DIY MFA Street Team Roundup: Weeks 9-14

by Elisabeth Kauffman
published in Writing

It’s July! Summer is in full swing, and the DIY MFA Street Team has been hard at work reading The Book and posting their reviews out into the world. If you were wondering what others think of The Book, make sure you check Goodreads, Amazon, B&, and iBooks. You won’t be disappointed.

These past few weeks, some intrepid writers have been keeping up with the DIY MFA Street Team Questions of the Week. That’s a huge feat, with all of the distractions of summer, not to mention The Book to read, and all the other summer reading to be done! We wanted to give a shout out to a few of the awesome, tenacious writers who have been digging into their writing lives and responding to these questions.

QOTW #9 Do you have a creativity tool that helps feed your creativity? Share it! (Examples from the book include: the ORACLE, the Idea Bank, the Angst Jar. You could also talk about your inner critic, favorite writing prompts, or any other source where you find inspiration.)

We’re starting with Sandra Shattuck again and her post, Jumpstarting Creativity. She gives some great examples of what works for her to keep her well of creativity from running dry.

QOTW #10 The hardest step in your creative development is the “zero moment,” the point where you go from doing nothing to doing something. The distance between the zero moment and being a newbie is far greater than the distance between newbie and pro, yet rarely does anyone celebrate this pivotal, important step. Today, we want you to celebrate. Think back to your zero moment and do something to celebrate that incredible leap of faith.

Laura Highcove talks about her “zero moment” in this post, and how inspiring it is to look back and see how far she’s come since then.

QOTW #11 At DIY MFA, we’re big on archetypes. We’ve talked about protagonist archetypes and supporting character archetypes on the site and podcast. We even created our Storytelling Superpower quiz by understanding what different protagonist archetypes want (and how that want drives the story). What’s your favorite character archetype and why?

Andrée Robinson-Neal takes a spin on this question to talk about supporting characters and why they’re so important in her post on archetypes.

QOTW #12 You don’t need to own every book in the world, but there are some essentials that every writer should have on his or her shelf. These are the ABCs of reading (A = anthology of short-form literature, B = book of prompts, and C = craft reference). What are your essentials?

Rhonda Gilmour shares her favorite books on writing in this post on writing reference essentials. I’ll definitely be adding a few to my shelf! Hop over and compare your reference collection with hers!

QOTW #13 Life is short and you’ll never get around to every book you want. That’s why at DIY MFA we believe in reading with purpose and we break reading down into four basic categories (competitive titles, contextual books, contemporary books, and classics). What’s on your reading list right now?

Dianna Gunn shares what’s on her reading list right now and why in response to this weeks’ question.

QOTW #14 Throughout the book, you’ll find visual techniques and diagrams to help your writing (story-mapping, the revision pyramid, the character compass, etc.) Try out a technique that is new to you and share the results.

Melanie Marttila shares her experience with Gabriela’s TADA technique and what she learned about her own writing by implementing a new technique.

Please take a few minutes to stop in and show some comment-love to these writers. As I said before, there’s nothing that writers love better than to know that someone out there is reading what we’ve written. And stay tuned for more round-ups of great writing from the DIY MFA Street Team.

Elisabeth-headshot-1-275x275Elisabeth Kauffman is a freelance editor in California. Her favorite genres are YA fantasy, sci-fi, and romance. She regularly obsesses over board games, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter. Come share your ideas with her on Facebook and Twitter and on the web at Also, check out her author website: and her author page on Facebook.

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