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The Writer's Compass » The Writer’s Life

You Might Be a Writer if…

You might want to be a writer if… Your dinner conversation is about your latest plot. Your characters are your best friends. You pitch to three agents who all want the completed manuscript–that you haven’t written yet. You insist all your family and friends read this draft, even though they’ve already read the last three drafts–so they can compare and tell you how much better it is. You have a quote for every occasion from the brilliant dialogue of your characters. You have a million story ideas until you sit down to write. You are working on your 27th draft and still don’t know how to fill in the middle You have 38 rejections and counting. The only people who understand you are others who want to be writers. One criticism wipes out a dozen praises. You measure time by the … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, Critiques and Feedback, The Writer's Life

JOIN ME AT GLAWS 2013

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference occurs this weekend at Los Angeles Valley College in L.A. Click here. I will be on one panel and then presenting the following workshops: Friday, June 14, 3:15-4:15 pm “The Short Story Market” a short story panel Saturday, June 15, 4:30-5:30 pm “Creating Imagery from Cultural Metaphors for Screenwriting and Novels” Sunday, June 16, 11:15-12:15 pm, “Traditional and Indie Publishing” Looking forward to seeing you. Stop by my table with your book and I’ll sign it, or buy one there. … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life

Is It Really Writer’s Block?

I was staring at a blank page and I had nothing. That’s not quite true. I had notes on 5×8 cards, I had my ideas for the scene, I had the chronology of events for the scene, I knew my characters. And still, I sat on my bed, staring at a blank computer screen. I had to ask myself, what’s wrong here? I don’t believe in writer’s block, so what is keeping me from at least typing the notes I’ve already hand written. It was simple. I was sitting on the wrong side of the bed. No, really. I write in bed, for one reason because my legs are short and they dangle, which is uncomfortable for long periods of time, so I like my legs propped and the bed is the best … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life

Finding Time to Write – 4 Tips

Finding Time to Write – 4 Tips

It doesn’t get easier. If it’s not planned for–it just doesn’t happen, unless you are in the “habit.” How do you get in the habit? Find the time of day when you can most avoid interruptions. If the baby wakes up at 6:10 am, then 6:00 am is not a good time to choose. If you are perpetually late to work because you can’t get up on time, then you probably won’t get up early to write. If Aunt … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life

Screenwriting 101

Maybe even tougher than selling poetry is selling a screenplay. While there is nonstop television programming and movies available, how many of those are reruns? The cost of creating a movie or a new television show is high and only limited financing is available. Getting distribution can be as daunting as getting financing. But, wait! That being said, with today’s technology and new media, it is easier than ever to create your own video and get it seen by an audience on the internet. This is what I tell my screenwriting students, “Get together with your friends and do it yourself.” However, you’ll want to start with a good screenplay. This was an article written as a guest blog for Morgen Bailey and the rest of the article is posted at  http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/guest-post-screenwriting-101-by-nancy-dodd/.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, The Writer's Life

Interview, Blog on Critiquing, Upcoming Seminar

Interview, Blog on Critiquing, Upcoming Seminar

1 Kris Wampler, author of Love Train, interviewed me on his indie writer’s blog on January 12 covering a variety of topics indie writers may be interested in reading. In the interview we discuss: the 3 most common mistakes writers make, the 3 things a writer should do first, what are the signs of a well-written article or story, getting criticism, and marketing techniques, 2 On January 12, 2012, Morgen Bailey posted my guest blog on “How Do You Handle … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Critiques and Feedback, The Writer's Life

Bringing Your Inner Writer to Life

Bringing Your Inner Writer to Life

January 6, 2012, Edie Crabtree wrote a review of The Writer’s Compass in the Newport Beach Independent, highlighting the book as an amazing tool for aspiring writers. “A very well mapped out book, ‘Compass’ covers every topic necessary to see a writing project through to completion, including simply setting time aside to write, and not letting the distractions of everyday life keep us from fulfilling our goals,” Crabtree says. The review and additional insights into the book can … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life

New Year’s Approach to Writing

New Year’s Approach to Writing

Donna Renzulli, author of the children’s book “Dangerous Reading,” posted an interview with me on her blog “A Writing Primate” as an inspiration for New Year’s resolutions for writers. http://awritingprimate.com/2011/12/30/nancy-ellen-dodd-author-of-the-writers-compass/. Below are the questions she asked: Tell us what you mean by developing a “mind-set” for writing, and how important is it to the creative process? You equate story-telling with building a house: foundation, adding structure of walls and roof, the flooring, painting and adding designer touches. Elaborate for us … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life

More on Creating Characters

More on Creating Characters

Mike Angley, award-winning author of the Child Finder Trilogy interviewed me for his blog. Much of the conversation had to do with developing strong characters, as well as some other thoughts I hope you will find interesting. Check out the interview and more about Mike and his trilogy at http://childfinder.us/?p=3822. Also, if you missed it, be sure to check out Sylvia L. Ramsey’s “Thoughtful Reflections” blog with our interview at http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/search?q=dodd. Sylvia has some interesting questions … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life

Finding Ideas: Where are they when you need one?

Finding Ideas: Where are they when you need one?

Actually, they are everywhere, it’s just that sometimes we are too focused on the immediate to see the potential. When our minds are filled with paying bills and making ends meet or job stresses, home stresses, family stresses, or school stresses, it can be difficult to look objectively or creatively at the world around us and see the stories strewn haphazardly about. Ideas come from strong emotions and feelings, from inspiration like paintings or music or a … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The Writer's Life, Writing Exercises

Living a Writer’s Life

Living a Writer’s Life

Mapping Your Life as a Writer   What does it mean to you to become a writer? At what point will you feel like a writer? What will being a writer look like in your everyday world? Chapter 11 discusses what living as a writer means including: 9 Qualities of Successful Writers Do you need talent or luck? Effective Networking Do you need a writer’s group? Entering Writing Competitions Setting Goals that Make Sense Combining Writing with Another Career Quality Writing Can I Make … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, The Writer's Life