ARCHIVE FOR Mary Carroll Moore

Navigating a Big Writer's Conference—What's Best to Do, What Do You Bring, How to Make the Most of Your Time and Money

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Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Mary Carroll Moore's blog, How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book.

This spring, two major writing conferences happen. One is the annual AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference in Minneapolis on April 8–11. The other is The Muse and the Marketplace, the premiere New England conference sponsored by GrubStreet writing school, on May 1-3 in Boston.
Mega-conferences are high opportunity and high overwhelm. Concurrent workshops, panels, and pitch sessions with agents tempt you to multi-task or bilocate. But the best results often come from thinking carefully ahead of …

March 23, 2015 | Mary Carroll Moore

The Urge to Structure—Phase Two of Building a Book

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How do you know you are in the structuring phase of building your book?

  1. You’re beginning to wonder the point of your story.
  2. You’re getting overwhelmed by too many islands, ideas, chapters, research, or information and want to begin to organize them.
  3. You’re curious about how you might start your book.
  4. You’re beginning to see a clear way to begin or end but are flummoxed about the middle.
March 10, 2015 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice

Storyboarding 101: This Simple Screenwriter’s Tool Can Transform Your Novel or Memoir

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Storyboards, the visual map that filmmakers use, save my books. They are my primary pathway through my piles of material.  They are my best tool for organizing and structuring my novels, nonfiction books, and memoirs so that a reader can make sense of the story.

I love them. I couldn't make publishable books without them.

I also hate storyboards. They are like bossy mother-in-laws, telling me what I'm doing wrong

February 10, 2015 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice

Imagining Your Finished Book—A Three-Part Brainstorming Exercise

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Winter can be a bluesy or beneficial time for writers--depends how much you enjoy holing up with your words and ideas.  Sometimes it helps me to think from the end, visualize where I am heading, especially when the days are gray and my writing feels just as blah.

Many pro writers use this "thinking from the end" idea--novelist Roxanna Robinson mentioned how she writes to an image when she begins a book.  But you can also use it like creative visualization, thinking about the real end of your writing journey, when your book is finished!

So, with the blog taking …

January 13, 2015 | Mary Carroll Moore

Craft Advice

Getting Started Again: Writers’ Tips for When You Get Stuck

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Tip #1:  Make Writing a Good Habit
Most pros say, "Just start."  It's true, that's the solution.  Sit down, open the document, type something.  Or pick up the pen and begin describing what you see.

But most of us don't believe it's that simple.  We have a thousand reasons we're not ready to start again.  Truthfully, we dread opening that document because of what horrors (bad writing) it could reveal.

December 9, 2014 | Mary Carroll Moore