Writing Technique: Smells Make a Story Real

Here’s a powerful technique for immersing readers into your story: use the sense of smell. Of all the senses, smell has the strongest psychological effect. The mere mention of a smell evokes memories and triggers associations in the reader’s subconscious. Mention a smell, and the scene comes to life. Mention two or three, and the reader is… Read more »

Ask Becca: 3 Painless Ways to Inspire Yourself NOW

#askbecca: I’m committed to my writing, but I’m so exhausted by the time I get home from work and put the kids to bed that there’s no creative energy left. How can I inspire myself, even when I don’t feel like it? I get it. When I worked full time as a copywriter, I was… Read more »

How Structure Can Loosen You Up

Structure. Constraints. Boundaries. Are you already withering up a little and looking for an escape? The idea of being fenced in by rules and structure can feel stifling, but it shouldn’t. Adding structure can actually be freeing. In one famous experiment, preschool children were observed playing at a playground without a fence around it, and later… Read more »

Ask Becca: Six Facts about Rejection

We are SO excited to announce a new, bi-monthly feature on DIY MFA — Ask Becca. Every other Friday, our very own Becca Jordan will be answering your questions about writing, reading and community.  Got a question? Tweet @beccaquibbles with the hashtag #askbecca. Or just leave a comment below! You might see it answered right here on… Read more »

Announcing the DIY MFA Weekend Writing Sprint!

November is almost here and with it comes pumpkin spice everything, splashy fall colors and a chance to show off the sweaters I knit over the summer. But even better November brings one of my favorite writing events of the year: NaNoWriMo. Full disclosure: I’ve never actually done NaNoWriMo, at least in a way that would qualify… Read more »

Announcing New Writing Resources at DIY MFA

We’ve introduced the DIY MFA reading and community resources, but in the end, it all comes down to writing. Sooner or later writers need to get their backsides in the chair and do the work. To that end, we’ve created a go-to list of writing resources here at DIY MFA so that you to help… Read more »

What I Learned About Building a Book from Stuart Horwitz

Stuart Horwitz is the founder and principal of Book Architecture, a firm of independent editors based in Providence and Boston. Book Architecture’s clients have reached the best-seller list in both fiction and non-fiction, and have appeared on Oprah!, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and in the most prestigious journals in their respective fields. Horwitz… Read more »

What I Learned from the Terrible Mind of Chuck Wendig

Chuck is the author of the published novels: Blackbirds, Mockingbird, Under the Empyrean Sky, Blue Blazes, Double Dead, Bait Dog, Dinocalypse Now, Beyond Dinocalypse and Gods & Monsters: Unclean Spirits. He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is an alum of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter’s Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, showed at the… Read more »

What I Learned About Balancing Writing and Life From Elizabeth Craig

Elizabeth Craig’s latest book, “Death at a Drop-In” , released in August and “Quilt Trip” launches this December. Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She blogs at Mystery Writing is Murder which was named… Read more »

What I Learned About Connecting With Readers From Dan Blank

Dan Blank helps writers find and engage readers. He teaches online courses, workshops and does private consulting with authors and publishers. He has written several Writer’s Guides, all available on his website, on blogging, social media and email marketing.  You can find him at WeGrowMedia.com and on Twitter at @DanBlank When writers come to me asking… Read more »