Browsing Tag

Creative Writing

writing-the-things-you-want-to-read
Musing

Writing the Things You Want to Read

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni MorrisonWith Free Chocolate coming out TOMORROW,  I’ve been thinking a lot about that quote.  If it wasn’t my series, The Chocoverse would still be…

a-writer-reads-always
Musing, Writing Tips

A Writer Reads, Always

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” — Oscar Wilde“I…

saturday-night-write-discussion-new-takes-on-old-ideas

Saturday Night Write Discussion: New Takes on Old Ideas

Saturday Night Write meets on the third Saturday of each month to provide instruction and encouragement to writers in the community surrounding UT Arlington (and anyone else who wants to drive out to meet up with us).  Our discussion leader presents a structured topic and background research to spark interactive…

well-i-wasnt-expecting-that
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Well, I wasn’t expecting THAT!

This whole month, I want to talk about the relationship between writing and reading.  I’ve talked to so many writers who say they don’t read inside their own genre because they’re afraid of copying someone else’s idea.  (More on this later – I’m planning an entire…

focus-on-genre-writing-humor

5 Session Class: Focus on Genre: Writing Humor (Start Date)

Humorous writing can be hard to master. However, it can get easier if you understand the techniques comedians use to get a laugh. Whether you are pulling anecdotes from real life, are writing a funny character in fictional situations, or want to blend humor with other genres, there’s something…

freytags-pyramid
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Freytag’s Pyramid

In 1863 Gustov Freytag, first known as a playwright and later a novelist, published Die Technik des Dramas.  (Released in English much later as Freytag’s Technique of the Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art.)  While his novels reflected some of the ugliness and turbulence of the time…

write-it-short

5 Session Class: Write It Short (Start Date)

Get ready to write for kids and/or teens, some of our most demanding yet voracious readers. Learn how publishers divide Children’s and YA books according to age and content, and how to create characters and plotlines that will resonate with readers at each of those different ages. Students…

saturday-night-write-discussion-outlining-strategies

Saturday Night Write Discussion: Outlining Strategies

Saturday Night Write meets on the third Saturday of each month to provide instruction and encouragement to writers in the community surrounding UT Arlington (and anyone else who wants to drive out to meet up with us).  Our discussion leader presents a structured topic and background research to spark interactive…

back-it-up-and-keep-it-organized
Writing Tips

Back it up and keep it organized!

I just want to offer a quick public service announcement.Writers, is your work backed up somewhere?  If no: rectify that immediately.  I know you never think a computer crash is going to happen to you, but everyone thinks that until it happens to them.  Even new computers can have…

writer-transform-thyself
Musing

Writer, Transform Thyself

I recently had a writer ask me which one of his many ideas he should follow up on.  There is no easy answer to that question, because it all depends on the writer’s motivation.  Is he wanting to know which one is the most marketable?  Well, I can’t…

novel-writing-level-2

5 Session Class: Novel Writing, Level 2 (Start Date)

Are you ready to build your novel writing skills? Or are you confident in your writing, but mystified by terms like character agency, pathos, and subtext? In this course, you will learn how to craft realistic dialogue, create characters who do indeed have agency, understand narrative structure, and connect readers…

writing-a-cookbook

5 Session Class: Writing a Cookbook (Start Date)

Do you come from a family of great cooks? Are you a chef? Or have you spent years collecting recipes from friends, family and the back of boxes and cans? Or do you belong to an organization that needs a special fundraiser treasure? These are all great reasons for compiling…

writing-about-yourself-level-2

5 Session Class: Writing About Yourself: Level 2 (Start Date)

Want to delve into the techniques that make memoirs jump off the page and personal blog entries get clicks? This class will include hands-on exercises for recovering memory and filling in the gaps through research and interviews. It will also cover organizing memorabilia and adding visual elements to accompany…

saturday-night-write-discussion-writing-as-letting-go

Saturday Night Write Discussion: Writing as Letting Go

Saturday Night Write meets on the third Saturday of each month to provide instruction and encouragement to writers in the community surrounding UT Arlington (and anyone else who wants to drive out to meet up with us).  Our discussion leader presents a structured topic and background research to spark interactive…

well-darlings-youre-weighing-us-down
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Well, Darlings, You’re Weighing Us Down . . .

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King (not the first person to say it, but perhaps the most ominous)It’s a common piece of advice to give to beginning writers, and it’s been attributed…

but-i-never-got-to
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

But I never got to . . .

I’m a big believer in the promises-made-to-your-reader philosophy of writing.  It’s the idea that readers file away everything you’ve laid out in the first few chapters of your story – and they expect you to follow up on it.  To see how this extends…

this-things-important-right
Literary Terms, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

This Thing’s Important, Right?

One of my favorite books from the Children’s Lit classes I took in college was Treasure Island.  Stevenson stuck with me as an example I wanted to emulate, because nothing in that book is wasted.  Every piece of foreshadowing pays off, every bit of character development comes into play…

ready-set-goal
Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Ready, Set, Goal!

Have you set goals for the coming year?  Most of us look at a new calendar, fresh with unspoiled pages, as an opportunity.  It’s a reset.  A chance to think about what we want to develop in our lives, what we are ready to let go.  A story offers…

dross-and-hero-stuff
Musing, Writing Tips

Dross and Hero Stuff

Can we be brutally honest?  As a writer, you simply cannot be a nice person – at least not when it comes to your characters.  There is no quicker way to lose reader interest than to present characters who never face failure or loss, who are never in danger, who never…

to-wiki-or-not-to-wiki
Musing, Writing Tips

To Wiki or Not To Wiki

So before I started teaching writing, I was a Youth librarian.  And as everybody says, you can take the girl out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the girl.  Especially when it’s someone like me.  I was always the one chasing down the…

the-power-of-what-if
Musing, Writing Tips

The Power of What If

When I do my prewriting classes, I always start with a session on idea generation.  Sometimes students will already have a character in mind, or a genre they want to work in, or a few plot events, but I ask them to put that aside and – as a group – work…

im-definitely-not-in-a-story-right
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

I’m Definitely NOT in a Story, Right?

Last month I talked about character self-awareness in the psychological sense.But today, I want to get into the other way this term is used when talking books:  literary self-awareness, where we find fictional characters who either understand their genre, or who realize they are taking part in…

but-thats-not-what-i-meant
Writing Tips

But That’s Not What I Meant!

Readers are trained to try and figure out puzzles.  No matter what the genre, we give them clues in our foreshadowing, paid off in plot twists and revelations that feel surprising-yet-inevitable.  As readers, we want to feel smart – like we figured out what the writer was trying to…

purple-prose-the-tackiest-pants-patch
Writing Tips

Purple Prose: The Tackiest Pants Patch

Sitting around with a group of writing students a while back, the concept of purple prose came up.  Nearly all of them knew they were supposed to avoid it, but not necessarily what it was, or where the term came from.To understand the idea, you need to think in…