• Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management,  Uncategorized,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    Finding Time to Write by Joanna Maciejewska

    by Joanna Maciejewska If you ever tried to create anything with words: a short story, a blog post, or an essay, you know that writing is a time-consuming hobby. In a busy life, finding time to write can be both challenging and frustrating. So how can you do it? Evaluate your day Even though finding time to write might feel impossible, if you look closely, you might be surprised to find unassigned pockets of temporal space. They might seem too small at first, but as they say, you don’t look gifted horse in the mouth. If you want to write and you don’t have the time you need, you learn…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Into the Heart: Writing Flash Fiction

    by Christine Hennebury I really enjoy writing flash fiction because I can finish a draft quickly, polish it and do something with it right away. That’s not to say that flash fiction is easy, or that you can just toss out any old thing and call it flash fiction. This type of writing takes skill, but you can practice it more quickly that you can when writing longer forms of fiction. The cycle of draft, revision, revision, revision, completion is much faster when you are dealing with changing a few words, lines, or paragraphs than when you are dealing with page after page of text. If wrangling fiction of this…

  • white background, yellow circle with text reading 'Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff' By Christine Hennebury.
    Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization,  Self Talk

    Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff

    by Christine Hennebury A lot of my columns here on 10MN have been about ways you can tweak or improve your writing experience to make it a little easier on yourself. Today, I would like you to take a moment to celebrate the things that are already good about your writing experiences. You might even want to grab a notebook so you can make a chart or a list or a drawing so you can come back to it when you feel a bit cranky about your writing. Let’s start in a really general way.     1) What draws you to write? Many writers talk about a compulsion to…

  • Craft,  Reading,  Uncategorized

    Reading as a Writer

    by Joanna Maciejewska Almost every advice out there tell aspiring writers they should read a lot. But the key is not devouring as many books as possible. It’s making reading into a lesson: studying plots, characterization, even the story’s style and vocabulary. There’s much more to reading as a writer than it is to reading as a book lover. And even though writers mostly enjoy reading as much as any other bookworm, we have other reasons to read besides enjoying a good story, whether it’s entertaining or thought-provoking. Root out the not-so-unique ideas You come up with an idea for a romance between an angel and a human, or for…

  • White background, yellow circle in the foreground. Black text reads Use What You Know Improve Your Writing With Transferable Skills
    Craft,  Creativity

    Use What You Know: Improve Your Writing With Transferable Skills

    by Christine Hennebury Everyone is familiar with the idea of ‘write what you know’ but have you ever USED what you know as a framework to improve your writing?   One of my favourite things to do is to use my skills and experience from area and try it out in another context. Lessons from Taekwondo have helped me develop my writing practice and approach my work from a new angle. My storytelling skills inform my teaching approaches in Taekwondo. I refer to my weekly schedule as a ‘recipe’, because the flexibility I learned when baking helps me remember to keep my plans responsive to changes in circumstances. Each of…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Self Talk,  Time Management

    Flicking the Switch: Activate Writer Mode!

    by Christine Hennebury Thanks to Katharine’s terrific example, we all know that 10 minutes a day is enough to keep your creative life chirping along. But do you find it a challenge to make good use of that short period of time? Do you find it hard to stop your regular life and activate your writer mode? When my kids were small, I really struggled with that transition. I had lots of ideas but even when I had *time* to write, I couldn’t get much on the page.  And now, even though my kids are teenagers, I still sometimes have trouble switching into writing mode.  I know that Katharine has…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    Can’t We All Get Along? Making Friends with Your Inner Editor

    by Christine Hennebury Do you have an annoying inner voice? I’m not referring to your conscience. I’m talking about your inner editor. The one who keeps interrupting your first draft to remind you that it still needs work.   Unlike a real live editor, this one is kind of missing the point. Real, live editors wouldn’t expect you to have gotten everything right on the first try. And, they certainly wouldn’t interrupt you while you are writing to tell you to change that single word. Real live editors know that there is a time and a place for editing.  With very few exceptions, the first draft is NOT it.  …

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    Writing Multiple Projects: Pros and Cons

    by Joanna Maciejewska Mikhail Bulgakov burned the first draft of Master and Margarita, a book that long after death would make him famous. He wrote it for two years, and then in 1930 committed it to the flame. A year later, he restarted the novel and worked on the second draft for the next six years. For the next years, he worked on another four versions and even right before his death in 1940 the novel still had unfinished bits. Even though he had some other works published earlier (along with plays and short stories), he’s ultimately remembered by that one novel. Writing Multiple Projects Nowadays, in our fast-paced world…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Bullet Journaling for Writers

    by Joanna Maciejewska At some stage of my life, I gave up on buying diaries, calendars, and planners. They all had “wrong” layouts, not enough space or too much of it, and in the end I never really used them much. Then, a year and a half ago, I discovered bullet journaling and fell in love with it. I use it for my everyday life, but since writing is a part of it, I want it to be reflected in my “bujo”. If you are a bullet journal fan or looking into starting one, here are some ideas. What is Bullet Journaling? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, bullet journaling…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Observation,  Uncategorized

    Become A Seasonal Anthropologist: Holiday Writing Research

    By Christine Hennebury Holidays are full of opportunities for us to play anthropologist and observe the culture we are participating in. We can choose to pay attention to the emotional, social, and sensory details of the season. That way we can bring vivid detail to our future writing. I’m not suggesting that you spend your holiday season detached from the people around you. (unless you need to- see below*) However, if you take a few moments every now and then to take in the details of your surroundings, you can slow things down a little while gathering details for your work. Bonus: Those few minutes spent observing can help you…

  • Charles Dickens,  Craft,  Discipline,  Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Top 10 Signs You’ve Given TMI & Need to Cut The Dickens Out Of Your Backstory by Katharine Grubb 10 Minute Novelist

    You are not Charles Dickens. As much as you may want  to be Victorian, champion for the London’s most needy, and father 10 children, that doesn’t give you the right to overwrite your novels. That is, if you intention is to sell them in today’s market, you may want to reconsider how much backstory you have and how you may want to cut it. In today’s market, there are general guidelines for genres. Writer’s Digest has a nice article that breaks it down for your use. But these are general guidelines. Anyone who self-publishes can basically do whatever they want. And if you look hard enough, you’ll find exceptions to nearly ever…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Getting to ‘What if…’ Sparking Ideas For Your Writing

    by Christine Hennebury Writers often say that their stories started with a ‘What if…?’ Sometimes, though, it’s a challenge to get to that starting point.  It’s okay if you have trouble coming up with ideas, even if it happens frequently. But, to save yourself some stress, I recommend having some idea-generating techniques ready to go so you can get back to writing as soon as possible. So, what should you do to get your ideas flowing? In the big picture, you’ll want start cultivating idea-generating habits like going for walks, and regularly reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching shows that get you into creative mode. You can also spend…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Nanowrimo

    Top 16 Close-Talking, Double Dipping Tips to Succeeding At Nanowrimo!

    Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. 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! I believe that the objective of 50K words in 30 days is doable for…

  • Craft,  Uncategorized

    How to Write Foreigners in Dialogues

    by Joanna Maciejewska Last month I was writing about how to insert foreign phrases in your novel, but what if your character doesn’t speak perfect English? How do you write foreigners to reflect their struggle with English? There are many ways you can convey foreigners through dialogues, and since I’m a second language speaker myself, I tend to notice my fellow non-native speakers’ struggles (not to mention my own experiences in the matter!), so I’d like to share some of them with you. Articles For a native English speaker, there’s a clear difference between “I saw a cat outside” and “I saw the cat outside”, but it’s not necessarily the…