Category «Uncategorized»

Writers’ Toolbox: Prompt Writing to Get Your Story Started

“You have to start somewhere to get somewhere good.” I often hear people say they can’t imagine writing because they don’t know how to think up stories. When I started attending speculative fiction conventions again in 2012, I participated in Allen Wold’s introductory workshop, and it set me on fire. Figuratively. Allen’s approach is simple: …

The Answers Lie Within, part 2: Guided Inspiration

Last time it was my turn to share a post, I talked about how to use the story to help figure itself out, especially when dealing with elusive endings. This time, I want to focus on one tool that I find particularly useful for plot problems: Story Readings. I’ve been reading the Tarot for two …

Sidetracked

I’m going to own it. I got sidetracked. Squirrel!! This year’s been bad for my writing. My self-imposed deadline to finish the first draft of my novel by World Fantasy Con was shattered by my headlong plunge into the morass of local politics. My state had important elections, and I couldn’t just wait for someone …

Revision Time

Since I’m fresh off an intensive revise and rewrite stint, guess what this weeks post is all about? Yep. The Dreaded Revision Process. Writers seem to fall into two camps when it comes to revisions—those who can’t wait to dig in and smooth out issues, versus those who would rather have a root canal from …

A Little Wisdom from Doctor Cox

  If you want to improve as a writer, something very important to identify is your strengths and weaknesses. I know it seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many writers don’t do this. It’s important to be subjective in this. If you are reading this saying to yourself, “I’m great at everything,” then you’re …

I’m not alpha material.

Hey there! I’m doing my own post for once. I am exhausted, the disease I fight is kicking me in the shins right now, so if this is a mess from an editorial standpoint, I’m writing about betaing, not editing. Very different things. Beta? What the heck is a beta? From the business dictionary: Second …

Will you or won’t you?

There was a stretch – certainly nothing recent – where I wrote every day for 144 straight days. It started out as a way of trying to measure my productivity. For those of you that don’t know, I am a big fan of using spreadsheets. Which is kinda funny, because if I had to rely …

Five tips to increase suspense in your writing

  One of the things writers struggle with in their stories is how to build suspense. The definition of suspense is a mental uncertainty, a pleasant excitement to a decision or outcome (Thank you, Merriam-Webster).   So,  how does one go about creating suspense? I will list several methods for your consideration. The unreliable narrator. …

The Answers Lie Within, part 1: Untangling an Ending

Art Credit: Highgate YYoga Sign Artist JPYMAI; photo by me Six weeks ago, for this week’s post I planned to talk about something I was doing to keep me productive and hold myself accountable: wordcount tracking, and the Excel spreadsheet I threw together that would keep a running tally. I’d just started, so I thought …