Archive | July 2011

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Weekend Assignment: Twice Upon a Time

Once upon a time… Four little words and automatically we have expectations about what will follow. A frog transforms into a prince. Siblings leave a breadcrumb trail through the forest. The wolf eats the grandmother. But what if those things didn’t happen? Your writing challenge for this weekend is to take a fairy tale and make it new. […]

Writing and Hoarding

Recently, I stumbled into the family room and encountered my husband and daughter sprawled out watching HOARDERS on cable. This particular evening’s show featured a man who hoarded rats. Yes. Let me say it again. Rats. Not just a few rats, either. Twenty-five HUNDRED rats. *shudder* Naturally, within 30 seconds I was completely sucked into […]

The Secret to Successful First Drafts

How many short stories, novels or other writing projects have you started then abandoned along the way? If you’re like most writers, there are bound to be at least a few. Maybe the story didn’t gel, or the piece lost focus, or you lost faith in the writing along the way. It happens. There’s a […]

Weekend Assignment: Picture Pages

Welcome once again to the weekend writing prompt! On Wednesday, I posted about writing description and using specific details to create an image in the reader’s mind. This weekend, let’s explore that technique. Your mission is to find a picture, any picture, from a book, magazine, newspaper–whatever, and write a description based on that image […]

Let Me Sum Up

How much description is enough? This is one of those things I spent years struggling with when I first began writing. How could I be sure what I meant for the reader to picture when reading my work would be the image he actually saw? The short answer? I couldn’t. No matter how many words […]

Discoveries – 279 Days to Overnight Success

In 2009 Chris Guillebeau set a goal to become a full time writer. His free e-book 279 Days to Overnight Success an unconventional journey to full-time writing details his journey as he shares tips and tricks. I’ve just begun skimming through it and can tell you part of Guillebeau’s secret to success is his engaging style. I’m […]

Weekend Assignment: Too Hot to Sleep

Hello writers! Hot and steamy. No, I’m not talking about romance novels, I’m talking about the weather. Here in the Ohio Valley we’ve been suffering through a  heat wave better suited to a subtropical climate.  Yesterday, the heat index climbed to 118 degrees F. All this heat reminds me of something the local TV station […]

Get the Picture, Boost Your Sales

When you write a pitch for a magazine, do you think visually? Do you picture how the article will look in print? How will it be illustrated? Your editor does. Sometimes getting a writing assignment from a smaller publication (and even some larger ones) hinges on the availability of images to illustrate your words. The […]

Multiple Writing Deadlines: Life in the Pressure Cooker

It’s finally happened. The writing jobs are pouring in and you’ve said yes to some pretty tight deadlines in order to grab as many assignments as possible. In fact, it’s all a bit overwhelming. How are you ever going to get it all done? Do. Not. Panic. Break them down. What steps are needed to […]

Weekend Assignment: The Sidebar Shuffle

Brainstorming is what it’s all about this weekend. Map the mind, connect the dots, do the Vulcan Mind Meld… er… okay, maybe not that.  For this weekend’s writing assignment, let’s play a little game. Pick an article, any article. It could be from your newspaper, or a favorite magazine. You can even choose one online […]