• Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline

    Take 5 Friday: Five Slivers of Time to Write in.

    Here at 10MN we are timer champions. We know how to make the most of a 10 minute writing session and we get a lot done in bursts of time. But what about if you don’t even have 10 minutes? What if you only have slivers of time here and there? Can you still get any writing done? Of course! It just takes a different sort of planning. Note: Please don’t think that I am advocating filling every moment of your day with ‘productivity.’ We all need our rest and only you can know if any given moment is for rest or for work. This process and these time sliver…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Why Novelists Should Go To Plays

    Why plays? The authors who wrote them are interested in the skills of the actor to make the meaning known. A well-written play helps us see characters as actors, helps us understand pauses, what is not being said, subtext, delicacy, and timing.

  • Craft,  Nanowrimo

    Surviving Nanowrimo in 16 Easy Steps

    For 30 days in November every year, hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words on paper. In a perfect world, these words would be brilliant and profound. It’s far more likely that the words are a big hot mess. If you are participating, then you know that you only have a week left to get your words in.

  • Craft,  Nanowrimo

    Eight Close-Talking, Double Dipping Tips to Succeeding At Nanowrimo!

    For 30 days in November every year, hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words on paper. In a perfect world, these words would be brilliant and profound. It’s far more likely that the words are a big hot mess. If you are participating, this is the perfect time to organize your ideas and get ready! The objective is to write as much as possible, you know, yada, yada, yada, not to be beautiful doing it. Sign up here so you can participate this November!

  • Craft,  Discipline

    What Good Writers Do

    Kindergarteners practice tracing letters and numbers as the first steps to becoming literate. Even at this early stage, they are taught the basics for a lifetime of writing. The sign on my daughter’s classroom wall reads simply “What Good Writers Do.” Only a handful of the recent preschoolers can read the sign at the beginning of the year. As they come to understand the words, the sign becomes a useful reference. It provides guidance on how to communicate clearly to readers. From editing to formatting to effective storytelling, all writers benefit from mastering the basics. They must to entice readers and agents.

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Observation

    Take 5 Friday: Five Field Trips For Your Senses

    We all have to do mundane and routine things to maintain our lives – errands, grocery shopping, yard work, and so on.  But, what if, instead of just drifting along with our routines, we considered at least some of our errands as ‘field trips’ for our senses?  We could use the sensory information we gather to enrich our scenes and our settings. And, in essence, we would be dedicating a little more time to our creative practice each week. I realize that you will not be able to do this for every errands you have to run every week. But even if you did it for a few errands every…

  • Character Development,  Craft

    Five Things Your Character Could Discover To Make Him More Engaging

    Your character should have serious beliefs that motivate him. These beliefs are also the foundation for his life as he knows it. He thinks that because of these beliefs that 2+2 will always equal 4. He's so convinced of these beliefs that he is willing to do something big for them. He may go on an adventure. He may join a group of people who share these beliefs. He may make a major change in his life for the sake of these beliefs.But what if these beliefs are false? What if underneath them is a foundation of deceit or corruption? What if what he thought was trustworthy, turns out to…

  • Craft,  Genre

    Twenty Useful SubReddits for Science Fiction Writers

    I do not view Reddit as a place to promote my books, although I’m sure there are subreddits you might be able to do a book plug here and there if you are so inclined, but I do view it as place to forge new connections and tap into the knowledge bases of fellow science fiction writers and fans of the genre.

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Take 5 Friday: Five Ways to Speak More Kindly to Your Writer Self

    As writers, we spend a lot of time in our own heads, trying to coax words onto the page. Then, once the words get there, we spend a lot of time trying to reshape them to clarify our ideas. It’s a process filled with self-esteem peril. We end up criticizing ourselves for not working hard enough, not working often enough, not working in the right way, or not working on the right thing. Or, we get frustrated with the words we did produce, wondering why we can’t match the ideal we had in our heads.  There’s an awful lot of focus on what we did ‘wrong,’ or on what is…