Where to buy Traci Robison's books

Buy The Taking at:

Buy Tangled at:

Buy Gates the Hours Keep at:

October 30, 2010

Hint Fiction

In November Norton is releasing Hint Fiction, an anthology of super-short (25 word or less) stories edited by Robert Swartwood.  Each story reveals only the slightest slice of a much larger and complex tale, enabling the reader to ponder what that larger story might be.  In the introduction Swartwood describes things a story of any length should accomplish, qualities he looked for in the anthology's stories:
  • Be entertaining
  • Be thought-provoking
  • Evoke an emotional response
Swartwood describes the stories he chose as worlds in themselves.  A world in 25 words or less?  That's an accomplishment!  I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

October 27, 2010

Museums as Inspiration

Hey!  I missed Monday's writing prompt.  Sorry about that, but I've been under the weather lately.  I did manage to post some of my favorite online museum resources on writersvibe.  Check it out.

October 18, 2010

Intuition as foreshadowing

Photo by AJ Wms
You know that little voice in the back of your head that tells you something's not right or pushes you to go ahead and jump right in?  Instinct.  A hunch.  Sixth sense.  For me, at least, that little voice has a comparatively big influence in the choices I make.  As far as I know, it hasn't misled me.  I've made it through more than three decades without causing any major catastrophes and without regretting those few leaps I've taken.  But what if I'd ignored instinct?  Where would I be now?  

Look at intuition as a kind of foreshadowing.  You get a vibe and begin to imagine how the scenario will play out.  You analyze almost imperceptible clues so naturally you're scarcely aware of the process.  Intuition is often nothing more than a subtle feeling blended seamlessly into the moment.  Skillfully applied foreshadowing functions the same way.

For today's exercise relive a moment of intuition you've experienced and write all the details you can remember.  What did you feel?  Pinpoint the clues you drew upon.  Build on the memory and carry the scene from your gut feeling through to the final outcome.

October 11, 2010


Jim and I returned from our vacation a little over a week ago.  After more than three weeks on the road, traveling began to replace home.  Every night last week I'd fall asleep on the couch and wake up confused.  I'd scan the room in the glow of the TV and wonder where I was and what train I needed to catch.  The television screen seemed too large and bright.  I'd slowly realize I was on a couch, not a bed, and gradually remember the plane trip back.  Then I'd rise and make my way to bed neither relieved nor disappointed to find myself at home.

I'm already restless to go somewhere, but I've also been seeing my home with new appreciation.  Combines reaping golden fields in clouds of sunlit dust.  Long grass along the roadsides in shades of bronze and copper; the maple tree in my back yard turning vivid red while the neighbor's ash blushes purple.  The sun rises and sets in swaths of orange and crimson and sweeps across a broad blue sky.  Home is beautiful and plain.

Today write about returning from a journey.  How are the character's perceptions of home changed by travel?  How has the character changed?


October 1, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

It's exactly one month before National Novel Writing Month kicks off.  If you haven't participated before, I encourage you to give it a try.  Writers that sign up scramble to complete a 175-page (50,000-word) novel between November 1 and midnight, November 30.  After three years of giving it a go, I finally succeeded last year.  My reward was a virtual sticker, the satisfaction that I completed the task, and almost 200 pages of a workable draft.

Nanowrimo helped me get past my inner editor, too.  I had to consistently write 10 pages every day (twice that much when I had to miss a night's work for other obligations).  I couldn't second guess my choices, and I couldn't sit and stew over what to write next.  The month trained me to be flexible and to write the scenes as they came to me instead of strictly following an outline.  And, during it all, I was reminded how fun writing was and how many suprises a story can bring when you loosen the reins a little.

Go on, sign up.  You have a month to prepare.