How to Be a Plotter and a Pantster: Webinar July 26, 2021

In my January newsletter I addressed the age-old either-or debate about writing style—plotting out your work before writing (plotters) or writing by the seat of your pants (pantsters)—and attempted to rebrand them as navigators and wanderers. Briefly explaining the differences between the two and confessing I’m a chronic navigator, I then touched on the benefits …

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The Latest Art-Committed Life Newsletter: Plotter v. Pantser and More

In my latest Art-Committed life newsletter, I take a fresh approach to the stereotypical two types of creative, the "plotter" and the "pantser," including if they're really as different as we believe. I also provide great news about a fiction writer featured in a past issue, and share an update of my own creative journey. …

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Point of View: Did You Choose the Right One?

There's a great SNL skit from a few years ago where Tina Fey plays a rather trashy woman speaking into the camera to someone she knows: "I saw you on House Hunters. You picked the wrong house, bitch!" Without the vitriol, I find myself thinking that sometimes while reading a novel about the author's choice of point …

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Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

So the retreat to the Mojave Desert paid off, and I've now officially completed the first draft of my novel-in-progress. I started outlining the story this summer, and it has evolved significantly from first doodles to 110,000-word draft. As a published author and professional writer, I know the most important step is yet to come: …

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What is Your Writing Process? First Drafts

A non-writer may ask you, "How is your book coming?" A fellow writer may ask you, "What draft are you on?" To the first question I usually reply, "It's going well, thanks," and then quickly change the subject. To the second, my typical response is, "It depends." Many creative writers plow through their WIP in …

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Using Your Subconscious as a Ghostwriter

As I've discussed my return to creative writing with others, I'm frequently asked if it's hard to get back into the groove. No, I respond, because I have a ghostwriter who does the hard work of plotting, scene construction, character development, and revision. I simply take dictation. The process I'm referring to is tapping into …

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A Survivor’s Guide to AWP

It's one of the largest annual gatherings of creative writers, publishers, and educators in the United States--usually well in excess of 10,000 attendees--and the largest such event for literary writers. Once again I'll be attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' annual extravaganza. This year the hordes will be …

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Road Stories: Why We Like to be Taken for a Ride

I'm pleased to host novelist and writing guru PJ Reece, a global traveler who offers us some great insight on how the call of the journey connects us to the story. His latest writing craft book, Story Structure Expedition: Journey to the Heart of a Story, is now available.   “One’s destination is never a …

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How To Put Your Whole Brain to Work

That's the mission of the creativity workshop I'm conducting on Saturday, March 21st, at the Florida Creativity Weekend in Sarasota, Florida. "Putting Your Whole Brain to Work" will be an 90-minute interactive session with games, storytelling, and of course a whiteboard. Here's the teaser on the conference's website: Does your creative process involve your right and …

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Three

Welcome to my final post on crafting an extended metaphor that runs the length of your creative writing. These lessons apply for fiction as well as nonfiction, but for the purposes of this series I've focused on examples from my recently published memoir, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. In Part One of this series …

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