How to Deepen Your Chapter Book Characters

Chapter books offer wonderful possibilities for creating memorable characters.  Targeted to readers ages 5-10, chapter books  take character development to a deeper, richer place than possible in picture books and easy readers. In this piece, I’ll explore some ways to develop outstanding chapter book characters that will connect with young readers. All characters have sayings,… Read more »

#5OnFri:5 Things I have Learned Being a Writer

When I was asked to write a blog post I immediately started thinking of my topic. What information did I have to share with my fellow writers? Should it be on craft? Maybe about getting published? There are just so many things and I couldn’t decide. So, I started researching. I researched on the internet,… Read more »

A Case Study on Friendship as a Literary Theme

Few people are as special to us as friends. Whether they’re reading pals, travel buddies, or classmates from elementary school, they’re as dear to us as family and treasured for more reasons than good laughs and shared interests. Strong friendships aren’t limited to real life, either. Literature has shown us the ups and downs of… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five of Winter’s Gifts to Every Writer

Sometimes inspiration is hard to come by for us as writers.  Everyday living distracts and tires our imagination and focus. Why do you think there are so many memes and books written about writers getting on with the writing?  We know that getting to the writing is the hardest part of the effort.  (I see… Read more »

Deadlines are not your worst enemy

Deadlines are terrifying. They’re funny little things almost made to be broken, but without them we’d get nothing done. (Even this article, I’m turning in two days late, but if there wasn’t a deadline, would I write it at all? Probably not.) Reaching a book deadline involves a lot of panic. Or at least, it does… Read more »

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 »