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See Like Your Heroes

"You don’t want to look like your heroes - you want to see like your heroes." -Austin Kleon Read. Extensively. Broadly. Deeply. That’s the first piece of advice given to writers. It’s tied with that other great piece of writing advice: write. But why do writers need to read? Usually this advice is dispensed in … Continue reading See Like Your Heroes

Writing Prompt: Lighthouse

Write a story or scene that takes place in or around a lighthouse. Use the image as a starting point. Describe the place and the moment. Utilize as many senses as you can. Reach for strong, vivid language to help your reader experience the scene. Use the elements of the scene (whether lighthouse, boat, ocean, … Continue reading Writing Prompt: Lighthouse

Ready to Rest

We're more than a third of the way through our 100 days of writing and closing in on the 50 day milestone. Already we've heard from guest writers; we've shared ups and downs. There are many more to come, I assure you. In the coming weeks there are yet more writers stopping by for a … Continue reading Ready to Rest

Do Your Characters Talk to You? Should They?

Have you ever heard a writer talk about her characters as if… they were real? Like, as if the writer were not entirely in control of her own work? It used to be my pet peeve to hear writers say “my main character told me _____,” or in more ludicrous scenarios, “my main character refused … Continue reading Do Your Characters Talk to You? Should They?

Writing Prompt: The Next Stop Is…

Finish the line: "The next stop is..." Write a story or scene that takes place on a subway. Next time you are on a bus, train, airplane or any other form of public transportation, watch the people around you. Note the details or their dress and behavior. Make a list of your observations.

Take Critique Like A Pro

Feedback is critical for a writer. It's also tricky. Good feedback can help you unlock parts of your story and discover new possibilities, whereas bad feedback can set you back, send you down a wrong path, and even derail the necessary confidence. The dividing line between the two is often thin. So how do you navigate … Continue reading Take Critique Like A Pro

A Work in Progress

I’m not sure what I expected the writing life to be like. Sure, I had dreams about what it would be like to be a writer… the book tours, the conventions, the autograph sessions… but I don’t think I sat down and thought about what it would actually be like to be a writer. What … Continue reading A Work in Progress

Writing Prompt: Embarrassment

Write about your most embarrassing moment. Is it still embarrassing or has your perspective changed? Describe the feeling of being embarrassed. Use vivid, active language. Describe before and after the moment as well as the experience of the embarrassing ordeal itself. Is your character easily embarrassed? Hardly ever? What might they point to as their … Continue reading Writing Prompt: Embarrassment