Cheating Writer’s Block

Some claim writer’s block doesn’t exist. If you go all Zen it doesn’t exist but then neither does the writing. I am a pantser so I have no outline or plot when I start. I also write mostly short forms and have way too many fragments that have solid potential in voice or character or situation but are stuck because I can’t see where they are going. When I’m stuck, […]

Dangerous Writing App

Here’s a unique site I keep in my writing bookmarks. If you don’t keep typing it will erase what you’ve done. If you hesitate, the font turns reddish-brown and fuzzy but it returns to normal if you begin typing again. If you don’t start typing as it is becoming fuzzier, a popup blocks you from adding any more words. https://www.squibler.io/dangerous-writing-prompt-app But, don’t worry; even after the popup there is still […]

Thesaurus Alternatives

There a group of sites that I frequently use as thesaurus alternatives. They’re all created by the same person and use the same broad structure. They all take a word or a group of words and search databases for the best matches. Think about how this differs from an online thesaurus. A thesaurus has predetermined links between words that have a strong, medium, or weak similarity to it. People have […]

Writing as Fiction as if it were Memoir

There was something in Mary Karr’s “The Art Of Memoir” that stuck with me. I listened to this as an audiobook from the library so it’s difficult to quote exactly but the specifics are less important than the process. She mentioned searching for a scene from her life that showed an example of her father and, something. How he loved her or some other other characteristic. Karr had a story, […]

Strengths and Weakness of your writing

What are your strengths and weakness as a writer? You might look at: Characters Setting Plot How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10? How do others see you? Then, what about: Dialogue Conflict Prose Theme Description But then there’s also: Variety Flow Balance Structure And even within the elements there are sub-characteristics, such as for Character: Believablity Interest Consistency Depth And the same with all […]

Effects to Cause

Start with an event, a cause. This cause will result in an incident, but don’t decide on the incident yet. the cause may be minor; Joe stops to look in the pet store window. the cause may be major; Joe drives his car through a red light. Determine a cause for that cause. Joe lost his transit pass and has to walk Determine a cause for that cause, perhaps bringing […]

To help you edit, reverse your sentence order

Here’s how to make your computer help you find grammar and line editing problems. Awkward phrases, missing words, repeated words in close proximity, and repeated sentence length will be much more obvious and easier to identify to fix. It requires Word, WordPad and Excel. Plus a bit of computer skills, or, just follow the instructions closely and trust my advice.  🙂 # In late drafts we need to focus on […]

Open Your Story at the Start of the Ending

“Begin at the start of the ending” is a writing aphorism. Open your story there and you set yourself up to easily carry through without losing the reader’s attention. # During a Twitter discussion on the use of literary devices, I said that I use flashback because I tend to start near the end and I need flashback to get at the history of the character and situation. One person […]

Differences between reality and fiction

Writing a story is not the same as experiencing reality. For one thing, fiction is more interesting than 99% of most people’s reality. Even creative non-fiction and memoir take reality and reshape it for presentation so it’s not boring, doesn’t include irrelevant moments, and has a coherent story or point. There are some basic differences between good writing and reality, and reasons why those differences exist.   Dialogue Fiction or […]