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

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

6 Virtues of the Writing Life

The Write 100 Challenge is a long haul, and the writing life even more so. These coming weeks have the potential to shape you, as a writer and as a person. But how will they shape you? These virtues of the writing life are foundational for the work we seek to do. Make it your … Continue reading 6 Virtues of the Writing Life

Writing Prompt: Letter to Yourself

Your character opens the mailbox and finds a letter addressed in strangely familiar handwriting. The letter claims to be a note from your character to him or herself. Is it from the past? Or from the future? What happens next? Write a letter to yourself. Will you write to your future self? Your past self? … Continue reading Writing Prompt: Letter to Yourself

Summer Vacation: A Writer’s Guide

Summer brings new places and new routines. With our first group challenge completed, the writing routine may look a little different too. It's important to take advantage of times of transition and different paces of life to bolster our writing. The most important thing is to keep writing. Find a writing routine that works for you, … Continue reading Summer Vacation: A Writer’s Guide

Let’s Be Adventurers

One of the most difficult aspects of the writing life is learning to balance the big picture with the day-to-day. One moment I'm caught up in the dreamy vision of the finished work. I can sense the story's potential. In the next I'm distracted by the snarled plot point that won't unravel.    Both are … Continue reading Let’s Be Adventurers