• Character Development,  Creativity

    How To Make Your Next Villain A Coward

    Most stories have obvious antagonists, some even aren’t afraid to don the black hat or have a plan for world domination. But then there are some stories in which the opposing force for the protagonist is far more subtle. They may be crafty or manipulative rather than out-and-out evil. Personally I think these villains are a lot more fun to write, but the danger in writing a good villain is that you may inadvertently convince your reader to cheer them on. What do you do then? The story is about Luke Skywalker, not Darth Vader. The solution? Make them a coward.

  • Marketing,  Publishing

    Five Tips To Weed Out Writing Predators

    Sadly, as 10 Minute Novelists has become more and more well known, we’ve learned how to spot these the hard way. We do have a screening process, trying to keep the riff-raff out, but it's not perfect. There are members here who are taking deliberate steps to find "clients" through our Facebook group they intend to take advantage of.

  • Marketing

    How To Love Your Local Library

    My local libraries have been very generous in helping me with author signings and events. I'd like to suggest the sooner you start loving your local library (and the people who work there) the better your relationship and the more help they'll give you in your marketing goals.

  • Community,  Craft,  Creativity,  Interviews With Authors,  Self Talk,  Time Management

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Yourself

    Most of us have a good general idea of our plans and motivations. But we also have so many different things going on in our lives that it’s easy to forget to check in with ourselves about how things are going. Once we have created a system or a plan, we tend to keep trying to follow it until things go horribly wrong. However, even if things haven’t gone horribly wrong, the plan or system might still not be completely right. It might be causing us unnecessary frustration or stress just because it no longer matches our needs. If we take time to check in with ourselves and assess what…

  • 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…