Minutes from February 4, 2019 Meeting

Yesterday we talked about our writing goals: what we’re looking forward to accomplishing this year, what we’re doing to stay on track, and whether we’ve had to reexamine our goals. Last semester’s character talks have inspired us to really focus on character development in all of our projects, as well as finishing projects rather than simply focusing on word counts, and we’re looking forward to more inspiring craft talks and opportunities to experiment with new forms and genres in the months to come. Thomasa recommends Pinterest for storyboarding your projects, which helps if you don’t have space for a corkboard … Continue reading Minutes from February 4, 2019 Meeting

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

Dialogue

This week’s discussion was all about dialogue. If you missed the meeting and didn’t get the handout, you can find Thomasa’s tips for writing good dialogue over here, and here’s the rest of what the group came up with: How your characters speak is just as important as what is said. Be descriptive, but resist the urge to get too fancy with your dialogue tags—”said” is perfectly fine, and leaning too heavily on more interesting synonyms and adverbs can clutter up your writing; basically, make them count. Realistic speech isn’t grammatically correct, so dialogue doesn’t have to be and can … Continue reading 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

Happy New Year!

Welcome to a New Year Creative Writer! At the end of each year is seems necessary to take a moment and reflect. While some choose to use this time to think about new fitness routines or career goals, I like to also spare a moment for reviewing what i’ve written. I was very hard on myself this year for not writing consistently. Though, joining a community of writers definitely helped with this issue; I still felt like I had somehow failed. Then I pulled out my flash drive and looked more closely. I completed an entire novel at the beginning … Continue reading Happy New Year!

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

Minutes from December 14, 2018 Meeting

For our final meeting of 2018, following up on our character discussions of the last couple weeks, each of our writers brought in a character, major or minor, to introduce to the group. Some came with lists, while others had chosen to stage interviews with their characters.  Pooled together, we had a range of internal and external details—family dynamics, educational background, personality quirks, physical appearance, religion, favorite foods, full family history, personal traumas, professional history, social skills, etc., and how some of those traits inform the others. It sounds like everybody came out of this exercise knowing more about our characters … Continue reading Minutes from December 14, 2018 Meeting

Writer’s Block

We have all been there haven’t we creative writer? You are plugging along pretty speedily on a story, the plot is progressing and everything feels great then suddenly without warning, like the entrance of a villain in a horror movie, it starts to loom. You can feel the creative river start to dry out until it is barely a stream and then BAMMMMM! Nothing. You stare at the screen or the page and you want to put words there but nothing is happening and nothing will come out. You look at your story boards, outlines, character sketches and plot maps– … Continue reading Writer’s Block