Category Archives: Writing Tip of the Day

Use Nicknames to Enrich Your Characters

Nicknames are wonderful dramatic devices because they can work with the character’s apparent physical nature or personality, work against it for humiliating or comedic effect, play into the plot by telegraphing the activities in which the character will engage, create … Continue reading

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Avoid the Genre Trap

Too many beginning writers see genres as checklists of elements and progressions they must touch, like checkpoints in a race. But a genre is not a box in which to write. It is a grab bag from which to pull … Continue reading

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Be your own critic without being critical

Be your own critic without being critical Here’s how: Write something. Do it now. Now look at it not as an author, but as a reader or audience and ask questions about it. For example, I write, “It was dawn … Continue reading

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Let your Muse run wild

Let your Muse run wild The easiest way to give yourself writer’s block is to bridle your Muse by trying to come up with ideas. Your Muse is always coming up with ideas – just not the ones you want. … Continue reading

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Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Writing Tip of the Day: Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic! Structure is important but not at the expense of passion. No one reads a book or goes to a movie to experience a great structure. Authors … Continue reading

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Write from your Passionate Self

Write from your passionate self We all wear a mask to protect us from hurt in the world. It also blocks the light of our vision. As children, we quickly learn which behaviors are praised and which are punished. We … Continue reading

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Inspiration is all around you…

Inspiration for a novel or screenplay is all around you. Every day the mind naturally takes note of odd juxtapositions, inappropriate contexts and unlikely “what ifs” that crop up in overheard conversations, two television commercials that butt up against each … Continue reading

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Don’t be a slave to convention…

Beginning writers often look to other successful stories to learn how things ought to work. But so do all the other beginning writers. A book editor, agent, or script reader sees hundreds of manuscripts every year, all made up of … Continue reading

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What Makes a Writer?

What makes you a writer? Writing makes you a writer. Being a writer says nothing about how good you are, how prolific you are, whether you are published or not. When you write you are a writer. When you don’t, … Continue reading

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Today’s Writing Tip: Red Herrings

Today’s Writing Tip: “Red Herrings” Red herrings are false leads. In storytelling, red herrings are used to make something appear more connected than it really is. Several good examples of this technique can be found in the motion picture The … Continue reading

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