How to Make the Most of Failure

These past few posts, we’ve been talking about making writing resolutions and putting them into action.  As we start the new year, I thought I’d add one last post on this topic, only this time with words of wisdom I’ve collected over the years from various creative people.  We can make big plans and dream… Read more »

Prompt: Make a Holiday Writing Wishlist

Every writer wants something.  Maybe it’s an extra hour in the day so you can be more productive.  Maybe it’s an extra-special fountain pen or notebook.  Maybe it’s having the cat stop chewing on the corners of your manuscript.  We don’t ask for much, but when it comes right down to it, the only thing… Read more »

The Role of Voice in Writing

  The trouble with voice is that it’s nearly impossible to find an adequate definition.  The best I can say about voice is that while I might not be able to define it, I definitely know it when I see it. Before putting together this post, I did a little research on voice by looking… Read more »

How to Make Sense of Verb Tense

Last week we talked about Point of View and one reader raised a fascinating point in the comments about the narrative distance between first and third person.  As I thought about this point, I realized that verb tense also affects the narrative distance, hence this post about verb tense and how that affects the viewpoint… Read more »

The Last Point of View Cheat Sheet You’ll Ever Need

When starting a new project, one of the big decisions you have to make is which point of view (POV) you’re going to use.  Go here to download a Point of View Cheat Sheet to help you choose the point of view that’s right for your story. Before I give you a rundown of the different types… Read more »

ABCs of Plot

The ABCs of plot 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… 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 »

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 »