• Craft,  Creativity,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Create a Writing Habit that Works for You

    What do you think is the one thing that successful writers have in common? Talent, you might say. An extraordinarily creative mind. Persistence. Maybe just plain luck. All of these can play a role, but they aren’t the determining factor. Consider what these well-known authors have said. Maya Angelou: “I keep a hotel room in which I do my work… I try to get there around seven, and I work until two in the afternoon.” Alice Munro: “I write every morning, seven days a week. I write starting about eight o’clock and finish around eleven…. I have a quota of pages.” Steven King: “I try to get six pages a…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    What Do I Do When My Story Isn’t Going Anywhere?

    It is very possible to want to write a story, have a story idea, and plan on knocking out 50,000 words in 30 days without really knowing the important necessities of a story. Sure, in Western Culture we've heard countless stories, we have a general idea of beginning, middle and end. We know that you need characters and setting and some sort of plot despite the title of this book. But to write a story you really need to get a handle on what's needed in a GOOD ONE before you try crafting one.

  • Craft,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Take 5 Friday: Five Gentle Reminders About Writing

    Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Joyous Friday! Whatever you are celebrating (or not celebrating today) I hope this post finds you with some of your favourite comforts and, perhaps with a little time to write! As a little holiday gift, I offer you these five gentle reminders about your writing.  You can write whatever you want If you are writing for your own happiness, to work your way through something, or for the sheer joy of stringing words together, you can’t write whatever you please.  You don’t need to be writing something that someone else would see as useful. Your writing can be just for you. It’s okay to write something…

  • Craft

    Eight Must Haves For A Great Story

    Now there are other issues that you may want to address as you plod along with your work-in-progress, like point of view or genre. But these eight are crucial. Learn all you can, practice all you can, and get all the help you can. And you can be an excellent storyteller.

  • Craft,  Revising and Editing

    Five Ways To Make Your Story “Good”

    Unfortunately, that descriptor "good" is a vague one. We may not even know what we're asking when we ask it. We may not want anything from the person we are asking except a nod, and maybe their dinner order. We really only want validation that our creative efforts aren't wasted and that maybe that MFA degree wasn't a waste of money.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Five Ways To Develop Writers Voice

    Each life has a unique story and we can't help but be affected by our heartbreaks and victories. We've all be educated in one way or another and this will play a role in the development of our writer voice.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    How To Make Your Scenes More Cinematic

    You've read over the descriptions of the settings that were rich and details. As you turned the pages, you may have had a sense of action and tension that felt exactly right. As you read the dialogue, you could actually hear the characters speaking. You saw them bust into the safe, stash the jewels into their pockets, and scurry out the back door before the owner walked in the front. You love books that read like movies.

  • Craft,  Genre

    Five Questions About Authority To Beef Up Your Conflict

    Understanding the nature of the authorities in your fiction will help you define your characters, it will beef up your conflict and it will clarify your antagonists. Your main character has less. The authority figure has more. As you are planning how your main character can get in and out of trouble, consider how this imbalance can build and sustain your conflict.

  • Character Development,  Craft,  Creativity,  Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5 Friday: Five Ways to Get to Know Your Characters

    When I write, I love to know a lot about my characters. I don’t just want to explore who they are inside my story, I want to think of them as (almost) real people who have full lives and histories. My story is just a glimpse into one part of that fully-lived life. When I think of my characters in that way, it gives them more depth and gives their actions more meaning. They aren’t just a plot device created for the point I want to make, they are people who are doing their best with the knowledge they have developed over their lifetimes. One of the ways that I…

  • 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…