Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Cooking Chicken Can Teach You About Writing Well

I have a surprising amount of experience with chicken.

I’ve eaten bad chicken, I’ve crunched on chicken, and I’ve even been a chicken from time to time.

Ok, that was a terrible pun. But here’s my point:

All these experiences with chicken have taught me a thing or two about writing better, surprisingly enough, and I want to share these insights with you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Science of Creativity

Creativity is definitely an interesting phenomenon, one that all writers must tap into in order to create compelling, new, and interesting content.

But do we really know where it comes from?

Some people blame the muses; others say that inspiration strikes like lightening. Scientists have tried to measure creativity and explain the processes that the brain goes through to be creative.

What is your perspective? Can creativity really be made into a science?

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to Free Write Your Way to Much Fanfare and Applause

“Stop, stop, stop; too much applause!”

“Really, I don’t deserve all this!”

“Oh, wow, you like my writing that much?”

Would you like this person to be you? I can tell you a great way to get started!

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Work in a Well-Planned Character Back-Story

Ok, folks. Here we go with part 2.

Click here if you missed last week’s post, How to Create a Complete Profile for Your Character – And Why You Shouldn’t Use It.

Part 1 post was all about the creation of a character’s background, how to get to know them, to really get inside your character’s head. This is valuable information, and it’s a process that I go through every time I want to create another character. (If I want that character to be a good one, anyway.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit

I've got great news!

I've been following and reading the blog for over a year now, with Larry Brooks as the writer. His ideas on writing revolutionized the way I think about story telling and story structure, and I highly recommend his blog for all the aspiring novelists out there. Read his posts on story architecture and the six core competencies of a successful writer. You won't be disappointed!

The reason I bring up this fine Tuesday is because I have had the opportunity and pleasure of guest posting on Larry's site. Please head on over there to read The Thing About Theme – What Are You Trying to Say?

Here's the link:

Check it out, and happy Tuesday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Create a Complete Profile for Your Character - And Why You Shouldn't Use It

You’ve got the world. You’ve got the beginnings of a story.

You’ve got in place a fantastic setting with brilliant scenery and extraordinary sights. You’ve got a plot that will knock the socks off of your readers.

Now all you need is a main character!

Creating one is easier said than done, but don’t get dejected too quickly. We all want to take our readers on the journey of their lives, and you can’t do that without a loveable, emotion-invoking, step-off-the-page real life character.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ideas for Getting Ideas: How to Beat Writer's Block

Tah-dah! Look at that bright, shiny light bulb, right above my head!

That, my friends, is an idea. They are very rare, the good ones, at least, so treat it carefully or you might scratch the glass.

Though they don’t always show up in the form of a light bulb (in fact, I’ve never had that happen), ideas come. Yeah, try telling that to the author with five deadlines looming above their head while they’re staring at a blank screen.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Put Your Voice on the Page

No, no, you don’t have to be an opera singer. In fact, I’d rather you weren’t. (Sorry to all the fans out there.) I dislike opera.

But that’s not the point.

The point is that everyone’s got a voice. You’ve got vocal chords, a mouth, and fingers on the keyboard. We write to share that voice, to make it heard.

The point is, are you making your voice unique? When people read your words, do they hear you? These are valid and important questions for every writer. Voice is a crucial aspect of writing, especially quality, unique writing that people want to read. Whatever kind of writing you’re into, voice is a part of it, and we all have to master the craft.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Trimming the Fat on Your Writing

Have you ever tried dieting? It is not fun. And, truth be told, neither is cutting out those extra words from your writing. You’ve worked hard, edited, and re-edited, and you’re supposed to just press delete? If you can summon the strength of will, doing so will help out your writing a lot. Diet and exercise strengthens and slims the body. Likewise, trimming the fat off your writing piece will put a power in your words that packs a punch and will drive your message home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Seven Healthy Habits of Happy Writers

“I’m not happy, Bob. Not happy.” (Name this movie in the comments!)

Want to be a happy writer? Some days this seems like an impossible task. Writing is hard, that’s for darn sure, and it seems like the moments of creativity and inspiration are few and far between. Want to know how to feed that muse and keep the work coming? Here are the top seven tips:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Why You Should Write, Write, Write, and Keep on Writing

Trembling hands clutched at the letter, threatening to shred the paper to pieces. I steadied my shaking fingers, breaking through the envelope’s seal little by little, careful to keep the paper intact. I already knew that this moment would be the defining one of my young writing career, and I wanted to save it forever.

I had sent in a manuscript. It was 50 pages long, thick beyond imagining in my thirteen-year-old mind, and I had put my heart and soul into those pages. The novel was titled Canterlee, and it was of the fantasy genre, another one of those stories where the characters face epic battles and certain death, but everything turns out all right in the end. To my mind, it was perfect.

I had printed out several copies, which my Dad was only too happy to pay for, and mailed them out to publishers across the nation. And at last, I had a response.

Seal completely free, I inched the letter from its envelope.