What Writing Can Do For You

Why do you write? If I were to take a survey of all of you right now, I bet I’d get some similar answers. Writing gets the stories in my head out into the world. I write to express emotions. I write because I want to see my byline. I do it for the money…. Read more »

The Power of Punctuation

Punctuation can feel like a burden, something we either do correctly or not. After all, grammar guides and style books were created for a reason. But in reality, punctuation is a powerful resource to enhance our writing.  Looking in any two grammar guides for rules about punctuation usage, we’ll be sure to find conflicting advice…. Read more »

Identifying Themes in Our Poems

When people learn that I’m a poet, two questions usually come up. If someone hasn’t read my work before, they might ask, “What are your poems about?” On the other hand, if someone is familiar with my poetry or has read a particular piece, they sometimes want to know, “Why did you write that poem?”… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Find, Develop and Deepen Your Plot

After graduate school and a short period of teaching English at a small college, I moved back to New York resolved to become a novelist. My mother loaned me her crowded, unheated painting studio on 14th Street overlooking S. Kleins and I attempted to plunge into my career. I wanted to write long intricately plotted… Read more »

Case Study: From Beginning to Book Launch

One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to share epic wins from my word nerds. Today, I’d like you to meet Constance Emmett. She’s a DIY MFA course graduate whose debut novel, Heroine of Her Own Life, begins shipping to readers this August. While I could go on and on… Read more »

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

When I first started going to therapy in 2013, my therapist took a great deal of notes on my general thoughts and behavior, just to get a sense of me as a person. One of the most important things she found was that I had a pretty wild imagination. And that wildness has played a… Read more »

Extrapolating the Past

I recently returned from a combination research cum vacation trip. Hmmm. . .surely we writers need a portmanteau word for that, but I’m not quite sure what it would be. Anyway, during the trip, I had a chance to visit Sherwood Forest and imagine its past. Well, you’re in that part of England and you… Read more »

How to Draw Nothing

Have you ever thought about how many marks you’ve made on paper in your lifetime? Starting as a doodling toddler, scribbling on your parents’ utility bills perhaps, then gripping a crayon in Kindergarten to draw a house and a tree, or to write your name for the first time. Later, you made a few grocery… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Steps to Beat Writer’s Block (Using Prompts!)

It’s easy to take writing prompts for granted. Maybe because they’re so abundant, we wonder if they can really help that much. Maybe it’s because they’re so fun, it’s hard to take them seriously. Those suffering from writer’s block especially seem to go to extremes in their approach to prompts. On one side, blocked writers… Read more »

Let’s Create a Series Bible

You have sealed your passion-infused romance novel with the last two celebratory words: The End. Your cast of characters are so dynamic they jumped off the page and popped the cork on a bottle of bubbly and it didn’t faze you one bit. This describes writing that screams, “Make me a Series!” I wrote about… Read more »