• Creativity,  Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5 Friday: Five Analog Writing Prompts

    Has this ever happened to you? You have finally carved out a few minutes to write but now that you have cleared that space, you realize that you have no idea where to start. (Personally, I think this is a bit of a stress response because your writing time suddenly feels extra important but I’ll write about that on another Friday. Today, we’re going to mostly treat the symptom – a sudden lack of ideas.) Okay, so you have your few minutes to write. You don’t want to risk opening a browser window and going down the rabbithole of searching for prompts. But, you also don’t want to just keep…

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    7 Ways to Spice Up Your Description

    By Firn Hyde There’s nothing more breathtaking than a well-written piece of description, and few things more difficult to write well. Many new writers find themselves getting bogged down in paragraphs of description and still feel like they’re not getting the image in their heads onto the page. Here are seven ways to turn your description from boring to brilliant. 1. Engage the senses Sensory language is one of the most powerful weapons in your descriptive writing arsenal. Many of us make the mistake of writing only about what we see, but to bring your reader into the moment, use the other senses too. Smell is a particularly useful sense,…

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    Ten Tips to Help You Self-Edit

    by Christina Consolino One of the most common questions authors ask is, “How can I edit my own work better?” Outside of spending money on books devoted to self-editing or taking time to research the topic, what can an author do? The answer is easy: train yourself to look for items that an editor would nix. One note: As our fearless leader, Katharine, so eloquently suggests—read your work aloud! When you do, some of the following issues might jump out. 1. The classic show don’t tell. First drafts often tell more than show. Sometimes, telling is appropriate. But look at the difference:  Tell: It was winter.  Show: The snow squeaked…

  • Creativity,  Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5 – Five Sets of Idea-Building Questions

    When my stories need a boost, I like to start by picking an object and figuring out its background or how it might fit into my story. Sometimes, this is just a thinking exercise that helps me explore inside the world of my story – I may not even include the object in the final draft. Other times, the object becomes a key factor in the plot. If you haven’t got a story idea at the moment, or if you are feeling a little stalled in your work-in-progress, give this exercise a try. Maybe you’ll get your story moving again or maybe you’ll just have a little fun playing with…

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    Take 5 Friday: 5 Questions for Jaye Wells

    Christine’s Note: The last Take 5 Friday of every month will be a 5 question interview with a writer. Jaye Wells is a best-selling writer who is best known for her urban fantasy novels but she is also the author of High Lonesome Sound, a Southern Gothic novel that is one of the most delightfully unsettling books I have ever read. In addition to her own writing, Jaye coaches individual writers and she teaches writing workshops through Writing Workshops Dallas. To find out more about Jaye, check out her website – www.jayewells.com  and her marvelously alliteratively-named Substack: Wells Writing Workshop https://jayewells.substack.com/ 1) What themes do you find yourself revisiting in…

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    Take 5 Friday: 5 Ways to Ease Distraction So You Can Write

    By Christine Hennebury I was going to call this piece ‘5 Ways to Fight Distraction’ but I don’t think we need any more battle metaphors at this point.  So many of us are stressed, distressed, and anxious that we probably aren’t up to fighting- not even metaphorically.  Instead, I would like to help you to find ways to EASE your distraction, to give yourself a break from the mental hop from thought to thought, and to choose something to focus on, even for a few minutes.  1. Lower your expectations If you are distracted and having trouble focusing, it’s probably not the time to try to produce a masterpiece. This…

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    How Running Makes Me A Better Writer

    However, over the years I've been running and writing regularly, I've learned that there are things about running that I experience which resonate with the writer in me, and it's these things I want to share with you today.

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    Effective Ways I Deal With My Evil Inner Critic

    For many years, my inner critic was successful, producing severe anxiety in me and made me feel worthless. For decades I was in complete bondage to this stupid, foolish, bumbling henchman. But I’m happy to report, these attacks by that evil, negative voice hasn’t bothered me in years. This is why:

  • Community,  Creativity,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Take 5: 5 Ways Writing Can Help You Calm Down

    by Christine Hennebury I know, I know. This is hard. Everything is uncertain and you are probably having trouble concentrating.  The way the news is changing from day to day is unsettling, it’s scary, and there is a lot that you could worry about.  However, if you aren’t too sick to write, I think it would be a good idea to try to get back to your writing. Even if you can’t manage a full ten minutes, a few minutes here and there will help you feel more like yourself. It will help you feel a little calmer, and a little more in control.  It might seem a little weird…

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    Take 5 Friday: Make the most of ‘gifted’ time

    by Christine Hennebury As a 10 Minute Novelist, you know that choosing to carve out small sections of your day to put pen to paper is a great way to keep writing.  Those chosen writing sessions are terrific, but are you ready for when you receive the gift of unscheduled time? Maybe… You’re picking your kid up from rehearsal and they run a little overtime.  You get to your next meeting a few minutes early.  Your friend has to cancel your coffee date. Any of those situations could present you with some unexpected time and you might want to spend those gifted minutes with your writing.* If you only have…

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    Making a Writing Practice Work for You

    Even if you spend a lot of your writing time working on your current project, you can benefit from establishing a writing practice.  Obviously, working regularly on a project is one kind of practice. In this post, I’m talking about writing for writing’s sake.  That means writing to keep your brain tuned up. It means keeping your writing abilities front and center so you can call on them when you need them. How does a writing practice help your current project? You know that you are going to spend some time on your work-in-progress this week.  Maybe not every day, but on a regular basis.  And when you sit down…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: Work Like A (Real) Dog

    As a writer, you know that inspiration can come from anywhere. And, I’m sure you know that you can borrow skills, ideas, and methods from all kinds of different sources. Today, just for fun on this first Friday in September, I have some writerly advice for you from my dog. Since she refused to be interviewed, I just observed her and thought about how her approach to the world applies to writing. So, here’s some advice to help you work like a dog. (A real dog, not one of those metaphorical ones that the expression refers to.) Be curious and then follow the scent When we go outside, Khalee likes…