Tag Archives: first draft

Finding a Path between Pantsing and Plotting

Stacey Kite

Stacey Kite

I am, by nature, a pantser. (For those of you who might not be familiar with the therm, pantsing is the writing equivalent of winging it.) For me, pantsing is as fun as daydreaming, and I am a world class daydreamer. (Seriously, it’s the closest thing I have to a superpower.) The problem is that I’ve tried writing novels by pantsing it and they always fizzle. The manuscripts start out good, with engaging, clever characters that—at least according to my writing friends—grab them as readers. Then a quarter to a third of the way into the novel, the story turns into a disconnected jumble that I can’t force into any kind of believable plot. Continue reading

Making Every Word Count

Laura Ayo

Laura Ayo

My Bible study group is reading “The Girl’s Still Got It: Take a Walk with Ruth and the God that Rocked Her World” by Liz Curtis Higgs. Higgs is well known for her series of books about women in the Bible, especially what she calls the “bad” ones. But she’s also published award-winning contemporary fiction, historical fiction and children’s literature. So if you’re tempted to stop reading this blog entry for fear of unsolicited preaching, I promise that what I’m about to say has everything to do with writing. Please stick with me. Continue reading

Short and to the Point

Laura Ayo

Laura Ayo

People who know me would describe me as a talker. I can log two minutes on my husband’s voice mail just to ask him to pick up milk. What can I say? I like back stories and context. I’m wordy. Yet, my writer friends would hesitate to describe my writing as “wordy.” I’m known as the one who uses sparse description and concise transitions. After years of crafting newspaper and magazine articles that needed to fit a set word count, the to-the-point journalist in me is hard to shake. Until recently, I didn’t realize other writers admire the ability to write lean. So I thought I would share how I’ve fine-tuned that skill over my career. Continue reading

A New Writing Year

Stacey Kite

Stacey Kite

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Partly because designating January 1, as the beginning of the year feels nonsensical to me—the New Year starts in the spring—duh—not in winter. But since I wasn’t consulted when Western civilization adopted the modern calendar, January 1st it is. The other reason I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions is because most people seem to give up on them by the end of February. Continue reading

Show ’em how it’s done

Laura Ayo

Laura Ayo

I was nervous about writing my blog post for today about the Writing 101 rule of “show, don’t tell.” My fingers hovered over the keyboard as I considered what I wanted to share with our readers about the tricky topic. I tapped out some words, paused, read them, read them again, and jabbed at the delete button until they disappeared from the screen. I repeated this process several times before finally deciding to keep what you’re reading right now. Continue reading