Monthly Archives: August 2012

Mark Forman again!

What’s a golterpiest? you may ask. You’ll have to listen to this interview with author Mark “M.L.” Forman to find out! Lauren and Ava discuss the business end of writing with Mark. They cover taxes, contracts, etc. . . If you want to enter the contest to win a bag of Mark’s Adventures Wanted books write a hook and leave it in the comments. This continues our contest from the last Mark Forman interview. We’ll announce a winner after Labor Day, next week!

Download here (right click and select “save link as” to download”)

Last but not least, we have some winners to announce!

Chas Hathaway won Watched by Cindy Hogan

and Becky won Tris and Izzie by Mette Harrison.

Congratulations! Winners, please email us with your shipping addresses at writingsnippets @

In its season

My garden is in mid-summer mode.  The carrots are done, the second crop of onions are in, tomatoes and potatoes thriving, and it reminds me on a daily basis that all things in the season is a natural law.

Strangely, that works for anything worth doing.

The first season of writing (and if this process doesn’t work for everyone else please forgive me) is a giddy imaginative trip.  Planting the seeds, in a sense.  Just putting words down on paper, no editing, not even thinking about writing style.  I’m going to be an author!  And no one can tell you otherwise.  So you write.  And write, and maybe get your first rejections.

The second season of writing is figuring out that you’re not a literary genius.  It’s discouraging because you suddenly learn that you can’t leave a story hanging in mid-air and you can’t just make up your own words and have your readers guess at the meanings.  Everybody has their own problems in this stage.  It’s a period of discouragement and euphoria and finding your own voice.

The third stage is the longest–learning.  How to construct a sentence for the greatest effect, using POV and voice and proper grammar and why does this word work while that one doesn’t?  This has its own stages, because each time we learn something and think we’ve got it right, we figure out that something else needs fixing.

This is where we lose the most potential peers, because there is always something new to learn and those who want to write perfectly right now soon fall away unless they’re true writers. The true writer gritts h/er teeth and plows ahead regardless.

Just like the seasons, the transition from summer to harvest is often difficult to discern.  The last stage is where we start to put those words out in front of others with honest consideration and the certainty that we’ve made them the best we can.  Some reach for the magical ring of publication–others simply enjoy the fact that their friends and family read and enjoy their writing.

Getting the steps out of order sometimes works, but seldom results in lasting success.  Everything in its time, everything in its season.

Which season are you in?


I sometimes (read: often) wonder about the mental state of someone who would spend  years putting their emotional hangups out there for everyone to see (and yes, whether you like it or not you do come out in your writing), spend more years trying to sell said emotional hangups, and get upset when they can’t.  Spend years trying to find readers, polishing and working, sending out a query again and again, fighting for a narrowing slice of an ever-expanding pie.

Writers are just weird.  I guess that means I’m weird, because I love it.  The writing is just a part of it, although that’s the part I love the most.  I also love getting out there and meeting other writers.  I enjoy the blogging (obviously, I do enough of it), and helping other people move toward their own goals.  Oddly, I also enjoy the editing.

Other people move toward the same goal in other ways.  We all take differing paths toward publication, through all the swamps and twists, but for some reason we all continue.

Every one of us believes we have something to say, something that others want to hear.  We all believe that our voice is the best way to say it, and that “If we write it, they will come.”  A species of narcissism, perhaps, but I really don’t care.  If I were to lose both hands in some freak accident I’d get someone to set up my computer for voice commands, and if my voice was gone I’d go insane listening to all the voices in my head–and no outlet for them.

I will continue writing until they nail shut my coffin, with me screaming and pounding on the lid.  “Hey!  I still have things to write!  Let me out of here!”

Book Hooks with M.L. Forman

One of our favorite guests and long-time friend of Writing Snippets, author Mark “M.L.” Forman joined us for another interview, Yeah! In this one he talks about hooks in books and how to bait our reader to draw them in and keep them reading. Listen to find out what a hook is, how to write one, where to place them, what makes a good/bad hook, and different kids of hooks. And comment on his interview for a chance to win one or more of his Adventurers Wanted books or audio books. Share your own hook idea and we’ll enter your name in our drawing twice!

Download here (right click and select “save link as” to download”)