Here's an exercise that smothers writer's block. It takes 10 to 30 minutes. Say you’re in the school parking lot to pick up the kids. Or at the train station waiting for your partner to arrive on the six-fifteen. Or on a bus going to work. No problem, you can destroy writer’s block with this exercise, and you can do it anywhere you have paper and pen or an electronic notebook and 10 to 30 minutes of free time. Sit still and let the jumble of thoughts, memories, emotions fly out like … [Read more...] about How To CRUSH Writer’s Block In 4 Easy Steps
We all have our favorite beginnings, the first words of a book that plunk us into the middle of a story. Like an arresting snapshot, good beginnings change us from being mildly curious to fully committed. They make us unwilling to stop reading. Beginnings have to do certain things for me. They seethe with emotion, usually understated. They give me a sense of place. Tell me what the story’s about. Give me a sense of genre. Hint at the main character’s core conflict. Hint at the … [Read more...] about Beginnings
How To Find Voice In Six Easy Steps Literary voice is made up of lots of stuff—syntax, the kinds of characters we hang out with, the stories we choose to write, the plot, the themes, the overtones, the undertones, the aftertaste, the resonance. The sounds of the words and the sentence structure. Where you choose to begin. Gather it all up: collectively, they create the style of a work, its flavor, what the Oxford Dictionary defines as “the distinctive tone or style of a literary work or … [Read more...] about How To Find Your Voice In 6 Easy Steps
My guest is Sandra Nikolai, award-winning author of the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott mystery series. Today she answers a question that interests many of us. It address the deep-down question of why some authors are compelled to write mysteries, and it hints at the mesmerizing nature of mystery stories. I for one, can attest to the spellbinding nature of Sandra's books—I just can't put them down. Here's Sandra. Why Write a Mystery Series? As any TV soap opera enthusiast would attest, a … [Read more...] about Why Write a Mystery Series?
Here are a few ways to feed the brain. I’m told they all work. I’ve done all of the easy ones and thought hard about doing the others. Work out using weights or using an elliptical trainer. Skip rope (tougher now than it was when I was five). Sniff cinnamon. Eat blueberries. Write, but don't stick with one genre. Take up something new, take a class, learn a language. Take long walks. Multitask. Don’t multitask. Follow the line of a musical piece, holding on with all your … [Read more...] about How to Feed The Brain