Tag Archives: Siregar

Writing the Down Ending

This week on Hide and Create, Diana Rowland, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar and Joshua Essoe appropriately talk about writing downer endings on this, Diana’s last episode.

It’s controversial. While it’s true that life is just as much about sadness, pain, and the loss of hope as it is about wonder, beauty, and happiness, a lot of people don’t like down endings. Writing one is a risk. You risk upsetting your reader and turning them away from you and your work. Who likes feeling bad — even if that kind of ending is appropriate to your story?

Sad stories don’t have to be depressing stories, though.  The most powerful ones can be devastating, but they leave you with a ray of hope. I think that is the truest power of a sad story — great hope, enlightenment, and a change or broadening of viewpoint.

As readers, we remember whatever stories evoke the most powerful emotional responses the best. As long as those responses aren’t disgust at how awful the book is! That’s not what you want to be remembered for.

We’d love to hear from our listeners about what you think of down endings. Do you hate them? Do you like them? Why do they work for you? Do you remember the sad stories better, and longer, than the happy ones. . . . let us know in the comments!

Beta Readers For Your Writing

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Diana Rowland, Moses Siregar, and Jordan Ellinger talk about beta readers.

For some writers, beta readers are an integral part of the writing process. But how do you know what advice to take and what do ignore?

Well the most obvious answer is that if you see a particular critique popping up over and over again, you can be pretty certain that it’s a point that needs to be looked at. If a particular point was only brought up by a single beta reader, there’s a good chance that it was just a detail that struck that particular person wrong, and does not need to be addressed.

That’s not always true — you have to keep in mind the levels of expertise and knowledge-bases you’re working with. If you have sexist Uncle Tito tell you he thinks it’s wrong where you have the female lead punch her boyfriend in the chops when he smacks her, maybe take that with a grain of salt. But if you have your history buff tell you that they didn’t use flintlocks in the 1500s, then you probably want to double-check that.

Listen on for more.


Writing Rules You Can And Should Break

This week on Hide and Create, Moses Siregar, Diana Rowland, Jordan Ellinger, and Joshua Essoe talk about writing rules that are okay to break.

I think our final thought today is one of moderation. Learn when it is okay to break rules and when it is not. And please — make sure you know the rules you’re breaking and break them purposefully. Blundering through because you read some other author write that way is not the way to go. But when you know those rules, go ahead and break them — only break them when it benefits your story. Not when it doesn’t.

On Writing Names

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Moses Siregar, Jordan Ellinger, and Diana Rowland talk about naming things in your stories.

When it comes to naming characters or stories, trust your ear. In fact, it’s always a good idea to try your names aloud. Especially if you’re planning an audio book. What might look great on paper could sound awful or unclear or confusing or unintentionally funny when spoken.

Some ways you can come up with a title:
1. Copy out of your draft a sentence that could serve as a title.
2. Write a sentence that’s not in the draft to use as a title.
3. Write a title that is a question beginning with Who, What, When, Where, How or Why.
4. Write a title that is a question beginning with Is/Are, Do/Does, or Will.
5. Pick out some concrete image—something the reader can hear, see, taste, smell, or feel.
6. Write a title beginning with an -ing verb (like “Writing Names”).
7. Write a title beginning with On (like “On Writing Names”).
Write a title that is a lie about the story.
9. Write a one-word title—the most obvious one, and this may help stimulate creativity.
10. Draw inspiration from a familiar saying, song, or movie.
11. Take one of your titles and twist it with a pun (look at Piers Anthony’s Xanth series).
12. Using two you’ve written, see if you can combine the best elements for a single title.

Interviewing Authors About Their Writing

This week on Hide and Create, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar, Joshua Essoe, and Diana Rowland talk to Ben Love of the podcast The First Million Words about being a good interviewer. 

These suggestions and tips don’t only apply to interviewing writers, use them for any interview you find yourself conducting.

Writing Dialects with Grammar Girl

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar, and Diana Rowland are joined by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, to talk about dialects (and some grammar, of course).

Remember, the key to writing dialects, or accents, or using made-up words is clarity. Realism is good to a point, but if your realism makes your dialogue hard to read, you should dial it back.

As we mention in the podcast, Mignon’s campaign for her new card game ends at the end of the week so hurry over and check out Peeve Wars! I’ve gotta say, the game looks awesome, and I’ll be backing as soon as I get this posted.

Also, here is the book on dialects that Mignon suggests this episode: Trip of The Tongue by Elizabeth Little.

An Interview with Jaye Wells

This week on Hide and Create, Moses Siregar interviews Jaye Wells about her writing, her path, and traditional publishing.

Today, we kick off a series of interviews with each of the Hide and Create crew discussing our chosen paths into the world of publishing.

Writing Blogs with Jim C. Hines: Part 2

This week on Hide and Create, Jaye Wells, Joshua Essoe, Moses Siregar and Jordan Ellinger continue talking with Jim Hines about blogging!

Some standard advice is if you are a writer you should blog. Blog consistently and interestingly and [slowly] you will build a platform. I see why people dig it so much. You write stuff and others see it. And they see it immediately, there is no waiting around. Your content is available for anyone who cares to read it the moment you upload.

So why is having a blog good?

1) You can show off your awesomeness. A blog is a great way to show that you are, and why you are, an expert in your field, or that you’re entertaining. Obviously that means you have to write compelling content that appeals to your target audience.

2) You can build platform. A blog is a great way to get readers talking about you, to you, and to each other—again, assuming your content is interesting enough to talk about.

3) Search engine rankings. If you’re blogging about writing and publishing, the search engines will pick up all the keywords you’re using that readers might search for. The more relevant your content is, the more traffic, engines will divert to your site.

And why is having a blog bad?

Time sink. I mentioned consistency, and that it is important. Why? Because your blog is like a locomotive. It’s slow to get moving, but if it keeps being fed, it will pick up steam and get more and more momentum. But what happens if you stop feeding it? It starts to slow down until it grinds to a halt. The only way to keep your momentum is to keep feeding it new content. If you don’t have the consistency, you’ll lose what you spent so much effort and so many words to get. Readers are fickle. Especially now — it’s a reader’s market. There is so much out there, that they can afford to be as choosey and picky and finicky as they want. No new content on your site? Oh well, on to the next author who does.

It could be your time would be better spent writing your next story.

And in case you want to jump down the rabbit hole, here is the link to RaceFail ’09 we talk about in the show.

Writing Blogs with Jim C. Hines: Part 1

This week on Hide and Create, Jordan Ellinger, Joshua Essoe, Moses Siregar and Jaye Wells talk with Jim Hines about blogging!

Get to know Jim, one of the kings of blogs. Next week we get more into the nitty-gritty of blogging and how, why, and even if, you should.

Jim’s URLs
Blog:  http://www.jimchines.com/blog//
Benefit Calendar: http://thetinkerspacks.bigcartel.com/product/2014-year-of-the-poser-calendar 


Writing Podcast: A Year In Review

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar, Jaye Wells, and a returning Diana Rowland discuss the last year developing and recording Hide and Create.

First there was an Essoe and an Ellinger. Then there was a Dalglish and a Rowland. The Dalglish had to move along, move along, but then came a Siregar the Third. The Rowland went Walk About and gave us a Wells. The Rowland will be back.

Happy Holidays! Thanks for making this first year of shows so much fun and so successful. We’ll be back again next week with Season 2! No rest for the wicked.