Author Inspiration and Last Week’s Writing Links

Ciao, amici! I’ve been trying to pay more attention to scene-setting in my work, so I’ve been extra conscious of imagery lately. To that end, this quote by Shira Tamir really spoke to me this week:

Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead
has never watched them dancing on a windy day.

It’s easy to glance at leaves on the ground and think, “Ugh. I need to rake those.” And honestly, if a character said that in a book, I’d easily relate to it. But how nice to know there are people who can look past the inconvenience to see the beauty in the world. 

I want to write that way. But I also want to live that way. And I’m wishing the same peace and awareness for all of you.

And now, last week’s writing links:

Posts by me, about my work, or at sites I contribute to:


Story Empire

Romance University

Posts by others in the industry:

And when you’re done with these links, don’t forget to check out the sidebar, where you’ll find more links to some of my favorite sites.

Have a great week! Arrivederci!

41 thoughts on “Author Inspiration and Last Week’s Writing Links

  1. These are lovely thoughts and images, Staci. Leaves are still magical.
    As long as they are not mine to clean up! o_O
    There is a gigantic willow oak that is actually on the patio area of the townhouse next to me. That tree just loves me, and gives me nearly all of its leaves… sharing few with my noisy neighbors. The leaves are narrow finger-shaped things — impossible to rake. It gives me 10 bags of those leaves every year.
    Otherwise, leaves are pure magic. 😉 Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I edit for new writers, I find it a lot. And my sister is notorious for it. Craig says he is, too, but he’s not nearly as bad as she is. The problem is usually that writers picture their scenes so well, they forget to put a lot of it on the page. You don’t want to describe every nail and screw (unless they’re important), but you need to establish a sense of place.

      So glad you dropped by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I so love that quote. The mood and imagery it conjures is beautiful.

    I love when an author sets a scene and sucks me into a setting. I’ve always found you do an excellent job with that. Your Medici Protectorate series overflowed with richly constructed scenes.

    I know that not every scene requires setting detail–some genres or types of scene demand very little. I’m probably in the minority of readers because I tend to enjoy dense prose. Although there is something to be said for overkill too.

    I just did a DNF on a bestseller up for book of the year at GR. I usually love the author and her extensive scene setting but in this particular novel, I felt like I was slogging through molasses. The story just dragged. And dragged. There was so much setting and nothing happening, I finally had to say “enough.”

    I suppose in addition to setting, there’s also skill in knowing where to draw the line. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you about the quote. I thought the imagery it brought to mind was lovely.

      I find you to be a master a scene-setting. I love rich description, and your work is redolent with well-crafted prose.

      My first drafts lack that magical quality, but I try to weave it in where appropriate. (And try to force myself to leave it out when the action requires a quicker pace.) It means a lot to me to know you think I struck the right balance.

      Sorry about the DNF. It’s so disappointing to read a book that doesn’t satisfy, but especially so when it’s an author you typically enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was different than she normally writes and I think that was half the problem. I see a lot of other reviewers thought the same that I did….painfully slow.

        “Redolent with well-crafted prose”—wow!—thanks so much for that. It’s nice to know when effort pays off 🙂

        And like I said, you kick butt with it. I think all writers are too hard on themselves and it takes others to see them gems in our work!

        Liked by 1 person

    • You and my sister suffer from white room syndrome. I tend to go to extremes—too little here, too much there. I’m looking forward to the day I figure it all out.

      I’m excited about Lanternfish. I can tell your heart was in that one, and I know it will translate to the page.

      I noticed you got rid of the skeletons. I love the new look.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been told repeatedly that I AM NOT my reader. That’s why it’s hard to know what my readers like. It might not be what I like. So I’ve decided to tell the story I want to tell and hope my readers enjoy it.

        Halloween is over. I love replacing the bones (which were cool) with your lawn.


  3. I often struggle with scene-setting. On one hand, this makes my books faster. On the other, it detracts from the scene. I’m still working out the perfect balance.

    As for your leaves quote, I’m reminded of a Zen story I once read. A young monk in a Zen monastery spends hours racking every single leaf that has fallen from a huge tree in the courtyard. Once he finishes, he goes to the elderly abbot, highly satisfied with his work, and asks what he thinks of the garden now. “It’s nearly perfect,” the abbot says. “There’s just one thing missing.” So he goes to the tree and shakes it until the courtyard is covered with leaves once again. “Now it’s perfect!”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As I turned to your post I was watching little black-hooded birds chasing the falling leaves in our yard while Mr. Robin stands sentinel at the top of the cherry tree. It’s nice to just take a moment and breathe 🙂
    Hope you have a great week, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love watching the leaves change and fall. Not so fond of raking them:) I’m plot oriented when I write, so I have to go back in rewrites and add setting and descriptions and emotions. At writers’ club, I always hear, “Add some of the five senses!” Especially smell. I’m getting better at it, but I have to concentrte on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to concentrate on it, too. I’m character-driven, not plot-driven, but I’m so deep in the internalization of my POV character that I obsess over thought and feelings and forget to add perceptions.

      It’s interesting to me how we all write differently. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    If you aren’t following Staci Troilo’s “Author Inspiration & Last Week’s Writing Links,” which she shares every Monday morning, you really should! Great stuff here. I save every one of these posts for future reference, and refer back to the links often. Thanks for a wonderful series of posts, Staci! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Staci! Leaves definitely dance! I like scene setting and letting my inner poet out. It does give you a new look at simple things around. Thanks for the list and have a great week.

    Liked by 3 people

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