Full Speed Ahead—Write Faster, Write More!

by Dave Pasquantonio

Sometimes the words come easily—and sometimes they don’t. We writers know exactly what it feels like to want to write more, to want to write faster, but the muse is not cooperating.

But we can’t always blame the muse. There are actions we writers can take to make the words flow faster.

Anna Staniszewski led a recent craft chat at The Writers’ Loft, “Write Faster—Write More!” She gave the enthusiastic attendees exactly what they were looking for—methods and insights to help us get those words out. Continue reading

Under the Skylight: Finding the Core of Your Story

by Erin Dionne

My most recent post was about writing the best story you possibly can. This one deals with another element of the revision process that I find really important: finding—and using—the “core” of your story to shape your revision.

What is the core?

The core of your story is its heart. It’s the one thing that holds your book together and provides your unique perspective on the world. Without it, your book would fall apart. Continue reading

Where Do Ideas Come From?

by Sandra J. Budiansky

Is there anything better than coming up with a brilliant idea and then sitting down and writing a best seller? Probably not, but that doesn’t usually happen. Many writers struggle to come up with an interesting book topic. On October 11th, Charlesbridge editor Karen Boss presented the Writers’ Loft workshop Idea Development, and When To Let Go, and it led to a lively and inspiring conversation. Continue reading

Under the Skylight: Revising to Create the Best Story Possible

by Erin Dionne

My previous blog posts have focused on persistence and objectivity. Today, I want to cover another necessary ingredient in the revision process: the desire to create the best story possible.

Now, I know you want to write a good book, short story, or poem. And you’re putting in the time and effort to do so. You’ve crafted your characters, developed a plot that moves along at a good pace, and figured out where your trouble spots are. You’re in love with what you’ve created—and you should be.

Continue reading

No More Free Rides: Cut Unnecessary Words From Your Manuscript

by Dave Pasquantonio

Congratulations—you finished your novel! You crafted nail-biting tension and perfect character arcs. You killed darlings and kept reader promises. And that ending? It sings. You’re done!

But wait—93,827 words? Uh-oh. You really wanted to come in under 90K. And that last editing pass was thorough. You killed off three secondary characters, consolidated scenes, and took out those boring pages where Wilhelm and Gene talked about that time they saw the moose. There’s nothing left to cut!

Or is there? Continue reading

The Art of Freewriting…With A Purpose

by Deborah Sosin

Write about your feet. Go. Ten minutes. Hairy toe knuckles, fallen arches, that painful bunion. Ugly, smelly, too big, too small. The pedicure gone wrong. The foot-fetishist boyfriend. Whatever comes to mind. Just keep the pen moving.

That’s freewriting in a nutshell. Writing without stopping—no censoring, editing, or judging. No need to fix spelling, punctuation, or grammar. No need for perfection. Simply putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a great way to bypass resistance, procrastination, and self-criticism. Continue reading

Under The Skylight: Maintaining Persistence During Revision

by Erin Dionne

Last month, I blogged about cultivating objectivity during the revision process. Another crucial element to effectively revising any piece of writing is persistence.

Finishing a novel or short story or poem requires persistence, so you already have that quality. But revising one…well, that is a whole new level of commitment. Taking a closer look at our work, finding flaws and fixing them, can be discouraging. Continue reading