Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School

By Brian Kaufman I asked a writer friend if he’d ever read a particular classic novel. His face puckered up as he admitted, “Yes, I had to read that for school.” There’s not enough time for all the great books. My friend, author Pat Stoltey, recently told me, “My worst moment when I was aContinue reading “Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School”

We Need Dependable, Not Inspirational

By Miranda Birt Who here has heard habit trumps motivation? I’ve mostly heard this phrase at conferences, in interviews, on YouTube, and anywhere else a person can listen to writing advice. They all say the same thing: “if you want to be successful, you need to make writing a habit.” I think it makes totalContinue reading “We Need Dependable, Not Inspirational”

Productive Distractions

By David E. Sharp Great ideas rarely come to me when I’m staring at a word document. That would be a convenient time for them to show up, but inspiration is fickle. Maybe it’s because I can’t get my inner monologue to stop repeating, “Come up with a great idea. Come up with a greatContinue reading “Productive Distractions”

Getting Off of The Struggle Bus

By Ronda Simmons The pandemic has passed the six-month mark, and I’ve been riding the struggle bus. Michael Christensen defines the struggle bus as “an imaginary bus representing a state of perpetual struggles or difficulties. A metaphor that relates physically riding a bus with going through hardships. Used with the same terminology of riding anContinue reading “Getting Off of The Struggle Bus”

Professor Malevolent’s School For Fictional Villainy

By David E. Sharp Every Batman needs his Joker, every Cinderella needs her wicked stepmother, and every tortoise track-and-field athlete needs an obnoxious hare. Your hero is only as good as your villain. But it’s easy to get villains wrong. That’s why I have asked the advice of notable villain and nefarious schemer, Professor Malevolent.Continue reading “Professor Malevolent’s School For Fictional Villainy”

ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG WRITER

BY BRIAN KAUFMAN Originally posted May 14, 2020 When I was twelve years old, I wrote an adventure story about school kids trapped on an island, thwarting a plot to take over the world. My English teacher had me read the story to the class. I decided then that if I didn’t play centerfield forContinue reading “ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG WRITER”

A CHAPTER ONE CHECKLIST

By David E. Sharp Originally posted February 27, 2020 The annual NCW conference looms on the horizon. Many of us are sprucing up those manuscripts to impress professionals of the literary world, not least of which are agents you hope to woo. You’ve got 50,000 words to show off, but you’ll only have a pageContinue reading “A CHAPTER ONE CHECKLIST”

We Write What We Write: Or Surviving Schmaltzy Holiday Movies

By Eleanor Shelton Originally posted January 2, 2020 It’s a new year. I’m trying to get excited about it. Just as I was trying to get into the spirit of the season, including gift-giving, house decorating, quality time with friends and family, overeating, celebrating, and planning for the year to come. NaNoWriMo is over. InspirationContinue reading “We Write What We Write: Or Surviving Schmaltzy Holiday Movies”

Writing for Family

By Brian Kaufman Originally posted December 20, 2019 Writing for family is slightly different than writing about family. Writing about family may involve dysfunction. And that is a tricky matter, requiring honesty, compassion, and a thick skin. As well as a willingness to be abjured. I’m talking about telling the sort of stories that are recalled at family gatherings.Continue reading “Writing for Family”