#5onFri: 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your First Read Through

#5onFri: 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your First Read Through

There is nothing like the feeling of typing “The End” on your rough draft. Writing a novel is a huge accomplishment and you should celebrate! Have a treat, share a toast with friends, reward yourself with a new book from your favorite independent bookstore, or have an impromptu living room dance party. Whatever you do,… Read more »

Research: The Key to Immersive World Building

When World Building, What Size is Your Canvas?  If I were a painter, I would daub oil paint across a large canvas. I am not a miniaturist, not one for too much introspection. Back in my dancing days, my dance partner and I choreographed ambitious full-length productions with just the two of us. Later, as… Read more »

Be Brief. Be Specific. Be Gorgeous.

Be Brief. Be Specific. Be Gorgeous.

Friends and readers, you have reached the final installment of Building Your Own Boat, a craft-centered column for fellow self-taught writers in progress. Thank you for sticking with me! If there is such a thing as a golden rule in the writing of fiction, it is that you must keep the reader engaged. A “likable”… Read more »

Five More Creativity Exercises for Writers

Five More Creativity Exercises for Writers

Inspiration and imagination fuel every story we write. The events and characters flow through our minds and fingers with ease on the best days. On the days when your idea pipe clogs, here are some creativity exercises for writers to pop your brain and get the stories flowing again! Add a Goblin Goblins are little… Read more »

12 Steps to Getting that Book Written

12 Steps to Getting that Book Written

It’s the new year, and you may have made a new year’s resolution that this would be the year you’d finish that novel or memoir. Book-length projects can start with great intentions, but something dwindles halfway through, or three-quarters of the way, or anywhere along the way. Or, maybe just the whole idea of starting… Read more »

Seven Tips to Create a Unique Sidekick Character

Seven Tips to Create a Unique Sidekick Character

In this article, we will discuss what makes a good sidekick character and give you seven tips for writing one effectively. So when you pick up your laptop to write your novel, screenplay, or comic book, make sure to keep these tips in mind! What is a Sidekick Character? In literature and movies, a sidekick… Read more »

#5onFri: From Idea to Drafting in Five Steps

#5onFri: From Idea to Drafting in Five Steps

You have an idea for a story. Maybe you’ve been kicking it around for years, or it hit you yesterday, but you’re unsure where to begin. Here are five steps to help you develop your story from idea to drafting your novel.  Before diving in, examine why you want to write this book. Why are… Read more »

The Poet’s Toolbox: Point of View

The Poet’s Toolbox: Point of View

“I like that clean cloth. I like that fog that came in. I think the fog must have come in sometime a long time before I did and never went out. I like that blue thing feeling. In life I’ve loved sun and field and pumpkin and have claimed in distress to hate blue things and have then been afraid it was a dark sin.” 

from “Blue Thing Feeling”

#5onFri: Five Things Pixar Teaches about Cause and Effect

#5onFri: Five Things Pixar Teaches about Cause and Effect

I’m going to admit it: I fell hard for Pixar.   It was the original Toy Story that punched me in the heart first; the nostalgia and sweet characters, blended with a lifelike style of animation I’d never seen before. I then dove headfirst into their collection of short movies, many of which I showed over… Read more »