• Beautiful Words,  Creativity

    10 Reasons Why Poetry Is Better Than Food

    Just like we eat a variety of things so that we can nourish our bodies, I think we should read a variety of poems so that we can nourish our souls. I love that some poetry is bite-sized like a Dickinson poem or a haiku. I like that some poetry is a full five-course meal, like a Longfellow poem.

  • Beautiful Words,  Community

    How To Leave A Kind Review

    Authors should be a shining example of leaving stellar reviews, be our opinions positive or negative. We know firsthand how much work writing, revising, editing, promoting, publishing, and marketing can be. Whatever our opinion, it can—and should—be handled with grace. Here are a few basic guidelines to ensure this happens.

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity

    How To Enhance Your Prose With Poetry

    The first priority of writing is clarity, yet poetry often muddies clarity for the sake of nuance, or metaphor, or an emotional journey. I believe that in novels you can use poetic elements —not necessarily formal poems — to enhance your writing and give your readers a more beautiful experience. I think that by using the vast palette of poetic elements, your prose becomes more distinct and gives you a voice that is unique among writers.

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    How To Make Words More Beautiful

    As we write, we can organize our words in such a way that their patterns, their meaning, their rhythm, their structure, and their message all sing together. Beautiful words, in prose, cannot be accidents. Finely crafted words come with discipline and practice. Lovely sentences do not lay on the page passively waiting for an optic nerve to come by and give them life. Beautiful sentences dance — they vary in their length, in their structure, in the vivacity of their verbs and in the nuances of their nouns. These words paint a picture — they don’t slap it together.

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity

    Studying Poetry To Be A Better Writer

    Poetry stretches the imagination, plays with rhythm, and meanders this way and that. To be a good writer, one that is distinctive and creative, one that presents facts or ideas in a clever, interesting way, one must learn to “play” with words. And there’s no better playground than poetry.

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    Great Advice for Writers of Short Stories

    By Rebecca Dempsey After more than a decade of writing short stories, here is what I have learned.  Write.  Read short stories. Read across genres, authors, places and times. I recommend Jorge Luis Borges, Arthur Conan Doyle, Carmel Bird, Ambrose Bierce, Etgar Keret, Tim Winton, DH Lawrence and Flannery O’Connor etc. The shorter the work the keener the focus is on how it is written. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation matter. There could be as little as 10 words to grab and hold someone’s attention so errors are distracting. Don’t have a cast of thousands, or a story crossing continents or time periods when there are only 500 words to do…

  • Beautiful Words,  Uncategorized

    10 Ways To Make Your Words More Beautiful

    April is National Poetry Month. Today I celebrate beautiful words. Regardless of tastes, preferences or trends, I believe the beautiful calls to us. There is something inside of us that longs for symmetry, for rhythm, for thoughtful curves. Often we can appreciate delicate images that spurn our emotions, that bring out in us the good and noble. We all enjoy art for a variety of reasons, but no one can deny how well-crafted art serves a purpose. Art can point us to the good in humanity, echoing ancient truths. Beautiful art feeds our souls. As we write, we can organize our words in such a way that their patterns, their meaning, their rhythm, their…

  • Beautiful Words,  Uncategorized

    Ten Signs You May Be A Literary Writer: A Very Silly Quiz

    You’re writing a book and all of your hundreds of readers want to know. “What’s it about?” And you, gather them around you, adjust your cravat, look over your half moon glasses that are pretentiously hanging from a gold chain around your neck and you say, “I’m not really sure.” Why can’t you explain? It’s because your story seems to transcend certain genres, it’s a journey or it’s an introspective. Words like “romance” or “fantasy” don’t seem big enough. You, dear writer, could be writing literary fiction! But you say, “I don’t want to write literary fiction! Because I know the market for these kinds of stories! Yesterday I had…

  • Beautiful Words

    Technology and the Right to Create Art

    by Olivia Folmar Ard As much as I wish otherwise, writing isn’t a full-time job for me. Forty hours a week, I’m an administrative assistant at a public liberal arts university. During my time in this department, which houses communication studies, journalism, public relations, and mass communication, I’ve been privileged to witness students of these disciplines as they learn how to turn messages into art. The mass communication students learn how to operate cameras, lighting, and other equipment that will one day land them a job in television, filmmaking, or something else equally exciting. It’s truly eye-opening to see how much preparation, time, and effort is required for a relatively…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

    By Jennifer Worrell How many of you have heard the old saw, “Write it your way!” or “Write the story you want to read!” And so you do. And then you’re told…you can’t do that. Only {insert bestselling author names here} can do that. But no one explains why. How did successful writers get that privilege, and who gave it to them? Creative writing is nothing without artistic expression, but that’s impossible to achieve if you’re imprisoned by arbitrary rules. In search of a like-minded community, I joined far too many online writers’ forums. A lot are great (especially this one!) and can help you through many a muddy spot…

  • Beautiful Words,  Character Development,  Craft

    Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

      “I’m not bungling my dialogue,” you say to yourself. But you’ve had a few complaints from your beta readers about how they don’t like the characters. You’ve been told the story feels dead. While your plot is tight and your pacing is perfect, the characters themselves feel off. The trouble could be your dialogue. Dialogue is the soul of the characters. Dialogue is what brings the story to life for your reader. Are you bungling it? You may be bungling you dialogue if . . .  You’ve forgotten about the influence of setting. Your story’s setting may play a role in the way that your characters speak. But too…