Blogging

Do you wanna write a guest post for my blog?

Do you wanna write a guest blog post for my writing blog?
Do I look busy to you? Nah, it’s nothing. Really.

I’m teaching six courses this semester and writing a thesis. So yeah, I’m a little busy right now. I want to keep my blog going too, so I’m wondering: Would any of my writer friends and readers be interested in writing a guest blog post or two this semester?

I’m a starving artist (well, not literally, I just stuffed myself on Chinese food at dinner tonight,) so I can’t afford to pay you. But, if I publish your guest post on my blog, you’ll get a by-line and a link to your blog from mine. So, that’s something, right?

Anyway, if you’re interested, Continue reading “Do you wanna write a guest post for my blog?”

Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Plugging in to your local writing scene

Creative writing class-fine arts center (40269...
Nothing freshens your perspective on your writing project like a lively workshop. | Creative writing class-fine arts center (402690951) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote the BEST scene last night after coming home from class. Isn’t it funny how a vigorous workshop can totally recharge your creative batteries?

I’d been feeling a bit stagnant lately, writing mechanically, cranking out *blah* chapters that I knew I’d have to come back later and ‘fix.’ This in-class discussion of the chapters I’d submitted for workshop was exactly what I needed to wake up and reengage with my story. Continue reading “Plugging in to your local writing scene”

Writers on Writing

Writing is…

Collaborative writing exercises—such as the cl...
Collaborative writing exercises—such as the clustering shown here—can be used for development of ideas. Colored tabs of paper—attached to the large page—are used in a collaborative voting exercise to gain consensus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing a book is like putting together a blank puzzle, one on which you must paint each little bit of the picture as you are putting the pieces together. How is that not art?

What is writing to you? Continue reading “Writing is…”

Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

How to write the most boring scene in your novel

Writing
Can’t force yourself to get excited about writing your next scene? Start by writing down the reasons why the scene is too boring to write. | Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Last night, I sat down to write chapter 10 of my novel, and I just couldn’t get into it. I knew what the chapter was supposed to be about, but I simply could not get excited about it. Then I remembered author Rachel Aaron’s advice  on getting excited about what you’re writing.

“If I had scenes that were boring enough that I didn’t want to write them, then there was no way in hell anyone would want to read them.” ~Rachel Aaron

So, I sat down with my notebook and began to scribble my thoughts about why I thought the scene I was about to attack was too tedious to write. Continue reading “How to write the most boring scene in your novel”

Novel Writing

Two characters walk into a bar

Edit Ruthlessly
Don’t let that editor on your shoulder stop you from putting your story on the page. | Edit Ruthlessly (Photo credit: Dan Patterson)

Is your story stuck? You’re trying to hack out that next scene, but all you can seem to do is, well, hack at it? Put the pen down. Back away slowly. It’s time to stop writing your story and start doing some free writing. This morning, I was sharing with a writer friend some advice that I’ve heard from my professor on more than one occasion, and I think this advice is worth sharing.

Here’s what you do: pick a minor character and try to get into that character’s voice. Pretend like that character is sitting at a bar telling the bartender about what is happening in the story… look at the story from a new perspective. Don’t worry about whether or not the character can tell the story well, just let him or her have his say. Also, don’t worry about writing complete sentences or stopping to fix typos. Simply sit down, tell that editor that’s sitting on your shoulder to be quiet for a while, and start writing whatever comes to mind. Continue reading “Two characters walk into a bar”

Novel Writing, Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Setting

Art
Who is your main character? How did her hometown influence his or her growth leading up to page one of your novel? | Art (Photo credit: A.Currell)

I’ve recently made the decision to throw all of my writing focus into novel writing. This is something I should have done a long time ago, but for some reason paying the bills always seems to come first. Anyway, I’m working on a series of free-writes designed to work out the details of my novel as I am writing it. Over the next several weeks, I hope to post several writing prompts devoted to working out these details.

For this week’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, the focus is on setting. Specifically, the setting in which your main character grew up. Where we came from often has a major influence on who we become. It stands to reason that the setting where your character grew up will have a major impact on who she is in your story. Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: Setting”

Random Writing Rants

Free-writing is hard.

English: Screenshot from Linux software KTouch...
My keyboard foils my free-writing every time. | English: Screenshot from Linux software KTouch. An image of the Home Row keys for touch typing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m in a whining mood today, and can I just say this one thing? Free-writing is hard.

It’s not what I thought it was. I have two free-writing activities that I need to do for class this week, and the first one did not go well at all.

A good chunk of my free-write turned into me whining about how free-writing is so hard to do. But I’m supposed to write what comes to mind without thinking about it, right? And when I was doing this free-write, my thoughts about how hard free-writing is just kept taking over. So, now I’m going to whine about it in this here blog post for a few minutes and get it out of my system before I attempt to tackle the other one. Continue reading “Free-writing is hard.”

Education, Writing Prompts, Written Communication

Wednesday Writing Prompt: The Greatest Longing

English: ink and charcoal on paper
What is the greatest longing of your main character’s soul? | English: ink and charcoal on paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite some time ago, I mentioned that I would be posting writing prompts for you on Wednesdays, but somehow I never managed to follow through. But, have I got a good one for you today!

One of the writing exercises I had to complete for my Advanced Novel Writing course this week included a free-write in which I had to answer the following question:

What is the GREATEST LONGING in this character’s soul? Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: The Greatest Longing”

Random Writing Rants

I need to write something

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...
Emergency “Twitter was down so I wrote my tweet on paper and photographed it and posted on flickr” : Satire on internet culture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I seriously need to write something soon. Or stop calling myself a writer.

Maybe this would have made a better Twitter update than a blog post. Continue reading “I need to write something”

Blogging, Writing Prompts

Writing prompt: Pick an object

The side tables have convenient drawers and ma...
You never know when the inspiration for your next great story might lurk somewhere in the depths of a random drawer. | (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re a teacher or student (or both, like me,) your head is probably about to explode from all of the recent end-of-year academic activities. So, for today’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, I thought it might be appropriate to pick something fun and light to write about. Of course, if you’re in the mood for deep and dark, you could probably take it that way too. Here goes:

Without looking, reach into a drawer, any drawer, in the room in which you are right this moment. (If you’re in a public place or someone else’s home, you may want to ask for permission first.) Pull out the first item you can get your hands on. Remember, don’t look in the drawer or look for a particular item. Instead, I want you to grab one random item Continue reading “Writing prompt: Pick an object”