• Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    Fantastic Fridays: A Tiny Plan For A Small Writing Victory

    When we think about our writing goals, we tend to think big. We set our eyes on the prize – the finished story, the published book – and we forget the small steps that lie between our starting point and the prize. You can’t write a story without writing a bunch of paragraphs. A paragraph is not possible without sentences. A sentence requires words. Words start from ideas…and so on. There are all kinds of small victories to plan for and celebrate on the path between our first word and our finished story. If you are trying to write but the thought of the “prize” is too daunting, perhaps you…

  • 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.

  • Creativity,  Self Talk

    Take 5 Friday: Five Writerly Ways to Round Out 2020

    Planning to spend the next few weeks in holiday mode? In relaxation mode? Going full steam ahead?  No matter how you plan to spend the rest of 2020, it can be VERY good for your writing.  Here are 5 links to previous posts to help you see how your plans can foster your writing.  Taking a break? If your plans involve taking time away from your writing, don’t feel guilty about it!  Enjoy that time away. Let your writer-brain rest and let those ideas bubble.  If you find yourself feeling a bit weird or guilty about taking time off, choose a specific time to get back to the page. Sometimes…

  • 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.

  • Creativity,  Inspiration,  Interviews With Authors

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions for Author Michelle Butler Hallett

    For this month’s Five Questions posts, we’re pleased to welcome author Michelle Butler Hallett who offers her insight and advice about the writing process. Michelle is the author of five novels – This Marlowe, deluded your sailors, Sky Waves, Double-blind and Constant Nobody (to be released in March 2021 from Goose Lane Editions) and the story collection The shadow side of grace.  Constant Nobody is available for pre-order here.  You can find out more about Michelle’s work on her website and on her Facebook page. What aspects of writing are easiest for you? Revision. I find the first draft intimidating and difficult. The first draft has gotten a bit easier…

  • 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…