• 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…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Observation

    You should Write What You Know, or should you?

    Write What You Know – debunked (by this author) by Sheri Williams As a writer you hear so many rules and regulations, then there are the suggestions and the idioms. And of all of these, my absolute least favorite is “Write what you know!” The thing about this particular “rule?” It’s pointless. (Most writing rules are) Writing what you know would leave the world full of the most boring books ever. Let me ask you this? Does Stephen King have intimate knowledge of sentient, murderous cars? Or killer dogs? Or killer clowns?  Does J.K. Rowling really have such an in depth knowledge of magic and the magical world? Did J.R.R.…

  • Craft,  Observation,  Uncategorized

    Bring Them With You: Writing Vivid Descriptions

    by Christine Hennebury Readers come to fiction to immerse themselves in the world of the characters. If you want your readers to really connect with your writing, with your characters, you need to master vivid descriptions. When you put in the work to make your book’s world as real as possible, you reward both your readers and yourself. Creating a detailed world doesn’t mean that you need to overload your text with adjectives. Instead, it means that you need to be precise in your language and selective in the details you share. It means that you connect your readers with your characters through their senses. Vivid description lets you fully…

  • Beautiful Words,  Inspiration,  Observation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Great Things That Happened When I Stopped Complaining

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist Sometimes, the world really is insufficient, faulty or stupid. But sometimes it’s just better not to notice.  A few years ago, after a particularly difficult time in my life, I challenged myself to watch what I said and to stop complaining. I thought that by stopping the bad attitude was just a generally a good step in the direction of restraint. I had no idea that this would change nearly everything about my life.  Now, this blog has the main purpose of encouraging time-crunched writers in their dreams, but sometimes, I want to write for everyone. I firmly believe that the world would change dramatically…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Observation

    Top 10 Ways To Equip Myself To Be An Expert Starer by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    Oh, how I love Flannery O’Connor for about ten gazillion reasons. When one of my literary heroes says it’s okay to stare, you better believe I’m going to do what she says. But in my staring,  I need to be equipped. I need to have the right tools. I need to know what I’m doing. I need to know why observing people makes me a better writer. Today I’d like to present Top 10 Ways To Equip Myself To Be An Expert Starer 1. I should have something with me at all times on which to take notes. If not the Evernote app on my smart phone, then a real life…

  • Marketing,  Observation

    Top 10 Reasons You May Hate Marketing And What You Can Do About It by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelists

    If I weren’t a writer and mother of five, I’d go into psychology or social work and listen to people. Oh, I know it’s not all fun and games, like what I saw on The Bob Newhart show in the ’70’s, and from what I understand there’s a whole lotta of schoolin’ to go to, but I like thinking about what people are thinking about. It just could be fun! (And if you really love good situation comedy, click here to watch the pilot episode of The Bob Newhart Show.)  Until I decide to take the plunge and become a shrink, I’ll satisfy myself with addressing the problem that some…

  • Craft,  Observation,  Twitter

    50 Cheap And Easy Ways To Improve Your Writing This Summer

    At the beginning of every summer, I post this little gem. If you need a way to improve in your craft, without breaking the bank, these this will surely help!  How Can I Be A Better Writer? Can’t afford to take a summer writing class? Never fear! All you really need is a library, internet access, Instagram, Netflix, Facebook and Twitter! YOU can improve your writing skills by doing these 50 things. I admit, some of these aren’t exactly writing activities, but if you do them, and you practice observing with all five senses and spend at least ten minute writing about the experience, you will improve. YOU WILL! My kids say that there…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Observation

    Becoming A 10 Minute Poet: A Guest Post by Sherry Howard

    Greetings 10MinuteNovelists!      It’s time to become a 10MinutePoet. All writers are poets. When we write our prose, we search for just the right word, often searching days for the right form of a verb, or the perfect iteration of a concept. I realized that I already had poetry in me a year ago when I first explored The University of Iowa’s MOOC on poetry for the first time. I’d enjoyed their fiction writing class so much that I decided to jump into the poetry as well. (Archives have a post on the fiction writing class.) The very skills that serve us so well as fiction writers enhance our…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Observation

    The Extraordinary Ordinary A Guest Post by TLC Nielsen

      We all know someone with the gift of gab. In my family, my mother can start a conversation with strangers and have their life story in under 5 minutes. When we visited Downtown Disney a few years back, I watched my mother in action as she talked with a store clerk, asking how she ended up working there. I took notes, knowing that as an introverted writer, I needed to cultivate this verbal gift. As I relaunched my blog this year, trying to capture the extraordinary ordinary lives of folks around me, I’ve found my mother’s people techniques to be solid. Here’s what I’ve learned from watching her: JUST…

  • Motivation,  Observation,  Self Talk

    Five Questions To Ask Yourself When You Get All Contemplative This Time of Year

    Asking writers to analyze themselves is like asking a cat to be aloof, shed fur and practice a condescension while sleeping on your face. It’s just what we do. This time of year is often a time when everyone is reflecting, summarizing or evaluating what has happened in the last year. It’s not a bad practice if we truly learn from the past. I’m not convinced that society as a whole does, but writers can and should.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself at this time of year, when you’re reflecting on how 2014 treated you as a writer and how you treated yourself. 1. Did I become…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Observation,  Reading

    How Being An Armchair Analyst Can Make You A Better Writer (And Football Fan!)

    My 10 year old son knows a lot about football. He knows the most obscure penalty calls.  He knows who the third string quarterback is for the Raiders, what college he went to and why he’d probably be taken by Miami next year.  He knows who won every Super Bowl, who coached the winning teams and crazy stats like how many championship victories were earned by teams who came from behind. Along with every Patriots fan in New England, he wants to tell Coach Bellichik exactly what went wrong in last week’s game. My son doesn’t restrict his knowledge to the Patriots; he knows about the Broncos, the Jets (oh!…

  • Craft,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Observation

    Small Beginnings, New England Foliage & Why Comparison Is So Stupid

    It’s FALL here in beautiful New England! The trees are showing off their magnificent colors. October is magical. It’s breathtaking and awe-inspiring. It’s glorious and crisp. October is the best time of year. Unless you’re an acorn. I am not an acorn, but I would imagine that if I were, and if I were sentient and anthropomorphic, it would be very difficult for me not to feel sorry for myself in October. Where would acorns like me go? If not eaten by a squirrel, then I and my friends could be buried in a hole somewhere, forgotten under the brutal snow that New England’s prize for loving autumn too much. Poor…