30 Prompts – 30 Poems in 30 Days

The action for 30 Poems in 30 Days has clearly moved from the blog to Facebook, so I am posting all 30 prompts here, but encourage people to write there. Day 1 Write a love poem that is specifically NOT about romantic love. Some subjects you might consider are family members such as parents or kids, pets, sports cars, pizza, friends — whatever moves you. Day 2 Write a poem that involves a sequence of events or steps such as a process, a recipe, instructions, or anything that could only happen in a certain order. Day 3 Write a poem … Continue reading 30 Prompts – 30 Poems in 30 Days

Are Your Characters Well Spoken, or is it Just You?

How Articulate Are Your Characters? Most writers are articulate. Because they work with the written word on a daily or near daily basis, and because they have a love of language, most writers express themselves well. Just because a writer is articulate, however, doesn’t mean that a character should be articulate. Adjusting your language to suit a character, especially in dialog, is vital to creating a realistic depiction of that character and vital for differentiating that character from others in the story. Words Reflect Background When most people think about writing realistic dialog, they think about things such as regional … Continue reading Are Your Characters Well Spoken, or is it Just You?

Negative Self Talk for Writers: Negativising

Negativising occurs when you focus only on the negative aspects of an experience. This frequently haunts writers who subject themselves to criticism in the forms of writer’s groups, editors, clients and classes. You enter a situation in which you hear both positive feedback and negative feedback, but you only remember or think about the negative feedback. Poor self talk: The writer’s group said that my characters seemed false and my dialog was stiff. It was just one terrible review after another. Realistic self talk: The writer’s group said they want me to improve my dialog and work on character motivation, … Continue reading Negative Self Talk for Writers: Negativising

Short Story Writing Project: The Second Draft

People write in many different ways. Some people work slowly, trying to make every detail perfect the first time. Other people write quick, messy first drafts that they then tame and refine as they edit. Most people fall somewhere in between.For my part, I tend to write first drafts quickly. I will go back and edit a bit as I go, but I don’t expect the first draft to be perfect. For example, when I write dialog in a first draft, I tend to write it as a transcript, without any surrounding detail. One person speaks, then the other. I … Continue reading Short Story Writing Project: The Second Draft

My Thoughts on The Oscars and Juno

I love movies, but I’m not a big fan of the Oscars. Their taste in films has always seemed a bit stodgy and mannered for me. I like comedies more than dramas, on most days, and any movie that aspires to be an “epic” tends to bore me, especially by the third hour. These days, even the average movie seems to clock in at about two hours and twenty minutes. That would be fine if every moment of the movie felt important or at least interesting, but for the most part the extra time just feels like filler. Wedding Crashers … Continue reading My Thoughts on The Oscars and Juno

Revising Your Novel: Adding and revising scenes

When you begin adding and revising scenes for your novel, the process is a little different than writing a first draft. Your goals are different because at this point, you are filling in missing information and working within the constraints of what already exists. Your characters, tone and plot have already been set, and you are now either expanding on what you have or looking to make serious changes to one or more of those elements. Here are some tips for writing new and revised scenes for your novel: Take the time to read the surrounding text. If you are … Continue reading Revising Your Novel: Adding and revising scenes

An Analysis of Indian Killer, To Kill a Mockingbird and Daisy Miller

One of the key aspects to a novel is how the characters in that novel communicate with each other, especially in terms of dialog. The dialog in a novel reveals the attitudes of the characters toward each other and the topics they discuss. The manner in which characters speak, the language characters use, and the mode in which the characters frame their statements and questions are indicative of both the characters and the story. Discrimination and division are shared topics among three very different novels, Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Henry James’ Daisy Miller. … Continue reading An Analysis of Indian Killer, To Kill a Mockingbird and Daisy Miller