• Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5: Perfectly Mundane Ways to Start a Story

    by Christine Hennebury Okay, so you want to write a story but you have no idea idea how to get started. All you know is that you don’t want it to be boring. You want it to be brilliant and exciting and captivating.  Your story can be all of those things but only if you actually write it. And if you’re under self-induced pressure to be brilliant, it will be very hard to get started. If you can even bring yourself to start typing, you will be editing word by word as you go. All of your energy will be going into trying to be a genius wordsmith, instead of…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: Advice from Greek Mythology

    By Christine Hennebury (with contributions from Alex Drodge) This week’s Take 5 Friday is brought to you courtesy of storytelling, my love for ‘transferable skills,’ and my 18 year old’s course in Greek Mythology this past semester.  While the characters in Greek mythology are known for things that have little or nothing to do with writing, I’ve decided to ask a few mythological figures for some writing advice this week.  Artemis – Goddess of Wild Animals and the Hunt (and lots of other things) While there is little physical danger in the hunting of words, there is still the potential for peril. That is why you must choose your targets…

  • Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: 5 Questions for Jaye Wells

    Christine’s Note: The last Take 5 Friday of every month will be a 5 question interview with a writer. Jaye Wells is a best-selling writer who is best known for her urban fantasy novels but she is also the author of High Lonesome Sound, a Southern Gothic novel that is one of the most delightfully unsettling books I have ever read. In addition to her own writing, Jaye coaches individual writers and she teaches writing workshops through Writing Workshops Dallas. To find out more about Jaye, check out her website – www.jayewells.com  and her marvelously alliteratively-named Substack: Wells Writing Workshop https://jayewells.substack.com/ 1) What themes do you find yourself revisiting in…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: 5 Ways That Focused TV Watching Can Help Your Writing

    by Christine Hennebury Spending a lot more time watching TV, Netflix, or YouTube these days? You aren’t alone.  A lot of us are entertaining and distracting ourselves with favourite shows, old and new, and taking comfort in knowing that the plotlines will be resolved, one way or another.  If you are watching TV and thoroughly enjoying yourself, then have at it.  However, if you are getting a little twitchy or feeling like you *should* be writing but you can’t quite stir yourself to open your work-in-progress, perhaps you can start by letting your favourite TV writers and actors inform your own writing. Here are 5 categories of observations to make…

  • Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: 5 Ways to Ease Distraction So You Can Write

    By Christine Hennebury I was going to call this piece ‘5 Ways to Fight Distraction’ but I don’t think we need any more battle metaphors at this point.  So many of us are stressed, distressed, and anxious that we probably aren’t up to fighting- not even metaphorically.  Instead, I would like to help you to find ways to EASE your distraction, to give yourself a break from the mental hop from thought to thought, and to choose something to focus on, even for a few minutes.  1. Lower your expectations If you are distracted and having trouble focusing, it’s probably not the time to try to produce a masterpiece. This…

  • Community,  Creativity,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Take 5: 5 Ways Writing Can Help You Calm Down

    by Christine Hennebury I know, I know. This is hard. Everything is uncertain and you are probably having trouble concentrating.  The way the news is changing from day to day is unsettling, it’s scary, and there is a lot that you could worry about.  However, if you aren’t too sick to write, I think it would be a good idea to try to get back to your writing. Even if you can’t manage a full ten minutes, a few minutes here and there will help you feel more like yourself. It will help you feel a little calmer, and a little more in control.  It might seem a little weird…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: 5 ways writing is like shoveling snow

    We’re having a ridiculous winter here on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. We’ve had over 350 centimeters (148 inches) of snow since winter began in November (we had almost 100 centimeters in one 24 hour period in late January) and we have more snow coming on the weekend. Earlier this week, I doing some shoveling after the latest storm and it occurred to me that shoveling snow and writing have a lot in common. Standing in a driveway looking at mounds of snow is not unlike looking at a blank page. You can’t know how long it will take but all you can do is dig in and…

  • Community,  Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: 5+ Questions for Julie Duffy of StoryADay

    Christine’s Note: The last Take 5 Friday of every month will be a 5 question interview with a writer. I send 7 questions so they can choose their favourites. This week’s writer chose to answer all 7, just for fun, so today we have Take 5 (+2). Julie Duffy is a writer and the host of the StoryADay.org creative writing challenge.  Her website’s slogan is ‘Write today, not someday’ and her approach to encouraging writers fits in very nicely with our philosophy here at 10 Minute Novelists. Julie’s focus is mostly on short stories but, just like us, she wants writers to persist, to find ways to squeeze their writing…

  • Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: Make the most of ‘gifted’ time

    by Christine Hennebury As a 10 Minute Novelist, you know that choosing to carve out small sections of your day to put pen to paper is a great way to keep writing.  Those chosen writing sessions are terrific, but are you ready for when you receive the gift of unscheduled time? Maybe… You’re picking your kid up from rehearsal and they run a little overtime.  You get to your next meeting a few minutes early.  Your friend has to cancel your coffee date. Any of those situations could present you with some unexpected time and you might want to spend those gifted minutes with your writing.* If you only have…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Observation

    Take 5 Friday: Yoga Wisdom for Writers

    I’m a big fan of taking lessons from one area of my life and importing them into another. As a result, I’ve gleaned excellent writing advice from taekwondo, storytelling, and now, yoga. Since January 1, I’ve been doing a daily yoga practice via YouTube with Yoga with Adriene and it has been great. Not only have I gotten stronger and more flexible, I have found all sorts of advice that applies to both yoga and writing. Here are 5 of my favourites and what they mean to me (you may get something different out of them and that’s totally cool): Meet yourself where you are Yoga teachers are fond of…

  • Interviews With Authors

    Take 5 Friday: 5 Questions for Daphne Gray-Grant

    It’s the last Friday in the month so we are mixing things up a little. This week’s Take 5 Friday is a 5 question interview with writer Daphne Gray-Grant, a.k.a.The Publication Coach. Daphne has just released her second book Your Happy First Draft which guides people through her system for writing quickly and effectively – with minimal stress! Many thanks to Daphne for taking time out of her launch week to answer a few questions for us. Read below for a glimpse into her writing life. Where and when do you write? I spend much of every day writing from my home office in a loft at the top of…

  • Craft,  Motivation

    Take The Easy Way Out And Get That Draft Done

    With all the memes out there about how HARD writing is, I think we tend to get the wrong idea about our work.  Sure, it can be hard to get started and it can be hard to work on certain aspects of our projects (particularly if it has challenging emotional content) but we don’t have to make it any harder than it is.  You don’t have anything to prove. Your writing doesn’t have to be hard to be worthwhile.  In fact, sometimes, taking the easy way out is the best approach to getting your writing done. Especially in the first draft.  There will be a time for working on the…

  • Uncategorized

    Making a Writing Practice Work for You

    Even if you spend a lot of your writing time working on your current project, you can benefit from establishing a writing practice.  Obviously, working regularly on a project is one kind of practice. In this post, I’m talking about writing for writing’s sake.  That means writing to keep your brain tuned up. It means keeping your writing abilities front and center so you can call on them when you need them. How does a writing practice help your current project? You know that you are going to spend some time on your work-in-progress this week.  Maybe not every day, but on a regular basis.  And when you sit down…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: Work Like A (Real) Dog

    As a writer, you know that inspiration can come from anywhere. And, I’m sure you know that you can borrow skills, ideas, and methods from all kinds of different sources. Today, just for fun on this first Friday in September, I have some writerly advice for you from my dog. Since she refused to be interviewed, I just observed her and thought about how her approach to the world applies to writing. So, here’s some advice to help you work like a dog. (A real dog, not one of those metaphorical ones that the expression refers to.) Be curious and then follow the scent When we go outside, Khalee likes…