Making Comics with Lynda Barry

A highlight of my sabbatical last year was attending a Lynda Barry Writing the Unthinkable Workshop. Taking a class with this amazing cartoonist has been on my bucket list for years. Every few months I’d ponder how I could pack off to Wisconsin for a summer or semester to take one of the cartooning classes… Read more »

personality test

Using Personality Tests to Enhance Character Development

On a six-hour car ride with friends to one of the nine weddings my husband and I attended last year, we got into a conversation about personality types and the tests people take to determine them. From figuring out where you get your energy from to what motivates you to how you express and receive… Read more »


#5onFri: Five Ways to Aid Your Editor

The book writing process has been likened to giving birth, and while that doesn’t translate in the remotest sense physically, there’s no doubt your first draft is the product of profound mental and emotional labor. You love it! It’s perfect! There’s nothing wrong with it! And then an editor comes along and has the audacity… Read more »

Ramp Up Your Dialogue With Help from Isaac Newton

Writers of all genres must learn how to craft realistic stories that enthrall a reader from page one to The End. Romance writers have the added responsibility to take two people who may not have met on page one from an initial hello to a happily ever after (HEA) ending. Plus, this magical culmination must… Read more »

Five Writing Resolutions Beyond ‘Write Every Day’

As we’ve talked about on DIY MFA in the past, setting goals can be a powerful tool to helping achieve our writing dreams. But what sort of goals should we be setting? There’s the obvious ones–like writing every day, finishing a certain project, or sending out queries. But there are many other ways to improve… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Resolutions from the DIY MFA Team

Happy (Almost) New Year, Word Nerds! We hope you’ve had wonderful holidays, and are ready for a new decade (!!). In celebration of the end of 2019 and the beginning of the roaring twenties, we asked some members of the DIY MFA team what their resolutions are.  At DIY MFA, we believe goals or resolutions… Read more »

santa claus

Writing Lessons from Santa Claus

Just in time for the holidays! Here are some writing lessons from Santa Claus and insights about how the Big Guy in the red suit tackles obstacles and maintains his creative momentum, even during the chaos of the holiday season. Mr. Claus is a wise man. In fact, when it comes to important things like… Read more »

Six Tips on Working with an Editor

If you’ve recently completed #NaNoWriMo, congratulations! Finishing a draft of a manuscript is a major accomplishment that many people dream of achieving, but few actually do. But before you hit the “Publish” button, you need to take a step back. Or two, or three. It is a truth universally acknowledged–or it should be–that every author… Read more »