find (especially recently) that I'm all research and no writing.

I won't lie: I've reached a rough patch in my creative pursuits -- so rough that I'm ready to throw in the towel and say, 'Agghhh. Nice work if you can get it.' because 'never trying and thus having only the suspicion that I stink up the joint' is masquerading tantalizingly as better than 'trying and removing all doubt'...

But I promise not to be a whiney self-absorbed brat about it ;-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So, I am curious about how other writers in the group write.

I use the computer for the majority of my prose, but on the rare occasions I write poetry, it has to be handwritten.

I've got a composition book that I do free writing in, as well as outlining for my stories, writing down random things that might spark stories later, or might show up in one in some way. Sometimes I take it with me and write in a restaurant or the library, especially when I'm stuck on my novel. The drawback to that, of course, is that I have to write everything twice -- once in my notebook and once at the computer. It's also where I keep story ideas, research notes, quotes that I like, and whatever else comes along.

I've been keeping notebooks for years. I have stacks of them, since I can't make myself throw them away.

I prefer composition books because I like the way they look, but also because they don't have spirals to get squashed, and the pages don't fall out like the perforated pages in some spirals.

Right now I prefer blue ballpoint pens, just cheapo Bics (but they have to write smoothly), though my preference in pens changes periodically.

Anybody else? Post in the comments or as an entirely new post.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amanda, here. I have a few writing books I'd like to trade (for other writing books, if possible), if anyone in the group is interested. I should be at this month's critique meeting to make the trade.

1. Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot and Structure, by Jesse Lee Kercheval. This book has quite a bit of good basic advice for fiction writers, and excercises at the end of every chapter. I liked it, but I don't think I'll be reading it again.

2. The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells, by Ben Bova. I haven't read this in years; science fiction isn't my main squeeze anymore, so I can't remember how good (or not good) this book was.

3. Aliens and Alien Societies: a Writer's Guide to Creating Extraterrestrial Life Forms, by Stanley Schmidt. Same as above, it's been too long since I read this to remember if it was any good.

I also have a copy of Grave Intent, by Deborah LeBlanc, who spoke at the writer's conference in Amarillo. I would be willing to trade that too.

What I'm interested in: I would like to trade the writing books for writing books, but would also trade them for something by Bob Mayer (he spoke at the conference, and I'd like to see where he's coming from). I also would like to read Deborah LeBlanc's Family Inheritance. Other than that, my current genre interests are mysteries (not so much the Patricia Cornwell-style ones, though, and I'm particularly interested in Raymond Chandler right now.) and Christian fiction (not romance).

My email is crum_amanda(at)hotmail(dot)com (except with the relevant symbols replacing what's in parenthesis.