As writers, our job is to create stories. Unique stories. It doesn’t matter whether they take shape inside poems, short stories or novels, because either way, we are still developing distinctive characters and a plotline. We are telling a story from beginning to end. The question is, how do you come up with the uniqueness of the story, when there are already billions of stories in existence. How will your story stand out from the rest? It may not be that unique after all. Or is it? [Read more…]
Do you ever feel like you’re wandering through a snowstorm in your writing? You can’t quite see your way through your plot and your vision is obscured. Or maybe you’re struggling to start writing your story? You have an idea, a vague mass of a story. Like having flour and water but you don’t know how to make bread with them. You mix them together and all you get is a sticky, wet lump.
Here are 3 tips to get your story moving: [Read more…]
The immense benefits of a writing group are not always obvious from the beginning of an adventure. You may have mixed feelings as you sign up for a writing course or attend a conference or sit in on a writer’s group meeting as an observer, but I can tell you, there will be benefits you could never have imagined. [Read more…]
Exterior: southern Ontario countryside, winter blizzard conditions… interior of a very old pick-up truck. Woman behind the wheel is not dressed for the weather. She’s wearing a dress, light jacket and high heels. Through the windshield a deserted rural airport and runway are barely visible. She appears anxious, her cell phone sits on the dashboard. The phone rings… [Read more…]
I like the number ten. It’s a good number in terms of measurement.
It’s a decade, for one. An achievement by which we recognize milestone birthdays, for another. In the metric system, multiples and fractions of units are expressed as powers of ten of each unit. Unit conversions are always simple because they are in the ratio of ten, one hundred, one thousand and so on.
This past week I’ve procrastinated with my writing deadlines more than any other week over the past couple of years, even though I have multiple deadlines for stories and contests in the very near future. I’ve also noticed that I am checking the news more often than I need to. I’ve NEVER EVER been much of a “need-to-know-news-immediately” kind of person, but I am NOW.
Why? What has happened in the past week or so that has changed everything? [Read more…]
Nineteen ninety-seven. That was probably the last time I sat down and completed what one could call a ‘work of fiction.’ I was in high school and my English teacher would have given me the assignment with strict instructions on word count, theme, and possibly even plot. I had some pretty serious English teachers back in the day (thank goodness). [Read more…]
As I was researching for this blog, I found myself thoroughly confused. So this blog post comes from a place of sincere learning – no preaching. I don’t have a literature degree. I have no formal writing courses other than the many conferences and lectures I have attended. I simply love telling stories and think I have a unique perspective and the heart to tell a pretty good story.
My lack of training does not mean I take any less pride in my craft. I want to express myself eloquently in a word frugal fashion that will capture my reader and wow those who are formally trained. The worst crime I could commit, would be to place a reader’s imagination into a fantastical place, only to rip them from that reality when they stumble into a passive sentence. [Read more…]