Blog Archives

What Beginning Writers Misunderstand about Storytelling

Between this blog and the website for SouthWest Writers, I’ve conducted over a hundred interviews in the last few years. The answers I enjoy most involve the writing process, how authors deal with world building and series writing, and what

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Posted in Writing Advice

10 Tips to Conquer a Writing Block Mountain

Writers often slam into a story wall. Sometimes they find a way to scale it and continue to run and dodge through the rest of the obstacle course to reach “The End.” But sometimes, instead of a wall standing in

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Posted in Writing Advice

First Draft Writing Rules from Copyblogger

In Demian Farnworth’s post, “10 Rules for Writing First Drafts [Poster],” he mentions this quote by Kurt Vonnegut: When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. If an author like Vonnegut felt that way,

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Five Poisons That Paralyze Your Writing (and Their Antidotes)

Bill O’Hanlon has authored or co-authored 30+ books including Write is a Verb: Sit Down, Start Writing, No Excuses. Not only is he a prolific nonfiction writer, he’s an entertaining speaker who motivates his audience to follow their dreams. In the

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Posted in Writing Advice

Procrastinate to Fuel Your Writing, Tip #1: Chocolate Wars

Some insist procrastination is a dirty word. But I say, “One writer’s procrastination is another writer’s research.” Have you ever left your keyboard in search of a snack, and found yourself staring at the inside of the fridge (for the

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Posted in Procrastination, Writing Advice

A Writer’s Approach: Plotter, Pantser, Hybrid

Here’s a repost of my 2013 article from ThisNewMountain.com. It’s been said, and much debated, that there are two kinds of writers—those who outline and plan before starting a writing project (plotters) and those who dive in and write “by

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Posted in The Writing Life, Writing Advice

NaNoWriMo: How to Make the Time to Write a Novel in 30 Days

2015 will mark the 17th year thousands of writers from around the world begin National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) on November 1st. Few would argue this is a crazy journey—attempting to write a 50K-word draft of a novel in thirty days.

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Posted in The Writing Life, Writing Advice

Speculative Fiction: Culture Lab

Speculative Fiction: Culture Lab by Betsy James Speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, and slipstream) gives voice to those who explore societal and technological change along with deeper considerations of underlying archetypes of human experience. ~ from the

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Posted in Writing Advice

Story Promises: What Readers Expect from Fiction

Like many readers, my main reason for reading fiction is to be taken out of my world and into someone else’s. Before I became a writer, I didn’t expend a lot of brain power to decide what stories to pick. I

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Posted in Writing Advice, Writing Fiction

Bad Writing: Good for Laughs and Learning

Writers have many opportunities to ensure their manuscripts are ready to submit. We can take classes and workshops to acquire skills, both basic and advanced. We can gain feedback in critique groups and from professional editors and proofers. And the

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Posted in Writing Advice, Writing Fiction
All who wander are not lost.~ JRR Tolkien

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CampNaNoWriMo Winners Badges Apr_Jul 2015