• Character Development,  Uncategorized

    12 Mistakes You Could Make When Creating Narrative Voice

      Narrative voice is the voice of the narrator in a story. Every novel, especially those written in the first person, tells the story from a specific point of view.  If you’ve chosen a point of view for your story that is specific, you may find that it is complicated and difficult to keep the story only to their viewpoint. If done well, your narrative voice draws the reader into the story. The details of the thoughts and dialogue work together to make the narrator a sympathetic or likable character. But if the narrative voice is put together thoughtlessly, your reader may bore quickly, dismiss the narrator and possibly discard your…

  • Character Development

    Five Character Types That Make Great Antagonistic Forces

    The protagonist pushes forward, but the antagonistic force pushes back. An antagonistic force is a person in your story who is opposing your protagonist, either in small, accidental ways or in big obvious ones. Because of the contrast and the potential for great conflict, you want to develop your antagonist as richly as you do your main character. These four destructive character types could make your antagonist richer and even more realistic.     Little Miss Victim: Their life is so, so hard. This person has mastered the art of getting others to do their work for them. They may not even realize that they are their own worst enemy. In…

  • Community,  Uncategorized

    Five Signs To Keep Writers From Going Wrong

    By TLC Nielsen Are you a Writer Gone Wrong? 10 minute novelists are an upbeat, happy group of writers striving to be all they can word-ly be. But unbeknownst to many is another, small group of writers who hoard their words, shudder from social interaction with other (competing) authors, and cannot restrain themselves from talking/chatting/emailing about their books, blogs and other writings far more than necessary. This group of writers took dangerous forks on the writerly road, ending up down a path they never intended to take. Here are 5 road signs to keep you, and me, from joining Writers Gone Wrong! Road Sign #1 Writing Conferences- To go or…

  • Community

    Top 10 Pro Tips For Attending A Writing Conference

    by Christina Alexander February is upon us and that means conference season approaches. If you are attending your first writing conference, CONGRATULATIONS! You have made the first step to furthering your writing career. While each conference is unique in the opportunities it offers, there are some universal tips to remember in order to get the most out of the conference. 1.    Choose Wisely Conferences are expensive. Often, it’s an issue of saving up money all year before being able to afford to go. Between registration, cost of travel, hotel, food, and other goodies (not taking into account the prep beforehand), you can easily spend up to $2000 per conference.…

  • Craft,  Motivation

    Eight Reasons You Should Write Every Day

      Did you write today? Are you going to? In the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg said, “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, and the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impact on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness.” I think if you write every day, you can become a happier, more confident writer.   1.…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

    By Jennifer Worrell How many of you have heard the old saw, “Write it your way!” or “Write the story you want to read!” And so you do. And then you’re told…you can’t do that. Only {insert bestselling author names here} can do that. But no one explains why. How did successful writers get that privilege, and who gave it to them? Creative writing is nothing without artistic expression, but that’s impossible to achieve if you’re imprisoned by arbitrary rules. In search of a like-minded community, I joined far too many online writers’ forums. A lot are great (especially this one!) and can help you through many a muddy spot…

  • Craft,  Organization

    Ten Questions To Ask Before Writing An Interesting Scene

    In a novel, what is a scene? A scene is a small increment of the story that progresses the story forward. A novel is full of them. And while this may seem obvious, they ain’t easy to write. Have you written a scene and not known where to start? Ask yourself these ten questions! The purpose of a scene is to put the characters in a new situation in which they are either pushed toward or pulled away from their objectives. Your scenes are the necessary steps that the characters take for the advancement of the story. Your characters could be in the scene deliberately, say Betty and Veronica arrived…

  • Craft,  Reading

    The Diary of A Beta Reader: A Guest Post by Sara Marschand

    Guest blogger Sara Marschand explains her thought processes while she beta reads. A beta reader is often the first or second set of eyes a manuscript gets. Their purpose is to spot holes in a manuscript and communicate to a writer, who maybe a little myopic, that changes need to be made.  For the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of beta reading for many authors. Much of my feedback highlights awkward sentence flags and unclear story parts. Sometimes it’s a setting that can’t be visualized, other times it may be a whole scene that doesn’t fit the narrative. Logical errors are the easiest to spot. One author described…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Nanowrimo,  Work-In-Progress

    Top 10 Ways You May Be Doing National Novel Writing Month All Wrong

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist Is it really November? Is it really time to start that non-stop frenzy that requires 50,000 words in 30 days? It is! Congratulations to all of you who are attempting it this year! And to those of you who have tried, get discouraged and possibly think you are on the road to failure, just consider this:  you may be doing it wrong.  1. You think every word you write is golden. Um, your nano project is a first draft. Please, for the love of all that’s publishable, type this sentence ten times —> MY NANO PROJECT IS A FIRST DRAFT. The solution? Just plan…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization

    Top 10 Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals

    We can’t be the writer we want to be if we keep doing the things we’ve always done. This is the time self-involved, sensitive writing types, think about how we can make this upcoming year the best ever. Especially if we are participating in Nanowrimo. This is an exciting time of year and it’s also kind of scary. We’re going to have to make some changes. Sigh. This week’s list is the Top Ten Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals. 1. You may have to say no to the expectations of others. This is tricky because in the past you may have said…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Nanowrimo

    Top 10 Ways To Prepare For National Novel Writing Month

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist National Novel Writing Month is an international event where, in the month of November, writers from all over the world attempt to put down 50,000 words of a story in thirty days. Ideally, these 50,000 words are all coherent, have a great plot, have full, 3-dimensional characters, and the story is thrilling, romantic, sweet and/or satisfying. That’s the goal. Nanowrimo is really good for people who need motivation, community and tangible goals. Nanowrimo is also great for experienced novelists who need the daily writing goals to push them forward in the WIPs. Nanowrimo is for those people who appreciate the prep work that goes…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    Top 10 Ways To Make Your Words More Beautiful

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James Regardless of tastes, preferences or trends, I believe the beautiful calls to us. There is something inside of us that longs for symmetry, for rhythm, for thoughtful curves, for delicacy, for images that spurn our emotions, that bring out in us the good and noble. We all enjoy art for a variety for reasons, but no one can deny how beautiful art serves a purpose. Beautiful art points us to the good in humanity. As we write, we can organize our words  in such a way…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Craft

    Top Ten Resources For Classical Story Structure by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    Do you have a new story idea and don’t know what to do with it? 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. What Do I…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation

    Top 10 Ways To Make Your Story “Good” by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    “Is this any good?” After, “is there any more coffee?” and “can I take your order?” this question is asked the most often by aspiring novelists, short story writers, screenwriters and other creative story-telling types. Unfortunately, that descriptor “good” is a vague one.  We may not even know what we’re asking when we ask it. We may not want anything from the person we are asking except a nod, and maybe their dinner order. We really only want validation that our creative efforts aren’t wasted and that maybe that MFA degree wasn’t  a waste of money. “Is it good?” If you’re asking, then go through this list and see if it has…