‘Writing’ Articles

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The Good News about “Bad Characters”

I have a confession to make.  My two daughters loved Junie B. Jones when they were little.  Adored that whole (giant) series by Barbara Park.  And I hated those books with a fiery passion. As a narrator, Junie B. was rude, impulsive and disobedient, with poor grammar and misspelled words to boot.  She was my… Continue Reading »


Announcing Writer Igniter Con!

OMG, I have been holding onto this secret for weeks now and I’m so unbelievably excited to share the news. Drumroll please… DIY MFA is hosting its first ever online writing conference! I have been a combination of nervous and excited about this announcement and I haven’t been able to keep my head on straight for the past few… Continue Reading »


Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 3 – The External Conflict

So far in our series Developing Themes In Your Stories, we’ve covered how understanding your protagonist’s character arc and developing your story’s premise sentence can help you consciously nurture literary themes. Today we’ll discuss a third way of mining for themes by looking outside your characters and studying the external conflict. Like with the previous… Continue Reading »


The Doubt Monsters of Writing Book Two

In the last four months, I’ve gone from a writing obsessed hobbyist to a querying hobbyist to an agented writer to a writer with a book on submission. Seeing my endless hours of toiling bear fruit is exiting and wonderful. But it’s also terrifying. Giving up control of my book has been hard. I never… Continue Reading »


#5OnFri: Fun Finds at Book Expo America

One of the best parts of BEA is all the free stuff. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s a bookworm’s dream. You get to meet your favorite authors, and get free, signed copies of their books. In some cases, these are ARCs (advanced reader copies). In other cases, they’re the actual, finished books. Yes. For… Continue Reading »


Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 2 – The Premise

In our kick-off article for Developing Themes In Your Stories, we explored character arc themes and how planning your protagonist’s arc in advance can help determine possible themes. Today, we’ll focus on a second way to consciously nurture themes in our stories: the premise. Like last time, this discussion includes brainstorming and writing activities you… Continue Reading »


#5onFri: Five Ways Twitter Has Made Me a Better Writer

  Everyone touts Twitter as great for building a target audience. Starting a platform, they call it. But to get on Twitter solely for the purpose of selling books I haven’t even published yet? I’m bored already. I need more instant gratification for motivation to decipher the crazed universe of Twitter. There are obvious benefits:… Continue Reading »

Marianne Knightly 3 Cover Image (900x675, Lg file)

#5OnFri: Five Basics of Series Writing

Series are a big business these days. If you can hook the reader in with the first book, then you’ve got a built-in base of sales for the next two (or three or more) books. Before you start writing a series (or further developing your current one), here are five tips to keep in mind…. Continue Reading »


So, You Want to Be a Writer?

April is poetry month and today I read So, You Want to Be a Writer? by Charles Bukowski. This might just be my favorite poem of all time about writing. Except maybe for this one and this other one. (But I digress.) Anyway hop on over and read the Bukowski poem right now. It’s OK, I’ll wait. Great, you’re back. Why did… Continue Reading »

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