Watch Movies Like a Writer

Watch Movies Like a Writer

In my classes I often use well-known movies to illustrate writing techniques, as do many writing coaches. Being a visual society, we are apt to more easily grasp writing skills if we can picture them unfolding on the screen. If you watch movies as a writer, I guarantee you’ll never approach films or your work […]

Advanced Dialogue Techniques

Advanced Dialogue Techniques

Summertime, and the writing is easy, right? I took a week off but I’m back with more ways to improve your dialogue. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some advanced dialogue techniques you can try: Gender Bender One of the most difficult dialogue techniques to master has to be writing the opposite gender. I think […]

Writing Wow Dialogue

Writing Wow Dialogue

You’ve invented a great character. You’ve given that character grit, a great goal and stiff opposition, wowing your readers. But when the character opens her mouth, does her dialogue measure up? Writing Tip for Today: Here are some easy fixes to take dialogue from weak to wow: Weave It He said. She said. It’s an […]

Writing Truth Part II

Writing Truth Part II

Last week’s post drew a lot of reactions—in these politically charged times, writers are seeing that truth is more important than ever. When we write something that pierces the heart, that makes readers cry, that alters the landscape of who they are at a fundamental level, we have written truth. Writing Tip for Today: Here […]

Writing the Truth

Writing the Truth

  Writers of all stripes must write the truth. Even in fiction, where we make up characters, events and outcomes, truth is important. Except when it’s not. What’s the difference? Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for writing truthfully in all your work: Fake News Facts If you are writing memoir, creative nonfiction […]

Writing Story Dominoes

Writing Story Dominoes

We’ve all seen those domino constructions where, after tipping the first piece ever-so-slightly, all the rest fall in a beautiful cascade of rhythmic motion. The “domino effect” means any actions that cascade in that same way. Have you ever thought of your novel (or any writing for that matter) in terms of dominoes? Writing Tip […]

Making Your Readers Care

Making Your Readers Care

We writers all want to hook our readers. Whether it’s the opening line of an essay or article (often called “the hook”) or the opening chapter of a novel, writing that engages readers, or makes them “care” is a combination of essential qualities that any writer can learn to use. Writing Tip for Today: What […]

Writing Short for Novel Writers

Writing Short for Novel Writers

  Last post we talked about how writing short articles based upon a longer book-length project can help writers build credits and grow an audience while finishing the book version. Now, let’s talk about how the Russian Nesting Dolls concept applies to fiction, specifically novel writers. Writing Tip for Today: What are some ideas for […]

How to Shorten Longer Writing

How to Shorten Longer Writing

  Last post, we talked about the “Russian Nesting Dolls” strategy of publishing shorter pieces while you finish a longer book-length project. The following applies mostly to nonfiction, but you may be able to shorten fictional scenes to use as anecdotes in an article or essay. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s go through the steps […]

Writing for Your Readers

Writing for Your Readers

Why do we write? Some say to tell stories, others want to inspire, educate or inform. My lifelong goal in writing has been to connect. Connect with my readers so they have a reason to feel that I understand them or that something I write resonates. Writing Tip for Today: What are some tips for […]