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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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Two

Extended metaphors in prose resonate with the reader, even if she isn't sure what it is the author has done to trigger that resonance. In Part One of this series I explained that making use of a recurring metaphor advances both plot and character development. We looked at how to identify a key theme that needs …

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