Punctuality Rules!

Back to Basics

I decided that the best way to get back into the mind set of writing was to … well, write, of course … but not just any writing. So many things have been turned upside down these last few weeks. First, finding someplace to live, then packing a house full…

Can a Game be a Story?

My father is a puzzle to me. He watches sports for entertainment, for example, and when I protest that I prefer watching something with a story, he tells me “It’s all about stories.” He believes (I’m guessing) the strategies and the occasional player biography means that watching the events of…

Writing Makes Everything Possible

So, Joanna wants to know how writing makes things possible? Well, duh, Joanna.  What DOESN”T it make possible? (grin) Writing makes everything possible. For example: Writing down instructions on how to build things. Writing down instructions how to do things. Writing down lessons for children so they can learn. Writing…

Where the Action Is

Do you prefer stories where the bulk of the action, the stuff that drives the story, is external to your main characters? Or do you prefer internal engines? Engines make a good metaphor, here. Imagine your story is a boat. You need to get it from point A to point…

Word Tailoring

I have a confession to make. I am BAD at being succinct. Short. To the point. Direct. No wasted syllables. See? I couldn’t even say that without extras! Now, is this a terrible flaw? No, not really. We have a running joke in my family that my father has to…

Shoot for the Moon

It’s one thing to talk about goals and plans, but there’s a difference between discussing something fairly straight-forward that you plan to do, and talking about The Dream. You can talk about how you’re going to write a 400-word article, or how you hope, by the end of the year,…

How Not to Get Hired as a Writer

Last time, we talked about the ways you could preserve your anonymity by keeping your precious novel untouched and unpublished, but what if you don’t write novels? What if you write other things, like articles, press releases, and other types of non-fiction? How can you make sure that they stay…

Social Media 101

Hey, look at that … I have a guest post over at SocMedia101.com. This site, if you don’t know, comes from the brilliant minds of Julie Roads and Ron Miller and is devoted to helping people (especially new people) navigate the waters of the social media river. Confused about Twitter?…

Internal Entertainment

Another thing I’ve been thinking about, about writing: It’s internally created entertainment. Now, of course, there can be a difference between the fun kinds of creative writing and the obligatory kinds of drier, business-types of writing. But still, I find that dredging words up out of my subconscious can be…

Right to Write Right

I’ve seen a couple posts floating around the internet lately discussing whether the ability to write well is necessary, or even desirable, for someone who wants to write a blog. It should be obvious that I’m going to come down on the “Yes, it’s necessary” side of the fence. After…

Pet Names

I was just writing a response on a message board, and found myself typing, “In theory, the publisher can…” Not a shocking phrase, really, except that I used “in theory.” This is a verbal tic that I’m told I use a lot. I think the reason is that it’s a…

Anticipation

In honor of the fourth annual Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading (which I participated in last year, as well as in 2006, 2007, 2008 over at my knitting blog), this year you get a Very Special Treat. A poem that I wrote. This is a rare, rare thing. I like poetry…

Let the Yeast Do the Work

Writing is like bread baking. No, really! Let me explain. You start with the basics. Yeast: The initial idea. The spark that’s going to make your writing grow into a loaf of bread. (Well, you know what I mean.) Flour: This is the substance, the main argument. Really, without the…

Pulse Warmers

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the most difference. I was thinking about this the other day when I was sitting in my office, shivering in the draft coming from the door. I was wearing warm pants, wool socks, and a handknit sweater (made by yours truly) … but…

Dumped On

So … you had your schedule all worked out. Your plans laid, your priorities clear … And then you get dumped on. Just like a snow storm came barrelling along to disrupt your well laid plans. The roads are bad, slippery, messy, treacherous. Suddenly, what was going smoothly and according…

If a Writer Writes in a Forest…

So–there are lots of reasons to write. We’ve discussed this–there’s the whole, making-a-living thing. There’s the helping-yourself-think thing. There’s the I-have-no-choice thing. Right. We get that. But then there are writers who write because they want to, they’re driven, they’re inspired. So inspired, perhaps, that they try to write an…