I vividly recall my first morning after moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I walked out the door of my hotel and was instantly smitten by the first strands of morning sunlight radiating from beyond the Sandia Mountains. Later that day I described the experience to an amused local, who replied, “No big deal. After a few months it will just be part of the background.” That … [Read more...]

Start With an Outline and Make Writing Easier

How to write an outline

Writers may have different processes for creativity, storytelling or editing, but outlining is a common practice of the most prolific writers. Your outline is like the train tracks that your writing train runs on. If you just run full speed without an outline, that’s a fast track to poorly supported conclusions and scattered thoughts. An outline is not restrictive, though. You … [Read more...]

The Productive Sprint

Note from Cathy: NaNoWriMo is coming soon, and the following post from Leo Babauta contains excellent advice for getting a lot done in a short time. Why not try a 'productive sprint' to get your next project done, whether for NaNoWriMo or any other time? In the past two weeks, I’ve written more than 45,000 words, including 10 posts for Zen Habits and Sea Change and 30 … [Read more...]

Feedback Is A Fiction Writer’s Friend


You’ve spent countless hours writing a story, poured your soul into it and edited it half a dozen times. You finally have a draft that you’re proud of. You give it to a couple of friends to read, and ask them for comments. Instead of getting feedback such as, “It’s brilliant,” though, you get back comments like, “Neat idea. I like your characters. I’m not sure I understand the … [Read more...]

Christian Writers’ Conferences Fall / Winter 2015


If your book is Christian themed or is in the Christian genre then attending a Christian Writers conference may be of interest to you. At a Christian Writing Conference you are likely to encounter authors with popular published work, or view up and coming authors recently finished work. Emily Akin, freelance writer says, “If you want your work published, you should attend … [Read more...]

Is Your Writing Space the Right Space?


It’s the favorite chair or the little nook in the den. It’s the small desk tucked in the corner. It’s the table in the back in your favorite coffee shop. Maybe it’s the comfy couch in your living room. These are the places we write. But what makes them right? What makes them perfect for creativity, imagination, or reflection? Is it the space itself that gives our minds the … [Read more...]

Mixing Fact and Fiction: A Romance/Memoir Not in Standard Form


Every writer learns to take that leap of faith and believe in her own creative expression, a way to tell a story that is true and compelling. A Portrait of Love and Honor is that sort of book…a marriage of fact and fiction; a memoir within the framework of a novel. I wanted to write a love story – two people who find in each other their dreams come true. Just as happens in real … [Read more...]

Writers’ Conferences Put Authors on the Road to Success


There are several good reasons why writers should invest the time and effort required to attend writers’ conferences. Attending a writers’ conference only takes a few hours, or a couple days at the most, a small investment, and a little effort to register and arrange travel and lodging, but the payoff can be big. Attending a writers’ conference gives you a great chance to … [Read more...]

The Pros and Cons of Writing Groups


Being part of an on-line writing group for several years has provided many benefits. But with the positives come a few negatives. The Positives: Over a period of time, one learns to recognize each reader’s style of critiquing and approach to writing fiction/non-fiction. I’ve discovered that, usually, all of our critiques collectively add up to one excellent response. Each … [Read more...]