The Pros and Pros of NaNoWriMo

(Web Editor’s Note: We’re pulling this post–originally published in November 2014–out of the archives for anyone thinking about NaNoWriMo this year!) Are you doing NaNoWriMo? -Huh? -You know, NaNo? -Who? -You’re not a WriMo yet?! -Did you just call me a ‘rhino’? It’s not a secret code or a reference to rhinos or even atomic… Read more »


5OnFri: Five Ways to Turn Around a Bad Writing Week

We all have those weeks. You know the ones. Where you have big plans to get sh*t done and somehow you’re staring down Wednesday, Thursday, or even Friday and you’ve not accomplished half your goals. And the stress of how far you’ve fallen behind is added to the stress of the work you have to… Read more »


#5onFri: 5 Writing Apps to Help You Revise Your Manuscript

There’s no shortage of lists telling you how to use the latest writing app to complete your manuscript, but what are you supposed to do once it’s done? Well, it turns out many of those apps (and a few others) are also helpful during the revision process! Here are my top five apps and how… Read more »


#5onFri – Tame the Idea influx

When we write every day ideas flock to us like mosquitos. Unlike mosquitos though, we love collecting ideas. However, if we switch gears to repeatedly chase the newest, brightest idea we canlose focus. If we lose focus, our writing slows, then the ideas slow and then we’re pulling out a ladder to get over that… Read more »


The “Why” Behind Our Writing

We’ve been talking a lot about literary themes here at DIY MFA. And while we’ve developed a better understanding of what themes are and how they emerge in our work, we’ve never touched on why certain themes creep into our stories. The reason for that “why” might be more simple than we think: The themes… Read more »


Participating in NaNoWriMo? Start Planning Now!

I stepped into Starbucks this morning and saw a sign for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Although the weather isn’t exactly Autumn-crisp just yet, it was a stark reminder that Fall–with its themed drinks, sweaters and fantastic foliage–is upon us. For writers, that means NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Are you participating this year? Here are… Read more »


Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 8 – The Act I Choice

Shortly after a story’s inciting incident, the protagonist must make an important decision: either keep living as she always has, or become involved in the story’s main conflict. This choice, in terms of the three-act story structure, marks the transition between Act I and Act II. Some writers also call it the “point of no… Read more »


#5OnFri: Five Obsessions of Highly Effective Writers

In the three years since I started writing, I’ve written six novels, signed book contracts for two of them and published my first one this month. I’m contracted for two more books to be written in the next six months. I have no degrees in writing. I took one literature class in college (which is… Read more »


DIY MFA Street Team Roundup: Weeks 9-14

It’s July! Summer is in full swing, and the DIY MFA Street Team has been hard at work reading The Book and posting their reviews out into the world. If you were wondering what others think of The Book, make sure you check Goodreads, Amazon, B&, and iBooks. You won’t be disappointed. These past few… Read more »


#5OnFri: 5 Reasons to Write That Project Now

Recently I pitched an editor a blog post idea. When her acceptance popped into my email I did my usual cheer and happy dance. Ideas for the piece filled my brain. I plopped back in my chair and fired off my next question, “When would you like the piece?” The editor responded with a generous… Read more »