Pandemic Poetry

April’s just about passed in a frantic blur as we adjust to new restrictions, new fears, and isolation. It’s been a while since the blog’s been very active, and it feels strange to be blogging just now, as if things are normal. Nothing is normal now and there’s no telling what normal will look like at the end of this. But if we still have readers: hi. Hope you’re all well, and safe, and finding ways to cope. This morning I discovered some poetry apps on my phone, downloaded in anticipation of National Poetry Month and forgotten in all of … Continue reading Pandemic Poetry

Music for Writers

We all know music influences your mood. It can even be a shortcut to the mood you want, so I have a playlist for just about every state of mind I could need to access on any given day. Energizing playlists for cleaning and working out; road trip playlists carefully curated to keep me peppy but not too hyped on long drives; a Calm Down playlist for when my anxiety spikes (also essential for road trips); a slightly different mellow playlist to help me sleep when I’m restless; and, since it’s that time of year, a winter/Christmas playlist to keep … Continue reading Music for Writers

Writing Resources

The Creative Writing Club at Penn Highlands spent two semesters sharing our favorite writing aids and sources of inspiration with one another. With a new semester just beginning, it’s a good time to gather all those helpful resources in one place. Share your favorite writing tools down in the comments! Not sure what to write about? The Time Is Now offers three writing prompts every week in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Abulafia collects random generators for pretty much any facet of storytelling you could ask for to help jump-start your writing. Story Cubes and Nanofictionary were favorite storytelling games at our writing club … Continue reading Writing Resources

5 Things To Do After Writing A Book — R. Michael

So, you wrote a book, now what? Well, that is only the beginning of the journey. The first step out of the Shire. What is there besides publishing? I’m glad you asked hypothetical person! While this is no means extensive, the list below should give you a good starting place. 1. Research publishing options. Publishing […] via 5 Things To Do After Writing A Book — R. Michael Continue reading 5 Things To Do After Writing A Book — R. Michael

Resolve, Review, Persist

New Year’s resolutions tend to start gathering dust around February, and the artistic kind can be especially difficult to justify, especially when things get busy. But there’s no shame in starting over, and in fact there’s something to be said for not even starting until February. Whether you’re a month into a new habit and reassessing your goals for the year or just starting yours out, here’s a reminder of why you made those writing resolutions in the first place, and permission to take them seriously, in case you need it: In 2019: Persist, Persist, Persist.   Continue reading Resolve, Review, Persist

Writing Dialogue- 10 Tips for Writing Good Dialogue

Writing Dialogue 10 Tips to Writing Good Dialogue Dialogue is used with purpose to reveal information to the reader that is known to the character. Do this carefully. The lines should still sound realistic and one character should not be delegated all the exposition, this makes that character feel one dimensional and tedious. Avoid information dumping. Space things out to create suspense and keep the sections of dialogue short. Most people don’t like being stuck listening to a long monologue- unless you’re Shakespeare and the character is talking to himself. Make sure that the reader knows who is speaking– This … Continue reading Writing Dialogue- 10 Tips for Writing Good Dialogue

The Business of Writing: Resources

During our latest meeting we talked a little about the business side of writing—where to submit your work, how to make sure a publisher or publication is legitimate, how to safeguard your work while seeking publication, etc. There were varying levels of experience with these concerns in the room and we’d like to dedicate a session or two to exploring the topic in depth, but here are a few resources that may come in handy in the meantime if you’re getting ready to send out your work. Poets & Writers Magazine maintains databases of journals, contests, small press publishers, and … Continue reading The Business of Writing: Resources

Rules of Writing

We’ve shared a lot of writing advice lately, and it’s had me thinking about the nature of the thing. Just about every writer has “rules” they live by; many have lists, whole books, even, of steps you must follow and things you must avoid at all costs if you hope to be published and successful. However, following someone else’s rules to the letter can sometimes do more harm than good, especially if a rule is internalized as law. My first book on writing was Robert’s Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know by Robert Masello. I was 15 … Continue reading Rules of Writing

The Power of Voice

Hello Creative Writer, In the vein we’ve been in, character, over the last few weeks I’d like to offer up one other important character in the story that as of yet we haven’t mentioned. You. Or more specifically the voice in which you choose to tell your story. Now, this can be pretty interesting especially if you aren’t telling the story in 1st person, from the point of view of a character within the story. When you are “outside” the story telling and  showing the reader what is happening, what people are thinking and doing, you become a character as … Continue reading The Power of Voice