Description, Writing Prompts

Why is descriptive writing so hard?

Writing prompt: Write a description of this picture and share it in the comments below.
Writing prompt: Write a description of this picture and share it in the comments below.

Lately, I’ve been working my way through the manuscript I started for my creative master’s thesis in an attempt to finally finish the novel already and get it published. As I am working my way through the novel this time, I am struck dumb by the lack of description in these first 90+ pages that are supposedly polished to the point of being publishable.

Two questions come to mind: first, how did this happen? And second, what the heck am I going to do about it?

I have gotten far enough away from the actual writing of this project that I feel as though I am seeing it through my “reader’s lens,” and I am really not happy with what I am reading. Sure, my dialog is awesome (I ROCK at dialog!), but there’s not a whole lot going on around that dialog. Continue reading “Why is descriptive writing so hard?”

Composition I, Essays, Writing Prompts

Tuesday writing prompt: Your proudest moment

Educational Resource:  "Writing process"
Educational Resource: “Writing process” (Photo credit: Ken Whytock)

This week in my Composition I class, we are continuing our journey through the steps of the writing process. Last week, we discussed prewriting and choosing a thesis. I asked my students to do a freewrite in which they considered whether pride is a virtue or a vice. Then we worked together to come up with a thesis statement for an essay they will write on the topic of pride.

Today we are moving on to the next two steps in the writing process, which are (according to our textbook) “Supporting the thesis with evidence” and “Organizing the evidence.” We will continue to generate raw material for our pride essay as we work through each step. So, this week’s (and probably next week’s as well) writing prompt will be a continuation of the prompt I gave you last week. Continue reading “Tuesday writing prompt: Your proudest moment”

Novel Writing

It is time to get back to the writing

It’s time to write a book! | Books (Photo credit: vasta)

Last week was my first week back to teaching after having the summer off. I needed to take a little break from writing to get my sh*t together so I can make a living. I have now made it through week two of classes and am about as settled in as I am going to get. Sure, I still have lesson planning to accomplish each week, and soon I will have composition papers to grade as well. However, all of my front-end preparation is complete, and I am ready to get back to writing.

These past few weeks, I have felt as if I was holding back a dam of words. I tried to squeeze in a few minutes of writing here and there, but life was pretty busy. It’s like, once I had gotten into the habit of writing every day, it was hard to stop. Now I am faced with the fact that I have written little for two weeks, and now I have to get back in the habit. Continue reading “It is time to get back to the writing”

Novel Writing, Thesis

After all, it is the weekend.

A 6-year-old and a cat
Life seems so simple when you’re a 6-year-old and a cat.

My six-year-old paid me a visit this morning as I lay in bed considering which part of my creative thesis I should focus my efforts on today.

Do I work on the POV shifts I don’t completely understand and try to muddle my way through filtering my entire story strictly through my protagonist’s POV?


Is it more important to focus on the much-needed world-building? My fantasy novel so far takes place in a jumbled mix of worlds that I don’t completely understand myself. It’s no small wonder my first reading left my thesis advisor feeling confused. Continue reading “After all, it is the weekend.”

Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

How to get your story line back on track

Master’s Thesis
Should I put my story line aside for now and concentrate on what I need to accomplish for thesis? | Master’s Thesis (Photo credit: hsivonen)

I’ve been zipping through the story line of my novel for the past couple of months in an effort to get the entire story on the page without worrying about revisions. I’ve hit 46,472 words, and I’ve been feeling pretty good about the whole thing. That is, until a few days ago when I got the idea that my story line had somehow veered away from where I wanted it to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to changing direction when it’s appropriate. However, it seems like this time I have turned down a dead-end. The story train has derailed, and I’m left wondering how to pick up the pieces of the train wreck and put it back on the right track. Continue reading “How to get your story line back on track”