Tag Archives: first draft

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

Practical Prompt 7-8-15

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

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.

For the past two weeks, we’ve been encouraging you to work on a difficult scene from your manuscript. (See posts on June 24 and July 1.) Congratulations for getting some words on the page! Now it’s time to take that rough scene and polish it. Go back through the scene and look for places to add dialogue, character observations, introspection and physical reactions from your characters.

Practical Prompt 7-1-15

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

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.

Do you remember that hard-to-write scene that we encouraged you to write last week? Did you go ahead and write it? If not, that scene might be a symptom of an underlying problem with your story. In the first draft phase, it’s likely a problem with story structure or character arc. So, this week, take a step back and reconsider this scene in the context of your entire story. If this scene isn’t working, then what needs to go in its place?