Practical Prompt 7-26-17

You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you are in the early plotting/outlining stage of your story, try switching up the genders of your main characters. Maybe your first impulse was to make the bad guy a guy, but does he have to be? Ask yourself how it would change the story if you made him a her, or vice versa, and whether or not that’s a better approach.

Insomniacs Anonymous 7-21-17

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

What’s the most helpful book on writing that you’ve read recently?

Practical Prompt 7-19-17

You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Watch out for equivocating language that can weaken your prose: just, maybe, a bit etc. Delete them. You won’t miss them.

Pretty Good

Megan Norris Jones

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000 hour rule, which states that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. This notion is both encouraging and discouraging. It’s encouraging because it means if I practice, I can become good. It has inspired me to dedicate time to my craft and consciously cultivate the skills I lack. It’s discouraging when I consider how long 10,000 take to rack up when I squeeze writing time into 15-30 minute increments. This is going to take a while.

Then I heard a TED Talk by Josh Kaufman, and he introduced me to the 20-hour rule. In it, he argues that, while it might take 10,000 hours to master a skill, 20 hours of deliberate practice can make you decent at most things. Continue reading

Insomniacs Anonymous 7-14-17

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

What’s your favorite film adaptation of a book?