Listening to our stories, our worlds, ourselves

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” –Jane Austen, Mansfield Park With every story we write, every drop of ink, every key pressed in a frenzy of typing, we are becoming better writers. Over the last year, I can feel how I’ve […]

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You can’t rush the process.

In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about my writing process, but I also know that there’s a lot to learn. I know that our writing process changes and evolves as we grow as writers. But I also think that having a basic understanding of our creation process can help us stay on the […]

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Taking our writing to the next level

2014 has been about establishing a writing routine that works for me. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m writing 1,000 words per day fairly consistently. But I recently read “Write. Publish. Repeat.” and the authors of that work have some impressive word-counts. As in, they’re writing in a week what I’d like to be […]

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Creating a lovable lead: Sunday ROW80 check-in

In every book I’ve ever loved is a main character I would follow to hell and back. I’d follow Frodo into the fires of Mount Doom. I’d follow Harry Potter into battle with Voldemort. I’d follow Elizabeth Bennet as she rejects and falls in love with Mr. Darcy. Creating a lovable lead is one of […]

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The planning stage: Midweek ROW80 check-in

I have to admit that my favorite part of the writing process is when my fingers are pounding the keys, filling a blank page with words. I used to be a full-out pantser, but I kept getting stuck on my first drafts, so I decided to do some planning. It’s definitely helped my writing. I’m […]

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When writing is like wrestling an alligator: A midweek ROW80 check-in

Last week, revising my story felt like wrestling an alligator. There were a few moments where I just sat there trying not to pull my hair out. I had one chapter left to revise, near the end of the story, only something wasn’t right. It was one of those scenes where earlier pieces come together, […]

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What’s in a name? Coming up with titles for our stories

Of all the aspects of writing craft we talk about, one that’s rarely touched on is coming up with a title. A catchy title can sell a book, but it also needs to hint at what readers will find beyond the cover. If the title is a pun, for example, we don’t expect to read […]

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One trait writers need to succeed

What traits does a writer need to succeed? Discipline, of course. Persistence. And, yes, patience—the writer’s road can be a long and bumpy one. But I think, in all of our discussion about what traits make a successful writer, there’s one we often overlook: curiosity. Writers need to be keen observers of the human condition. […]

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Mirror Moments in Fiction: Does your story have one?

I’m currently reading James Scott Bell’s “Write Your Novel from the Middle,” which I can’t recommend highly enough. It has me looking at my current WIP from a whole different angle. The basic premise is this: Bell states that every story needs a moment at the midpoint when the protagonist looks in the metaphorical mirror. […]

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The Well of Ideas: Sunday ROW80 check-in

As writers, we’re often asked if we’re worried we’ll run out of ideas—or simply where our ideas come from in the first place. For me, my stories often come to me as a single image. For my newest WIP, a novella that I just started this week, it started with a woman looking out into […]

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