Finding Your Writing Voice

Finding Your Writing Voice

Most writers strive for a unique writing voice. Voice refers to not what you write, but how you write it. Developing a unique style or voice takes practice and mastery of skills. Writing Tip for Today: What are some valuable skills for developing writer’s voice? Avoid Wordiness To find one’s writing voice, many writers mistakenly […]

Writing Ratios: Actions v. Info

Writing Ratios: Actions v. Info

As the late Gary Provost writes in the writing resource, Beyond Style, “Things shouldn’t just be in your stories; things should happen.” Yet writing must also contain information. How can you know how much information should accompany your happenings? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about how to write a good balance of action and […]

Emotions in Writing: Fall Back, Spring Forward

Emotions in Writing: Fall Back, Spring Forward

As a writing coach, I talk a lot about emotion, but I believe it’s true—if your readers aren’t feeling something, they aren’t reading. In ways, writing emotions can be like the way we change our clocks for Daylight Savings Time: emotions in stories must fall back, then spring forward. Writing Tip for Today: How do […]

Writing: Dialogue Must-Haves

Writing: Dialogue Must-Haves

Last post we discussed writing scenes and the associated must-haves. Most good scenes also contain dialogue, and writing good dialogue also requires a few must-haves. Writing Tip for Today: What are some dialogue must-haves and how do you use them? Dialogue Essentials When a character speaks, readers need a few markers to orient themselves and […]

Scene Writing Must-Haves

If you write fiction or memoir, your work is more effective when it can tell a story. Stories are more effective when they are largely told in scenes. Writing Tip for Today: What are some scene writing must-haves? Elements Scenes bring a story to life. Readers crave action and want to experience the scene as […]

New Battery, New Life

Sometimes, we can recharge relationships with a simple boundary. My grown live-in son (aka Middle) called me on his friend’s cell. “My phone fell out of my pocket. It broke.” Mentally, I added again? and groaned inwardly.  You mean the phone that we provide? The one that helps us stay connected?  The phone I replaced […]

Writing: Editing Must-haves

You’re writing a book, article or story and want to publish. Now you’re looking for a good editor. What are some “must-haves” for any editor you hire? Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for finding the editor you need: Refining Your Needs If you’ve written, rewritten and done as much self-editing as you […]

Writing: Story Must-Haves

Writing: Story Must-Haves

Whether you’re writing fiction, memoir or nonfiction, your piece or book must tell a story. In nonfiction it might be a story about giving readers info or insights. In fiction and memoir, the story must have certain elements to succeed. Writing Tip for Today: Here are three story must-haves: The Arc In writing, we call […]

Writing: Words are Like Doritos

Writing: Words are Like Doritos

A very talented student asked me about expanding the length of a section of her draft. The question made me think about how writers view their words—how much worth the writer places upon them. I like to think of words as Doritos—I can always make more. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for […]

Self-Editing Essays

Self-Editing Essays

Have you wondered about how to self-edit your personal essays? Fear not, here are some tips for polishing your prose. Writing Tip for Today: Self-edit your work with these tips: What’s an Essay? Essays are short pieces about one thing. They differ from fiction or articles in focus and structure. Fiction features at least some […]