• 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.…

  • 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…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration,  Writing Prompt

    Prompts Are Everywhere: Using Writing Prompts to Spark Creativity

    Have you ever needed that spark to write? Try writing prompts. A blank page glares back at you, taunting you to write something. Anything. A minute passes. Then another. Three cups of coffee later, you find yourself on social media watching cats riding Roombas and the page remains woefully blank. Ideas are everywhere, but sometimes we need a kick in the brain to notice them. Writing prompts provide something the bottom of your caffeinated beverage cannot: a fresh idea. Prompts can help you out of a rut and trigger new creativity. Let’s say you been “adulting” all day and your brain is full of kids, bills, and work. Maybe your muse…

  • Inspiration

    Filling Up That Uninspired Empty Feeling

      Feeling empty as an artist? When people say that you need to fill up, they are tapping into a well-loved metaphor about the artist. The artist, we’re going to assume, has a lot to say. They have emotions and connections, stories and accounts, worldviews and interpretations,  images and sentences. An artist pours out their art for the benefit of the hearer, the viewer, and the reader. But in order for them to pour themselves out, they must have something in their heart, mind, and souls first. They need to be filled up before they can empty themselves out into their art. Where do they get their inspiration? Currently, I’m…

  • Creativity

    What’s So Scary About Writing What You Don’t Know?

    Writing what you don’t know can be scary! Creating a world out of thin air can be intimidating. This is exactly why there is this whole, big, stupid, “write what you know” controversy. Some who oppose “write what you know” argue that you should choose imagination over familiarity. Perhaps you should venture outside your own time or country. Perhaps you should dig around for inspiration that comes from subject matter you know nothing about. These are all good arguments, but generally speaking, the more outside of your current life you write, the harder and more time-consuming your creative work may be. If you decide to write what you don’t know,…

  • Creativity,  Drabble Contest

    Write a 100 Word Story! Include 3 Words! Win A Contest!

    This is the place for a weekly flash fiction contest! The Apples To Apples Drabble!  The Rules:  Write a drabble. A drabble is a 100-word story, with beginning, middle and end. A drabble can be any genre. Make it exactly 100 words. You can do it. That’s what adjectives and adverbs are for. Include each of the three Apples To Apples cards in the photo. All three. Not two. Not four. ALL THREE. New cards are chosen every week. And you can ignore the small words that explain it clearer. We just want the big three. Paste your drabble into the comments below. Then share this with your friends. The…

  • Creativity

    Want to be a Better Writer? Think Like A Sculptor!

    When I was a new writer, I had a lot of misconceptions of how writers wrote. I had a mental image of a writer sitting in front of a typewriter with a stack of blank paper next to them.  Wasn’t that was how all writers worked. I thought that the first sentence I read in a book was the first sentence that the writer wrote. And I thought that the first thought was the best one. I thought that writers had to have everything in their story figured out long before they sat down to write it. Foolishly, I thought writers who were good enough to be published never had…

  • Drabble Contest,  Uncategorized

    Write A 100-Word Story! But Include These Three Cards!

    This is the place for a weekly flash fiction contest! The Apples To Apples Drabble!  The Rules:  Write a drabble. A drabble is a 100-word story, with beginning, middle and end. A drabble can be any genre. Make it exactly 100 words. You can do it. That’s what adjectives and adverbs are for. Include each of the three Apples To Apples cards in the photo. All three. Not two. Not four. ALL THREE. New cards are chosen every week. And you can ignore the small words that explain it clearer. We just want the big three. Paste your drabble into the comments below. Then share this with your friends. The…

  • Genre

    Writing Historical Fiction, or “Holy Cow, This is Harder Than it Looks!”

    So you’ve decided to write a historical fiction novel. You enjoy writing, and you adore history, so combining your two loves is a natural step. But before you take that leap into the past, there are a few things you might want to think about… What are you bringing to the table? As most historical fiction readers know, there is already a LOT of choices out there. Take the Tudors for example. There are thousands of books on Henry the Eighth (famous for his six wives, two of whom he had executed), Anne Boleyn (his most notorious wife), their daughter Elizabeth I, her sister, brother, cousin, their favorite cat, ‘Persil’,…

  • Beautiful Words,  Uncategorized

    10 Ways To Make Your Words More Beautiful

    April is National Poetry Month. Today I celebrate beautiful words. 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. Often we can appreciate delicate images that spurn our emotions, that bring out in us the good and noble. We all enjoy art for a variety of reasons, but no one can deny how well-crafted art serves a purpose. Art can point us to the good in humanity, echoing ancient truths. Beautiful art feeds our souls. As we write, we can organize our words in such a way that their patterns, their meaning, their rhythm, their…

  • Craft

    Why Mutually Exclusive Desires Make Great Conflicts

      Your story should be jammed packed with conflicts. You should have conflicts about the setting, like the tropical storm that’s been seen down south is heading north and could turn into a hurricane. Or, you could have conflicts about every day life, like maybe the cat is missing and he has a history of getting caught in small spaces. Also, you could have conflicts involving sickness, like a character with Crohn’s disease can’t stop eating animal crackers. Or maybe a conflict regarding money: the bank may foreclose on the family homestead any minute now. A great story has many kinds of conflicts all layered on each other, each eating…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration

    What’s So Bad About the Advice, “Write What You Know”?

    What’s so problematic about “write what you know?” I swear, sometimes in writing circles, these are fighting words. Mark Twain famously gave this advice. And in the context of who he was (um, very famous for his fictionalized accounts of his boyhood on the Mississippi River) and the time period in which he lived (yeah, so authors in the late 19th century were just dipping their literary toe into fantasy) this made a lot of sense. He also had his own sales figures to contend with: his books Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were commercially successful. His more fantastic stories,  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court  and The Prince and…

  • Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    This Week’s Flash Fiction Contest! Write a Drabble & Win!

    This is the place for a weekly flash fiction contest! The Apples To Apples Drabble!  The Rules:  Write a drabble. A drabble is a 100-word story, with beginning, middle and end. A drabble can be any genre. Make it exactly 100 words. You can do it. That’s what adjectives and adverbs are for. Include each of the three Apples To Apples cards in the photo. All three. Not two. Not four. ALL THREE. New cards are chosen every week. Paste your drabble into the comments below. Then share this with your friends. The more comments you get on your entry, the more likely you are to win! Absolutely no links,…

  • Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    This Week’s Apples To Apples Drabble Contest!

    This is the place for a weekly flash fiction contest! The Apples To Apples Drabble! The Rules! Write a drabble. A drabble is a 100-word story, with beginning, middle and end. A drabble can be any genre. Make it exactly 100 words. You can do it. That’s what adjectives and adverbs are for. Include each of the three Apples To Apples cards in the photo. All three. Not two. Not four. ALL THREE. New cards are chosen every week. Paste your drabble into the comments below. Then share this with your friends. The more comments you get on your entry, the more likely you are to win! Absolutely no links,…