Insomniacs Anonymous 10-15-18

With Halloween around the corner, we’re looking for some spooky reads to get us into the spirit. What are some of your all time favorite scary children’s stories.

Practical Prompt 10-8-18

If you’re struggling to keep your story on track during a first draft or a revision, take a moment to write down the one thing–the feel, or theme or idea–that most inspired you to write that particular story in the first place.  That’s the heart of your story. It’s the thing you most want people to carry away with them after they finish reading your story and the plumb line in every scene.  By putting it into words, you’ll have a clearer idea of what choices your characters will need to make and what actions they’ll need to take in each scene to remain true to the heart of your story.

Make Your Deadlines

Megan Norris Jones

My writing background is in journalism, and every good journalist learns how to write under deadline. You have a story due. You report it. You write it. You turn it in. You repeat. Because your editor is counting on you. And because it really is going to be published with your name on it, so it had better be good.

But even though I know how to write on deadline, I have difficulty moving my fiction forward at the same efficient pace of my nonfiction because (1) there is no editor waiting on it, and (2) I have no assurance it will ever be published anyway.

So how can I simulate the efficiency-producing deadlines of journalism in my fiction writing? Through a combination of written deadlines and external accountability. Continue reading

Practical Prompt: 9-26-18

The more writers can put themselves into the shoes of the people populating their stories, the more authentic the characters will be to the reader. This week, try writing  a scene from a POV other than your protagonist’s. Even if  your novel is going to be single POV, the exercise will deepen your understanding of the supporting cast in your story, which will translate into more rounded and believable characters on the page.

 

Practical Prompt 9-10-18

When you attend a writing conference, workshop or book fair pay attention to how the established authors talk about their books. Note how they engage the audience. Do they tell you the story, how they wrote the story or a combination of both? Does the tone of their presentations match the genres of their novels? How do they project their voices and  use body language to draw the audience in? Then, apply what you learned and decide how to best connect to your audience.