6 Tips to Get You Writing (and Keep You There)

Having your fingers in a lot of different word-pies will give you more opportunities for creativity than drawing constant blanks on the same project, over and over. Read More

Getting to Know Your Character: An Exercise

This one will be short and sweet, but a fun exercise in detail. Last week I wrote about how to make sure your short story gets the essential elements it needs just by asking yourself four simple questions. After peering back into my college days as a Creative Writing Fiction Major, I found I had another… Read More

Short Story Elements Don’t Have to Be Confusing

Let’s face it, short stories can be pretty difficult to write. It’s such a small amount of space, on average 2,000 to 5,000 words, in which you as a writer are expected to squeeze an entire theme, setting, character or two – essentially an entire story start to finish. Everywhere, you see the “Elements of… Read More

Why Should You Save Everything You Write?

I save absolutely everything. Always. The above picture is actually my stack of journals, starting in the year 2000 and spanning through today. I was 10 when I started writing, both fiction and in journals, and I have maintained the “wordsmithing” – and the paper hoarding – habit for the last fifteen years. This is my… Read More

You Don’t Have To Be A Hermit to Be A Writer

Last week I read a large handful of comments from various people on social networking groups, on a few different blogs, and from a journalist, referring to the “independent nature” of writing as an activity. The phrase I saw repeated, more than once, was that “writing is an ego-driven activity”. Honestly, I was pretty shocked to… Read More

Self-Editing Tip #4: Aggressively Passive Voice

I described some wordy writing once as being like “taking a train all the way around the world just to get to the next town over.” Not only does writing in the passive voice add unnecessary extra words, but it sometimes can make a sentence seem tiresome and confusing. If this happens for an entire… Read More

Self-Editing Tip #3: Semicolon, the Mouth Breather

The ever-dreaded semicolon, I believe, is one of the English language’s most misunderstood and misused facets of punctuation. Awkward, yes. Frustrating, yes. And I called it the “Mouth Breather” because no matter what I do (ignore it or flatter it with use), it’s always there lurking behind me, distracting me with hot, stinky breath on… Read More

Self-Editing Tip #2: Who’s Saying What?

I have had a total of five different manuscripts from five different authors go through my hands since Monday, and I found one consistent thing in all of them that made me think about another tip to give when editing your own work. Sometimes we get so caught up in the writing that we don’t… Read More

Self-Editing Tip #1: Everything Needs to Go

I have somehow managed to make the time to turn my editing services upon myself, and there is so much more to learn that way. It surprised me, and then I wanted to share some tips to correct one of the largest problems I’m facing in my own work right now. My fantasy novel Daughter of… Read More