‘Writing’ Articles

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How a Writing Challenge Can Help YOU

We’ve been talking a lot about writing challenges here at DIY MFA lately. Last week Becca shared 29 reasons why you should do them and earlier this week Melinda talked about what results you can get from a challenge. Not sold on the concept? Here’s how a writing challenge can help you write more, write better, and write smarter. 1) Write More Most writing challenges… Continue Reading »

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Ask Becca: 29 Reasons to Do a Writing Challenge

“I only like to write when the muse moves me, but I’m having trouble getting the motivation to finish something. Help!” –Bemused You know what you need? A good ol’ fashioned dunk in an icy lake! Just kidding. But it’s 95 degrees here and I’m a little delirious with the heat. Writing challenges are popular in… Continue Reading »

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Ask Becca: The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing

“I’m a relatively new writer and all of this advice is kind of overwhelming. What are the most important ‘don’ts’ I should avoid in my writing?” – Mark H. Copping to a fault is tough. We all want to think that we’re gifted by the heavenly virtues of writing and that our right to write… Continue Reading »

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Six Ways to Write Through the Lazy Summer Days

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” I remember reading that line, in a classroom in Texas in August, with my collared uniform shirt scratching my neck, thinking, “Compare someone you love to a summer’s day? WHY. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” Well, apparently in other parts of the country, summer is quite pleasant. It’s… Continue Reading »

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Using an Outline on the Job

This is the third post in my series on the benefits and practicality of writing with an outline. In my first post, I listed three reasons why most writers need an outline. In the second, I discussed three things to keep in mind when creating an outline. Now, what do you do now that you actually… Continue Reading »

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Four Ways to Write Outside Your Perspective

Too often, as a writer, it’s easy to throw in the towel and say: “I can’t write about that, it’s not my experience.” Neither is slaying dragons, living in Victorian England, or surviving a pandemic. It would appear that experience is not necessary for an engaging narrative. In fact, we seem to want to read… Continue Reading »

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Ask Becca: Seven Steps to Editing Like a Master

“I finally finished my ten-book epic fantasy series! Now I’m ready to start editing. How do I do that, exactly?” –The Next J.R.R., G.R.R., or J.K. Woah! Slow down there, turbo. First of all, congratulations on reaching the editing stage! That’s a step that most budding authors don’t get to. But you’re looking at this… Continue Reading »

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Three Steps to an Outline That Works for You

In a blog post dated April 2013, about a month before his New York Times bestseller The Fifth Wave hit shelves, Rick Yancey listed four reasons not to be a writer. His second was “Failure is guaranteed.” Here’s what he had to say: “You have to come to terms with your own loser-ness. I do this by looking at… Continue Reading »

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Ask Becca: Three Ways To Pump Up Your Word Count

“How do you write so much? I can’t seem to get much more than 20,000 words on my novel so far!” – Devon A. H. If you had to choose between quantity and quality, I’m guessing most of you would choose quality. So, you spend about a year writing, angsting and revising—and that’s all just… Continue Reading »

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Plotter or Pantser? Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I think we all have a romantic notion of the author springing from his bed, crying “Eureka!” and scribbling furiously some wonderful new idea that has just been beamed into his head like an alien. I like this idea. I like to exploit this idea. I carry around a Moleksine notebook. Who doesn’t, these days?… Continue Reading »

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