Writing Details: Brilliant or Boring?

Writing Details: Brilliant or Boring?

Your fourth grade teacher probably urged you to include details in your writing. “Don’t write about a car,” she may have said, “but a red car, a ’67 Mustang. Be specific.” When do details enhance and when do they hinder? Writing Tip for Today: Writing details requires good judgment. Here are some suggestions for including […]

Writing Well: Foreshadow and Withhold

Writing Well: Foreshadow and Withhold

Writing resources often talk about foreshadowing and withholding. When we write fiction or memoir, what we tell our readers is as important as when we tell them. But how do you use these tools? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss foreshadowing and withholding in fiction or memoir. Plant for Later Foreshadowing is sometimes referred to […]

Writing: More than Chronicles

Writing: More than Chronicles

A wonderful writing student sent me her latest essay, which she hoped to submit to a publication. I read over the draft, and one thing stood out. While the story chronicled an event, it had no single point. Writing Tip for Today: Personal essays or memoirs must be about one thing. Here are some tips […]

Gifts

Gifts

The day after Christmas, Middle Son raised his arms. “I did it!” I smiled so hard I thought my face might break. He’d done it, indeed—stayed sober for Christmas. All three of my grown sons with SUD had given me the best gift—if not total sobriety, then at least no ugly drama. Gratitude flooded over […]

Writing Clean: Check and Recheck Your Work

Writing Clean: Check and Recheck Your Work

Not long ago, a new reader checked out my Tip for the Week. When she found a typo, she vowed never to read my blog again. While this is sad, it also drives home the point: Check your work. Writing Tip for Today: What are some ways we can be writing clean? Read and Reread […]

Writing Character Emotions

A few weeks before Christmas, I’m as frantic and busy as ever. My moods are happy, sad, exhausted, cynical, and more as I try to get all the things done. But what do my fluctuating emotions have to do with writing? Writing Tip for Today: How can we harness our emotions to produce better writing? […]

Writing a Consistent Tone

Writing fiction can be like a landmine-infested field—so many things to avoid. Character, plot and tension may head the list of things you must get right, but what about maintaining a consistent tone? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss ways to keep your tone consistent in fiction writing: Know Thy Tones What do I mean […]

Three Ways NaNoWriMo Helps Writers

Three Ways NaNoWriMo Helps Writers

Someone asks, “What’s the point of NaNoWriMo? You write 50k words in 30 days and you end up with a hot mess.” Writing Tip for Today: To anyone who has completed the 2021 NaNoWriMo challenge, congratulations! Even if you never sell this novel, other rewards can be just as important: A Great Idea By now, […]

Your NaNoWriMo Finish

Your NaNoWriMo Finish

Today’s post will be short and sweet. I have much to be thankful for, and many side dishes to prepare before American Thanksgiving. Writing Tip for Today: As we near the finish line for this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), here are a few tips: Jot Down Issues By now you likely have sensed […]

Breathe in the Love

Breathe in the Love

That November morning, my thirtysomething live-in son leaned against the kitchen counter, arms crossed, a distant look in his intense blue eyes. For the thousandth time, I was pleading with him. “I only want you to be healthy and happy. What’s going to happen to you when Dad and I are gone?” He shrugged and […]