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    For Fact & Fiction: Borrow Non-fiction Techniques for your Fiction

    By Christine Hennebury Stories are stories, whether you are reporting them or inventing them. While non-fiction writers and fiction writers each develop a specific skill set, there are lots of overlapping skills and lots of opportunity to learn from the other’s approach. In addition to my fiction, I also write community news for a variety of newspapers in my province. I’ve found that my fiction skills and my non-fiction skills both come in handy no matter which type of writing I am doing. So, I use my fiction-writing description and character development skills to enrich my non-fiction and fact-based non-fiction skills to keep my fiction sharp. Perhaps your fiction writing…

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    Apples to Apples to Words: Weekly Writing Challenge

    Since it’s the weekend, we want you to have a little fun with your writing* so we’re bringing back the Apples to Apples Challenge! This is *not* a contest, we’re just playing with words today, but here are the rules: Incorporate the words in large text from the cards below into a short piece of writing – 250 words or less – and post it in the comments for us all to enjoy.  Please keep it family friendly! We want to show off your well-crafted work but we can’t keep it on our site if it goes against our family-friendly policy. You can explore dark topics but you have to…

  • Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Apples to Apples to Words: Weekly Writing Challenge

    Since it’s the weekend, we want you to have a little fun with your writing* so we’re bringing back the Apples to Apples Challenge! This is *not* a contest, we’re just playing with words today, but here are the rules: Incorporate the words in large text from the cards below into a short piece of writing – 250 words or less – and post it in the comments for us all to enjoy. Please keep it family friendly! We want to show off your well-crafted work but we can’t keep it on our site if it goes against our family-friendly policy. You can explore dark topics but you have to…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Community,  Social Media,  Twitter,  Uncategorized

    10 Awesome Things You Get To Do If You’re A Member of 10 Minute Novelists

      In 2018, my Facebook group, 10 Minute Novelists celebrated four years, 12,000+ members, and our first conference!  We are pretty proud of how far we’ve come! We’d love for you to join us! This is what you get if you’re a part of this dynamic group:         1. You get to meet over 12,000 amazing writers from all over the world. Many of these writers are new to writing. Many have a lot of time restraints like full-time jobs or small children. All of them have this desire: to be a great author despite the restrictions in their life. 2. You get practical tips on craft,…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    “An Open Oven Bakes No Bread” – choosing which great idea to pursue.

    by Christine Hennebury. You are free but you have to choose. An open oven bakes no bread.                                                                                      -Paulo Coehlo Sometimes we get stuck, not because we don’t have any ideas but because we have too many. And if you are like me, you want to work on the ‘right’ one at the ‘right’ time so you don’t ‘waste’ time and energy.  Of course, the truth is that, aside…

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    The Benefits of Planning Your Novel by Laura Laakso

    By Laura Laakso My first reader (or my brutal beta, as he sometimes refers to himself) recently shared with me an idea for a crime novel and asked what I thought about the outline. I said I loved it and that he should write it. But he, ever the voice of reason, said he didn’t want the project to become a victim of his self-doubt and that instead of plunging straight into the writing, he would plan the story first. As planning a novel is an area he is new to, he asked me to blog about the benefits of planning in helping to tackle self-doubt. By a way of…

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    Trick the Mind, Get Creative and Opening Lines

    By Tina Neyer As fiction writers, we strive to create believable stories that have a message. Whether creating worlds based on fact or fantasy the best stories begin with strong opening paragraphs. Let’s face it, beginnings are hard to get right. The beginning is the most read part of any work, flash fiction or novel. The reader has a choice in those first lines whether to continue reading or not.  The opening becomes a focus in my work usually by revision five or six. Identifying the problem becomes a challenge. I word-smith, share with my writing group, and then go for a walk in the woods, bake cookies, read other…

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    Five Lies I Believed About Poetry Writing

    Over the last few months, I’ve been spending more and more time studying poetry. I’m not afraid to try new things or expand myself in new directions. I’m finding, and I’m sure that this will be news to some of you, that you can write poetry faster than you can write novels! I find this to be especially exciting. Why not try writing poetry? But the problem is that the more I studied, the more intimidated I became. I still have to work in 10-minute increments, so I’m finding that reading anthologies, listening to the Poetry Foundation’s podcasts, taking my time with this study is not hard to do. Yet, I…

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    10 Minute Novelists Conference Can Change Your Fiction Writing Forever!

    In this saturated market, you can’t afford to be a mediocre writer. For most of us, it’s not enough to read books or depend on beta readers to show what’s precisely wrong with our fiction manuscripts. We plow on, submitting here or there, facing rejection after rejection, questioning our creative choices.    What if we gave ourselves a weekend to really grow? What if we could sit with a well-experienced literary agent and get the inside secrets to writing good fiction? What if we invested wisely in instruction that could make a huge difference in our careers? What if we challenged ourselves to excel in ways we hadn’t before?  Don’t…

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    A Writer and A Narrator Walk into a Bar: Separating from Our Main Character

    by Annette Januzzi Wick   I’d known Julianna for a long time since my father passed away. Her presence in my life kept me up late nights, early mornings, so I asked her to meet me. I couldn’t shake the sense she had wisdom to impart. Julianna was the protagonist in my novel about a young woman who lives in Mississippi, separated by miles and mindset from aging parents in Ohio. When her father dies, she finds her mother’s handwriting on old Frank Sinatra song sheets and sets off to uncover the secrets of an estranged mother who is obsessed with Sinatra lyrics but forgetful of her past. The novel…

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    Networking as a Newbie Author

    I found 10 Minute Novelists as I was finishing my first book. Well, I thought I was close to done, then I started sharing my work with friends from 10 Min and realized it could be so much better. In four months my story went from I’d be embarrassed now if I’d published it, to a good first book (although I’ve learned so much since then). Why do I share this when I’m talking about networking? Because as the old adage says, “Iron sharpens iron.” You cannot be a good author if you don’t take time to learn from those who’ve been in the field. You can start the process…

  • Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management,  Uncategorized

    Burst That Bubble: Grounding Your Expectations In Reality

      by Christine Hennebury Do you base your writing expectations on work habits or on your dreams?   I’m sure most of us hope that our books or stories will become immensely popular and provide riches beyond measure. I’m not going to burst that bubble for you. (Who am I to say if that can happen for you?)   The dream bubble I want to burst is the one that keeps you floating just long enough before it dumps you in the zone of discouragement.   You know the one that I mean. It’s the dream of writing 10,000 words a week when you can only fit in one thirty…

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    Top 10 Ways Poetry Is Better Than Food

    By Katharine Grubb Poetry is better than food. At least sometimes it is. Just like we eat a variety of things so that we can nourish our bodies, I think we should read a variety of poems so that we can nourish our souls. I love that some poetry  is bite sized like a Dickinson poem or a haiku. I like that some poetry is a full five course meal, like a Longfellow poem. Hungry yet?   1. Like vegetables, poetry is good for you.  If you have the literary nutrition of a poem daily, the you can appreciate rhythm, imagery, metaphor, meaning, communication, pathos, storytelling and good craftsmanship. If…

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    Building Contrast: Why a Great Antagonist Is Good For Your Main Character

      Don’t we all love a good baddie? As much as we love endearing, likable main characters, I believe it’s their opposition force, their antagonist that can make a story richer. A good antagonist has their own agenda and backstory and should do everything in their power to prevent your protagonist from accomplishing their goal. Perhaps, your main character’s opposition is a simple one: the nosy neighbor.  Or maybe the opposing force is more complex like say, the Communists. I’d like to suggest that the more fully developed your antagonist, the more interesting the whole story can become. When you have a strong antagonist, you can: Clarify the true purpose of…