• Craft,  Discipline

    What To Do With Too Much Writing Advice

    Generally speaking, writers are isolated introverts, hiding from the real world, wrapping themselves up in their imaginary lands, fighting dragons, discovering treasure and falling in love. It’s a lonely place. It could be that they withdraw from the real world as an act of personal survival.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: 5 ways writing is like shoveling snow

    We’re having a ridiculous winter here on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. We’ve had over 350 centimeters (148 inches) of snow since winter began in November (we had almost 100 centimeters in one 24 hour period in late January) and we have more snow coming on the weekend. Earlier this week, I doing some shoveling after the latest storm and it occurred to me that shoveling snow and writing have a lot in common. Standing in a driveway looking at mounds of snow is not unlike looking at a blank page. You can’t know how long it will take but all you can do is dig in and…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    How To Make Words More Beautiful

    As we write, we can organize our words in such a way that their patterns, their meaning, their rhythm, their structure, and their message all sing together. Beautiful words, in prose, cannot be accidents. Finely crafted words come with discipline and practice. Lovely sentences do not lay on the page passively waiting for an optic nerve to come by and give them life. Beautiful sentences dance — they vary in their length, in their structure, in the vivacity of their verbs and in the nuances of their nouns. These words paint a picture — they don’t slap it together.

  • Community,  Craft

    10 Signs You’re In A Bad Writing Group

    People can be such jerks. And that’s really unfortunate. If you are a writer and you need feedback on the things you’ve written, you can’t afford to have jerks sitting around a circle waving their collective red pens at you.

  • Community,  Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: 5+ Questions for Julie Duffy of StoryADay

    Christine’s Note: The last Take 5 Friday of every month will be a 5 question interview with a writer. I send 7 questions so they can choose their favourites. This week’s writer chose to answer all 7, just for fun, so today we have Take 5 (+2). Julie Duffy is a writer and the host of the StoryADay.org creative writing challenge.  Her website’s slogan is ‘Write today, not someday’ and her approach to encouraging writers fits in very nicely with our philosophy here at 10 Minute Novelists. Julie’s focus is mostly on short stories but, just like us, she wants writers to persist, to find ways to squeeze their writing…

  • Craft,  Observation

    How To Become An Expert Starer

    One of my literary heroes, Flannery O’Connor said, “The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.” I know that this is true. Observing, really paying attention to others, makes me a better writer.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    An Argument For Doing Your Best

    I’d definitely want to be considered a genius, so if, according to McKee, I would be taken more seriously if I worked hard on my craft and was far more careful with the quality of my writing.

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Observation

    Take 5 Friday: Yoga Wisdom for Writers

    I’m a big fan of taking lessons from one area of my life and importing them into another. As a result, I’ve gleaned excellent writing advice from taekwondo, storytelling, and now, yoga. Since January 1, I’ve been doing a daily yoga practice via YouTube with Yoga with Adriene and it has been great. Not only have I gotten stronger and more flexible, I have found all sorts of advice that applies to both yoga and writing. Here are 5 of my favourites and what they mean to me (you may get something different out of them and that’s totally cool): Meet yourself where you are Yoga teachers are fond of…