What Do You Call a Writer Who Never Reads?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
1w ago
Oddly enough, there has been quite a debate over on Twitter about what we think about a writer who doesn’t read. In fact, going a bit further, the person who posted the Stephen King quote (below) mentioned she’d even seen blogs via new writers who openly claim they don’t read/don’t like reading. Before we get into this, though, please understand that I “get” everyone has different life constraints, budgets, and abilities. I know there are people with learning issues because I am one. “Reading” does not have to be paper. It can be digital or audio or even visual. Long way around saying, if we ..read more
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To the Pain: Is Writing a Career or a Hobby?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
2w ago
Pain is simply part of life. I think THAT much is clear as we are almost two weeks into 2023 *thinks of carbs and cries* Truth is, we have little control over most of what happens to us. This is true in life and in publishing. Control, in many respects, is an illusion. We can only do our little part on most things then hope and pray for the best. This might sound a lot like me being a Debbie Downer here, but the truth can actually be quite liberating. When we recognize there is only SO much we can control, it narrows down our focus and all the things we “care” about. We can set expectations a ..read more
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Self-Sabotage: I Don’t Deserve Success
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
2M ago
Self-sabotage is something most writers are likely familiar with. We just about get in the habit of working on the WIP (work in progress), and then suddenly we put everyone and everything ahead of finishing that book. Usually they’re noble causes, too. Cleaning the house, organizing the closets, alphabetizing the pets…. I work hard to make “success” books part of my morning routine when I’m doing my chores: making the coffee, making the bed, putting on any laundry, etc. One of my favorite audio books is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. Namely because the advice is practical, doable, and aligns ..read more
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Unseen Blessings: Are We Truly Thankful?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
2M ago
Pippa claims she is “helping” with laundry *head desk* At least in the U.S., this is a week where we celebrate all we are thankful for (or at least it is supposed to be). In our modern world, I believe it is easy to take WAY too much for granted. Hey, I’m completely guilty of forgetting all my blessings and letting the silliest stuff steal my joy. Since all y’all (correct Texas grammar) are perfect, I’ll just list some ways I can consistently fall short. The microwave took a WHOLE two minutes to make the popcorn and it didn’t even pop ALL the kernels. I needed to remember the other ingredients ..read more
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Horror: Why We Love It, Hate It & NEED It
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
3M ago
Image via “Blade Runner” Horror, back in the day, represented some of the greatest works of literature. In my POV, it still does. Sadly, however, horror ran into a branding problem in the 70s and 80s and many began conflating slasher-hack-up-busty-coeds with horror. Sure, slasher flicks are horror but not all horror are slasher flicks. Horror is incredibly difficult to write well. Guts and gore might work for teenage boys, but to really be able to write something that gets under people’s skin? That makes them walk away and ask the hard questions? Fiction that allows a safe way for audiences to ..read more
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Motivation & How What Drives Us Defines Us
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
3M ago
Motivation is at the core of everything human related. It’s the reason for the common axiom in law enforcement: Before you look at outlaws, look at in-laws. We humans LIKE to believe we are super complicated when, by and large, we are anything but. Articulating character motivation can help us when it comes to better storytelling. The best stories are, at their heart, SIMPLE. Notice I said, at their heart. Storytelling might be simple, but so is a top-notch soufflé. In fact, soufflés are an art form all to themselves. Simple? Yes. Easy? By no means. Yet, regardless of the time period, humans ..read more
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Guilt: How Shame, Regret & Guilt Shape Story
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
4M ago
Guilt is a tricky bugger, even in real life. What is guilt? Why does it have so much power? How can we use guilt in story and why would we? Before we unpack this sticky subject let’s begin, at least, with a definition. Obviously, the story will dictate which definition we use. We might even use all three! Though—as most of us know—one doesn’t have to break any laws to still be crippled by shame, remorse, and regret. An interesting aspect of guilt is that it may or may not be “valid.” Why do I use “valid”? Because all feelings are “valid” as in we DO FEEL THEM. But, do we deserve to feel them ..read more
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The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
4M ago
To prologue or not to prologue? That is the question. Does our story actually need one, or are we cool to just dive in? Great question. Prologues can be tricky. The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years with agents and editors. They generally hate them. Why? In my opinion, it is because far too many writers don’t use prologues properly and that, in itself, has created its own problem. Because of the steady misuse of prologues, many readers skip them. Thus, the question of whether or not the prologue is even considered the beginning of your novel can becom ..read more
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The Priority Parallax: What’s TRULY Important?
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
5M ago
For most of my life, being ‘right’ was my single greatest priority. Years ago, I believed I knew everything. Okay, that’s a lie. More like a couple weeks ago I believed I knew everything. More lies. Dang it! Truth is, this morning I knew everything then got some caffeine and realized I was completely full of it. It takes work for me to stop and ask the hard questions daily to keep me grounded. What if I’m wrong? Why am I really doing X? What is my motive? Am I afraid of something? Do I really believe what I’m saying I believe? Where are my pants? Calm down... I don’t spend vast amounts o ..read more
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Optimism Overdose: Sometimes Life STINKS
Kristen Lamb's Blog
by Kristen Lamb
6M ago
Seriously. Nothing is THAT funny… Optimism is essential for a healthy life, healthy vision in particular…sort of like Vitamin A. In fact, for the purposes of today’s post, optimism IS Vitamin A for AWESOME. Yet, especially since the pandemic made landfall we ALL know things have been far from awesome. A lot has downright sucked. I’m still teaching and fast-drafting and working because that is what professionals and—sigh, adults—do. But admittedly? It’s been a struggle. I’ve not left my house in 2.5 years because of the pandemic, multiple illnesses, and back in the spring we had to put my FIL i ..read more
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