Helping Writers Become Authors

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How to Get Stuff Done as a Writer (or How This INTJ Leverages Her Te)

Most days as a writer, I wake up excited to tackle everything on my to-do list. My big plans always include ROCKING my daily writing session. I’m always like, “Today is the day I’m going to write 5,000 words in one sitting! Rawr!” Then writing time rolls around. And… I’m still futzing around the house, weeding the garden, finishing my shower, getting...

The 3 Acts of a Writer’s Life–Or How Your Age Affects Your Writing

I’ve been writing consistently since I was twelve, which means I’ve now been writing for the (amazingly long very short?) period of twenty-two years. In that time, almost as much about my writing has changed as has remained the same. This is something I’ve been casually pondering for a while now. Then, last week, I received the following email from...

Using All Four Cognitive Functions as a Writer

My heart is so full as I write this. So many things going on in the world right now—both good and bad. It makes me reflect, not for the first time, on the tremendous gift given to writers in the simple fact that we have a place to put not just our feelings, but every other aspect of our cognitive experiences as humans. (Right after I write this opening...

Does Your Story Really Need That Extra POV Character?

[I’m taking a quick break this week to deal with some personal stuff (no worries—everything’s good!), so decided to share a short post some of you may remember from the e-letter years ago.] Sooner or later, most authors find the constraints of POV frustrating. It can be difficult to observe the strictures of a tight POV while still showing readers...

6 Writing Excuses Busted (Or How an 11-Year-Old Published Her First Novel)

Writing excuses are easy to come up with. Easy to justify. But to publish, you’ll need to learn how to avoid using at least six of them—maybe more. My goal is to help you avoid using these six writing excuses by showing you how I overcame them to publish my first novel shortly after my eleventh birthday. Writing Excuse 1: I Don’t Have Time Deadline...

11 Exercises to Enhance Your Visual Thinking

Which comes first for you—images or words? For storytellers, both are important. We craft words on paper to communicate our visions to readers. We want them to see what we see, hear what we hear, experience what we experience. Concentrating on visual thinking is an exercise many of us can use to access our creativity and write better stories. I think...

Editing Your Novel Q&A

Editing your novel can bring a host of its own challenges, concerns, and questions. Many of those questions are ultimately the same questions you ask when writing: How to properly structure a story? How to create a strong character arc? How to write a sentence that makes sense? But some of those questions are unique to the editing process, including...

Creativity vs. Distraction: 13 Tips for Writers in the Age of the Internet

I was twelve when I learned how to use my first hand-me-down computer. It ran Windows for Workgroups and played games like Crystal Caves and Commander Keen. Getting that computer was a life-changing experience. In some ways, it was probably the event that truly fated me to be a writer. Although I had written stories on a typewriter, the computer was...

Critique: 7 Possible Hooks for Your Opening Chapter

What are some good hooks for your opening chapter? This is a question every writer must ask at the beginning of a story. How can we introduce the story and the characters in a plot-pertinent way that also deeply interests readers? A good hook sets your book apart. It promises readers you’re going to deliver something worth their time—whether it’s a...

Need a Good Book Editor? Top Up-to-Date Recommendations

Where do I find a good book editor?  This is without doubt the question I receive most frequently from fellow writers. It’s a hard question to answer because, while finding an editor is easy, finding a good book editor is something else again. I originally published this post a few years ago after asking other writing experts, whose opinions I trust,...

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