• 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…

  • 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…