unfolding your writing process

steps

Unfolding the writing process can help you figure out which steps may be tripping you up. It’s like reverse engineering a paper box by taking tab A out of slot B until you have a flat piece of paper. Putting it back together, one step at a time, sheds light on how it works. … Read more

50 fiction prompts for curious writers

direction sign

The fiction writing prompts I find most motivating – the ones that inspire original scenarios, themes, and connections – take the form of questions. These 50 prompt themes include many more than 50 questions, organized by subtopic so you can scan for what’s pertinent. … Read more

dirty tricks for writers

dirty tricks at the littenweiler train station

When what you want to write resists the birthing process, outsmart the muse through subterfuge — from stating the obvious to herding dust bunnies. … Read more

final edit checklist

final check

Checking these factors during the final stages of editing has the potential to take your piece to a higher level of clarity and readability. … Read more

trial and error terror

trial and error terror

To make something you really like, something with legs, something with a life of its own, you’re going to have to fail. Get used to it. When you befriend the process of trying and failing until you succeed, you win. … Read more

how to fall in love with yourself

fall in love with yourself

If, for whatever reason, you struggle with feeling like you don’t have what it takes to become a better writer, instigating a love affair with yourself can help. Start with these specific assignments. … Read more

persist - write better by maintaining your focus

maintaining focus by taking a break

Persistence isn’t about maintaining a steady pace. It’s about knowing when to lie down and when to get back up again. It’s a paradox that sustained focus requires looking away occasionally, letting attention lapse, loosening, and relaxing. … Read more

ponder - write better by organizing your ideas

organized ponderings

The act of writing anything involves distillation, decision-making, and shaping. No matter what your raw material is about, who your audience is, or what form your finished creation takes, at some point in the process you think about what words to use and what … Read more

wonder - write better by exploring your fascination

explore a fascination

At the heart of wonder is the desire to know more. There’s nothing of the editor in wonder. Only pure, unfettered devotion. When your fascination is given your curious attention and caring, when it’s allowed to thrive, what you write will glow from within. … Read more

wander - write better by clarifying your quest

wander off the marked trails

With all the associations wander has with aimless vagueness, why is it the trigger word for clarifying a quest? It’s because, again and again, I’ve seen writers working on defining their goals find freedom, peace, and excitement when the idea of wandering is allowed into the equation. … Read more