Use your ABCs to Plot Your Story

On Wednesday, I shared the ABC Method of plot.  Now it’s time to try it out and put theory into action. Weekend Prompt: Take a piece you’re working on. (It can be a novel, short story or any other piece of fiction.  You can even use this method for narrative non-fiction if you like.) Using… Read more »

ABCs of Plot

This is a technique I learned from one of my mentors and it’s very powerful for helping writers map out the plot of their stories.  I’ve since borrowed parts of the method, added some of my own flare and have used it in many of the workshops I teach.  You can use this ABC method… Read more »

Plot Archetypes and Power Plays: Where Does Your Story Fit?

There are lots of different opinions out there about plot archetypes and how you can represent just about any story with one of a few labels.  For instance, John Gardner once said that there are only two plots in all of literature: “you go on a journey”, or “a stranger comes to town.”  While most… Read more »

Taking Stock (Part 2): Where Are You Going?

As we near the end of the year, it’s good to think about where we want to go and how we plan to get there.  Like the riders in the photo (c. 1900), we need a general sense of direction–a goal–or else we will get lost in the washed-out, barren landscape. Every few months, I… Read more »

Taking Stock: Where Have You Been?

Every so often, it’s important to pause for a moment and take stock of where you’ve been and where you’re going.  I like to do this around holiday time, particularly around Thanksgiving, because it reminds me of all the things I have to be thankful for… things I’ve overcome in my writing journey as well… Read more »

Short Brainstorming Session

This week week we talked about ways to kick-start our writing and how to get out of a writing slump.  Now, over the weekend, I encourage you to put some of these ideas into action.  Namely, I’d like you to do a short brainstorming session. Weekend Prompt: Go somewhere “out” where you can work without… Read more »

Webinar Follow-Up: 7 Ways to Boost Your Writing

Hello all!  If you attended the webinar this afternoon, I hope you enjoyed it and had fun.  I know I did!  We got a ton of great questions in the Q&A and I realized that many of them addressed topics that I’ve posted about in the past.  So I thought I’d do a follow-up post… Read more »

Brainstorm the DIY MFA Way

Brainstorming.  People toss this term around but how many actually know what it means?  To most, brainstorming means being creative and coming up with lots of ideas really fast, but there’s more to it than that.  There is a method to the madness.  Brainstorming boils down to three steps: Step 1:  Generate as many ideas… Read more »

Fill the Tank

Writing can be hard sometimes, especially when our creative tank has run dry and we’re relying on fumes to reach our destination.  The solution? Fill the tank. When it comes to creativity, one of the best ways to fill the tank is to have a little fun.  Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way fame, advocates… Read more »

Build a Writing Habit

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about writing challenges and ways of achieving that elusive state of writing nirvana (also known as “Butt in Chair”).  NaNoWriMo offers one way of getting those creative juices flowing.  After all, when you have to crank out 1700 words every day, there’s no time for excuses or rationalization.  Traditional… Read more »