• Uncategorized

    The Benefits of Planning Your Novel by Laura Laakso

    By Laura Laakso My first reader (or my brutal beta, as he sometimes refers to himself) recently shared with me an idea for a crime novel and asked what I thought about the outline. I said I loved it and that he should write it. But he, ever the voice of reason, said he didn’t want the project to become a victim of his self-doubt and that instead of plunging straight into the writing, he would plan the story first. As planning a novel is an area he is new to, he asked me to blog about the benefits of planning in helping to tackle self-doubt. By a way of…

  • Uncategorized

    Trick the Mind, Get Creative and Opening Lines

    By Tina Neyer As fiction writers, we strive to create believable stories that have a message. Whether creating worlds based on fact or fantasy the best stories begin with strong opening paragraphs. Let’s face it, beginnings are hard to get right. The beginning is the most read part of any work, flash fiction or novel. The reader has a choice in those first lines whether to continue reading or not.  The opening becomes a focus in my work usually by revision five or six. Identifying the problem becomes a challenge. I word-smith, share with my writing group, and then go for a walk in the woods, bake cookies, read other…

  • Uncategorized

    Five Lies I Believed About Poetry Writing

    Over the last few months, I’ve been spending more and more time studying poetry. I’m not afraid to try new things or expand myself in new directions. I’m finding, and I’m sure that this will be news to some of you, that you can write poetry faster than you can write novels! I find this to be especially exciting. Why not try writing poetry? But the problem is that the more I studied, the more intimidated I became. I still have to work in 10-minute increments, so I’m finding that reading anthologies, listening to the Poetry Foundation’s podcasts, taking my time with this study is not hard to do. Yet, I…

  • Creativity,  Reading

    Eleven Tips To Help You Be More Creative!

    Who wants more ideas? Who needs a brilliant thought? Who could stand a new insight? A fresh perspective? A story idea? Who needs more creativity? I know I do! I just wish I could turn on good ideas like I turn on the tap. It’s too bad our muse only shows up at inconvenient times or not at all. I believe, however,  that creativity can be encouraged. We can play with our own minds in such a way that can help solve problems and get good ideas. Here’s a long list of ways to be more creative. Try some! And leave a comment if you got them to work! 1.…

  • Uncategorized

    10 Minute Novelists Conference Can Change Your Fiction Writing Forever!

    In this saturated market, you can’t afford to be a mediocre writer. For most of us, it’s not enough to read books or depend on beta readers to show what’s precisely wrong with our fiction manuscripts. We plow on, submitting here or there, facing rejection after rejection, questioning our creative choices.    What if we gave ourselves a weekend to really grow? What if we could sit with a well-experienced literary agent and get the inside secrets to writing good fiction? What if we invested wisely in instruction that could make a huge difference in our careers? What if we challenged ourselves to excel in ways we hadn’t before?  Don’t…

  • Uncategorized

    A Writer and A Narrator Walk into a Bar: Separating from Our Main Character

    by Annette Januzzi Wick   I’d known Julianna for a long time since my father passed away. Her presence in my life kept me up late nights, early mornings, so I asked her to meet me. I couldn’t shake the sense she had wisdom to impart. Julianna was the protagonist in my novel about a young woman who lives in Mississippi, separated by miles and mindset from aging parents in Ohio. When her father dies, she finds her mother’s handwriting on old Frank Sinatra song sheets and sets off to uncover the secrets of an estranged mother who is obsessed with Sinatra lyrics but forgetful of her past. The novel…

  • Creativity

    16 Simple Things To Do To Be More Creative

    Everybody wants to be more creative. Creativity is that moment when your ideas come together in just the right way, you may see something that no one else did. Creativity is problem solving, but it’s also strategy, connections and applications of concepts. When we’re on fire creatively, sometimes we don’t know where the original spark came from but we know we like the innovative blaze it ignited. The problem with creativity is that it’s the hard work of the mind and sometimes the ideas just aren’t there. We know what makes our bodies tired, but often the mind gets tired in entirely different ways. If we are writing for a…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Publishing

    Top 10 Things To Consider When Choosing A Publisher With The Same Care As A Jane Austen Heroine Chose A Husband

      It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a good story must be in want of a publisher. It’s the age old story. You have so many hopes and dreams. You have all these wonderful stories to tell. You know that it will take an attachment, a proposal and perhaps a big commitment to make you moderately rich and a teensy bit famous. So you, the perfect Lizzie Bennet, who will only writes for love, not necessarily £10,000 a year, will be happy just to attach yourself with a publisher who respects you. Fortunately for you, your access to publishers on the internet is an…

  • Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    How to Become a REAL writer. (Spoiler: You already are.)

    by Christine Hennebury If I could get paid everytime someone tells me that they must not be a ‘real’ writer, I could retire. The truth is that there are many ways to be a real writer. There are, however, no definitive tests for writerliness. We all write in our own fashion, and at our speed, to get to where we are going with our writing.   As long as we are realistic about matching our expectations to our efforts, we will do just fine.   However, the myth of the ‘real writer’ persists.     You know the one I mean, right? The ‘real’ writer is the one who works…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Into the Heart: Writing Flash Fiction

    by Christine Hennebury I really enjoy writing flash fiction because I can finish a draft quickly, polish it and do something with it right away. That’s not to say that flash fiction is easy, or that you can just toss out any old thing and call it flash fiction. This type of writing takes skill, but you can practice it more quickly that you can when writing longer forms of fiction. The cycle of draft, revision, revision, revision, completion is much faster when you are dealing with changing a few words, lines, or paragraphs than when you are dealing with page after page of text. If wrangling fiction of this…

  • white background, yellow circle with text reading 'Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff' By Christine Hennebury.
    Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization,  Self Talk

    Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff

    by Christine Hennebury A lot of my columns here on 10MN have been about ways you can tweak or improve your writing experience to make it a little easier on yourself. Today, I would like you to take a moment to celebrate the things that are already good about your writing experiences. You might even want to grab a notebook so you can make a chart or a list or a drawing so you can come back to it when you feel a bit cranky about your writing. Let’s start in a really general way.     1) What draws you to write? Many writers talk about a compulsion to…

  • Uncategorized

    Networking as a Newbie Author

    I found 10 Minute Novelists as I was finishing my first book. Well, I thought I was close to done, then I started sharing my work with friends from 10 Min and realized it could be so much better. In four months my story went from I’d be embarrassed now if I’d published it, to a good first book (although I’ve learned so much since then). Why do I share this when I’m talking about networking? Because as the old adage says, “Iron sharpens iron.” You cannot be a good author if you don’t take time to learn from those who’ve been in the field. You can start the process…

  • Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management,  Uncategorized

    Burst That Bubble: Grounding Your Expectations In Reality

      by Christine Hennebury Do you base your writing expectations on work habits or on your dreams?   I’m sure most of us hope that our books or stories will become immensely popular and provide riches beyond measure. I’m not going to burst that bubble for you. (Who am I to say if that can happen for you?)   The dream bubble I want to burst is the one that keeps you floating just long enough before it dumps you in the zone of discouragement.   You know the one that I mean. It’s the dream of writing 10,000 words a week when you can only fit in one thirty…

  • Uncategorized

    Top 10 Ways Poetry Is Better Than Food

    By Katharine Grubb Poetry is better than food. At least sometimes it is. Just like we eat a variety of things so that we can nourish our bodies, I think we should read a variety of poems so that we can nourish our souls. I love that some poetry  is bite sized like a Dickinson poem or a haiku. I like that some poetry is a full five course meal, like a Longfellow poem. Hungry yet?   1. Like vegetables, poetry is good for you.  If you have the literary nutrition of a poem daily, the you can appreciate rhythm, imagery, metaphor, meaning, communication, pathos, storytelling and good craftsmanship. If…