Writing Roadblocks: How to Get Unstuck

Writing Roadblocks: How to Get Unstuck

A good critique can open your mind to creative solutions and set your writer-self on fire. But not-so-helpful feedback can stall your project or even discourage you from writing at all. Writing Tip for Today: I don’t believe in “writer’s block,” but I know how it feels to be stalled or so discouraged you start […]

How to Hold an Excellent Critique Group Meeting

How to Hold an Excellent Critique Group Meeting

The last two posts have discussed some of the ways writers benefit from good critique, as well as things to watch out for. Today, let’s go through what a good critique session might look like. For the purpose of this post I’m imagining a group of serious writers who seek traditional or self-publication. Writing Tip […]

Good Writing or Good Reading?

Good Writing or Good Reading?

After the last two posts about critique groups (needing one and finding one), I want to stress a couple of important points, especially for writers new to the craft or those still chasing publication. Writing Tip for Today: What’s the difference between excellent writing and excellent reading? Nothing and Everything First, excellent reading is almost […]

A Good Writing Critique Is Hard to Find

A Good Writing Critique Is Hard to Find

Since last week’s post on critique groups I’ve heard from writers who are frustrated in trying to find a good working group. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss a few more ideas surrounding finding and joining a critique group. Meeting Decorum How the meeting is run has to be one of the important components of […]

Find Your Perfect Critique Group

Find Your Perfect Critique Group

  Got a critique group? Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve been a member of half a dozen different groups–it’s not always easy to find a good one. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ideas for finding and joining your perfect critique group: Start Where You Are Critique groups come in many flavors and […]

Shaping Story Conflict

Shaping Story Conflict

  We hear it over and over: to engage readers, stories must contain conflict. But this prescription is deceptive. Not all conflict is created equal. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ideas for story conflict that captures and keeps readers: Don’t Just Blow Stuff Up New writers often mistake story conflict for any sort […]

Story Vision vs. Reader Experience

Story Vision vs. Reader Experience

  The very hardest bit about learning to write is in being able to successfully translate your story vision to enough readers. You want them to see what you see, feel what you feel with enough accuracy that the readers are engaged to the same degree you were when the story vision occurred to you. […]

Keeping Writing Resolutions

Keeping Writing Resolutions

  Writing passion, enthusiasm and confidence take a lot of energy to maintain. Here it is, two days into the new year, and already I’m wondering how I’ll keep my three best writing resolutions for 2017. Like those who jump to the gym only to abandon it, I’m wary of losing whatever momentum a resolution […]

The Best Writer’s Resolution

The Best Writer’s Resolution

Like a lot of writers, I’m cringing as I look back on 2016’s resolutions: In addition to getting a big fat book contract with a big fat advance, I wanted to finish a writing book and self-publish it. Did those things happen? The optimist in me says, “Not yet, but you just wait.” In other […]

Hitting Your Novel’s Milestones

Hitting Your Novel’s Milestones

To many new writers (as well as some more experienced) novel writing feels like a mystery. You read novels you admire and the story just flows. But if you learn some basic milestones that almost every novel contains, the mystery unfolds. Writing Tip for Today: According to Larry Brooks, each “Milestone” should comprise from twelve […]