• Creativity,  Discipline

    Benefits of Writing With Constraints

    What we don’t always realize is how much constraints can help us improve our writing. I cut my novel-writing teeth in Iowa University’s MOOC classes where constraints were a given. I learned to write in 400 words with a specific constraint for most assignments. The 400-word limit required me to weigh the value of each and every word. The thematic constraints challenged my creativity in the best way possible.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Seven Ways To Keep Your Buzz and Write Drunk

    During Nanowrimo each year I see dozens of people falling into the editing trap when they should be writing. I get it: I’ve been trapped by those some concerns too. But nothing kills the possibility of finishing your work faster than accidentally falling into editing mode.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: Five steps for building fences (or stories)

    For my own amusement, I asked my brother-in-law, who is a handyman and a contractor, to help me compare writing to building a fence. I find it useful to explore how other professionals go about their work to see if using their framework might give me some insight into my own processes. Or, if drawing parallels between their work and mine can help me reframe how I think about challenging parts of my projects. Even though both writing and fence-building can be quite complicated, I think we settled on 5 steps that could get you started for either project. Note: I am paraphrasing Dan’s words here but any mistakes are…

  • Community,  Craft

    Eleven Signs It’s Time To Share Your Work

    When we start writing, we're hesitant and flighty, nervous and fretful. We crave affirmation that we're on the right track, but we stop so often to share our work, we make little progress. Then it doesn't help that there are so many books/websites/blogs to read about how to be a great writer that it just makes us more insecure in who we are.

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Interviews With Authors

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions for Author Glenda Thompson

    On the last Friday of each month, I like to share an interview with an author so we can get a glimpse into their writing approach and practice. This month, I’m thrilled to share Glenda Thompson’s wise words about writing. You can find her answers below and you can find out more about her and her work on twitter at PressRattler , on Facebook at Author Glenda Thompson, or, soon, on her website. Glenda’s novel Broken Toys will be released later this year. 1.     What aspects of writing are easiest for you? Good question. I think character motivations are the easiest for me. My favorite word in the entire world is…

  • Uncategorized

    7 Ways to Spice Up Your Description

    By Firn Hyde There’s nothing more breathtaking than a well-written piece of description, and few things more difficult to write well. Many new writers find themselves getting bogged down in paragraphs of description and still feel like they’re not getting the image in their heads onto the page. Here are seven ways to turn your description from boring to brilliant. 1. Engage the senses Sensory language is one of the most powerful weapons in your descriptive writing arsenal. Many of us make the mistake of writing only about what we see, but to bring your reader into the moment, use the other senses too. Smell is a particularly useful sense,…

  • Beautiful Words,  Community

    How To Leave A Kind Review

    Authors should be a shining example of leaving stellar reviews, be our opinions positive or negative. We know firsthand how much work writing, revising, editing, promoting, publishing, and marketing can be. Whatever our opinion, it can—and should—be handled with grace. Here are a few basic guidelines to ensure this happens.

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    Take 5 Friday: Five Steps To Make August a Great Writing Month

    August can be a strange month. Either your kids are heading back to school or you are making plans for them to head back (and this year, that might all be up in the air.)  Or maybe you are finally getting some vacation time.  Perhaps you are trying to balance a busy work day and summer fun in the evenings and on the weekends.  No matter what your August looks like, with some planning, you can help make it into a great month for your writing. Here are 5 steps to help guide your writing plans. Identify how much time you’ll have to write. A lot of the time, we…