• Beautiful Words,  Craft

    Five Lessons For Prose Writers From Poetry: A Guest Post by Elizabeth Buege

    I’m a wordaholic. I love to work with words in as many different ways as possible, so right now, I’m a writing teacher, a freelance editor, and a writer. For all that I’m hooked on words, though, I’m definitely not is a poet. I read poetry, but I can’t find the patience to write my own. Still, the poems I’ve read have taught me valuable things that I now apply to my prose (as well as that of my students and authors). The following rules come from poetry, but the principles are universal. Whatever you love to write, they still apply. Here are the top five writing lessons I’ve learned…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity

    A Melody of Beautiful Words: A Guest Post by Amalie Cantor

      Music and the Art of Writing Before I embraced the mantle of “writer,” I spent two years in graduate school studying to become a professor of music theory. For those who may not know, music theorists take apart musical structures and analyze them as you might a work of literature. After years of searching, I thought I had finally found the perfect career path. My love of music always intertwined with my love for language. To me, music’s notes and rhythms were letters and words of a tongue I longed to better understand. But, as Victor Hugo once wrote, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Observation

    Becoming A 10 Minute Poet: A Guest Post by Sherry Howard

    Greetings 10MinuteNovelists!      It’s time to become a 10MinutePoet. All writers are poets. When we write our prose, we search for just the right word, often searching days for the right form of a verb, or the perfect iteration of a concept. I realized that I already had poetry in me a year ago when I first explored The University of Iowa’s MOOC on poetry for the first time. I’d enjoyed their fiction writing class so much that I decided to jump into the poetry as well. (Archives have a post on the fiction writing class.) The very skills that serve us so well as fiction writers enhance our…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Genre

    Creating Beautiful Words — Scifaiku! A Guest Post By Wendy Van Camp

    One Friday afternoon, I was sitting on a bench at a local science fiction convention with little to do for the next few hours.  I learned that there was to be a workshop on how to write scifaiku poetry. I had never heard of scifaiku before and was intrigued by the idea. I ended up attending the seminar and this decision changed my direction in writing. As it turned out, I was the only student at the workshop along with a couple of magazine editors that published this form of poetry.  The instructor taught how to brainstorm ideas for your poems and the elements that were needed for scifaiku.  I…

  • Beautiful Words

    Polishing Your Beach Rocks: All Beautiful Words Start Out Plain — A Guest Post By Christine Hennebury

    ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ – Theodore Roosevelt Have you ever read someone else’s work and been struck by the sheer beauty of their words? Did you then turn to your own work in despair because it could never match what the other writer had produced? Did the comparison take the joy out of your writing for you?  Anne Lamott, one of the great philosophers of our time, often warns us against comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.  She’s usually speaking in a more general sense of personal well-being but it applies to our writing as well.  When we compare our messy drafts with someone else’s published work,…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Beautiful Words,  Inspiration

    #Top10Tuesday Top 10 Links That Highlight Beautiful & Unusual Words

    1. Buzzfeed’s Beautiful Words: 51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences in literature. I found them very inspiring. 2. From Sliptalk. They call it, “These 33 One-Sentence Quotes Will Blow Your Mind Every Time. Especially The 8th One.” That’s a bit of an overstatement, but they are nice and noble and short! (That can’t be said about the ads!) 3. Untranslatable Words. This is a beautiful collection of words from other cultures that can’t be translated into English. I love the illustrations and I also like thinking of the imagination that came up for the need for these words. I also want to put them in my every day use right now.…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    Find Your Voice through Word Choice A Guest Post By Sophia Ryan

    An artist friend of mine often rolls a piece of paper into a tube and looks through it at a spot on her painting-in-progress. She says it helps her to isolate a particular aspect of her painting, whether it be a tone or hue or whatever, and then to compare it to what’s around it. Separating it, she says, from the distraction of the surrounding parts lets her really see and analyze it. Only then can she determine whether it truly fits. I stumbled onto a writing exercise the other day that acted as a paper tube isolation device for me. Unfortunately, I can’t recall which book it was in…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Beautiful Words,  Community,  Reading

    Top 10 Tuesdays! Top 10 Ways To Love Your Local Library

    It seems fitting to me to incorporate a tribute to libraries in my theme of Beautiful Words. Where else can you get access to free  beauty?   My local libraries have been very generous in helping me with author signings and events. I’d like to suggest the sooner you start loving your local library (and the people who work there) the better your relationship and the more help they’ll give you in your marketing goals. 1. Bring them a treat.  Showing up with cookies or donuts just to say thank you would almost always be welcome. 2. Donate your books. Libraries differ on their donations policy, so it’s better to ask…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    What’s in a Word? A Guest Post By Robin Patchen

      Does a single word matter that much to your book? Sure, a poet will pour over every letter. And according to a recent blog on this very site, reading poetry will not just make us better writers, but better people. But for those of us penning hundred-thousand-word novels, can a single word make that big of a difference? Absolutely.  Words are more than just letters on a printed page. Words can summon images and scents and sounds and feelings. They can be musical or plodding, lyrical or barbaric. Speak aloud the word lyrical. Do you hear the music? And barbaric sounds just that. Imagine the difference between the words…

  • Beautiful Words

    Why We Need The Beautiful

    10 Minute Novelists’ theme for April is Beautiful Words. Please check out all of our posts and consider how you can make your words more beautiful.  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, for delicacy, for images that spurn our emotions, that bring out in us the good and noble. We all enjoy art for a variety for reasons, but no one can deny how beautiful art serves a purpose.  It points us to the good in humanity. It exalts mankind’s creativity. It echoes ancient truths. Beautiful art feeds our souls. As we write,…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft,  Revising and Editing

    Top 10 Easy Ways To Make Your Sentences More Beautiful

     For the month of April, this blog is celebrating Beautiful Words! Today I have a list! Top 10 Easy Ways To Make Your Sentences More Beautiful 1. Eliminate the adverbs and adjectives. Stick in a metaphor if you want the reader to appreciate the nuances and features of the noun. Or pick a better noun. 2. Read it out loud. Listen for rhythms and cadence. Add in phrases or clauses to slow things down, add description or amp up emotion. 3. Don’t let it start with “There was” or “There were.” 4. Rearrange where the verb and noun are in the sentence, but don’t make it passive. 5. Add an element…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Discipline

    Why Modern Writers Need Poems (Or Why Poems Are The Equivalent of Kale Smoothie)

    Everybody hates the guy who tells them how to eat. Except it’s not usually a guy. Usually, it’s a conscientious, often neurotic mother, who while having very good reasons to monitor her family’s needs decides that everyone else in the world need her wisdom too. She may criticize your gluten, your sugar, your GMOs or your 99 cents a pound hot dogs. Her answer to everything is based on her research, her scouring of local farmers and her refrigerator full of raw dairy. And she’ll be happy to tell you what you’re doing wrong. I’m going to be that mom today. I’m going to say: You should read more poems.…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    How Do You Discover Your Writing Voice? A Guest Post By Ally Bishop

    How do you discover your writing voice? Sounds like a crazy question, especially if you’ve been writing for some time. But I recently worked with an incredibly talented writer who hadn’t quite nailed down her voice, and when she asked what I meant when I said as much, I realized that it’s something that we rarely discuss in writing circles, nor do we define its hazy boundaries. So what’s this elusive voice of which I speak? I’m so glad you asked. Think about the last time you dove into your favorite book series or discovered a tome in the used bookstore by an author you used to love. As you…