My father died over twenty years ago. One of my strongest memories of him is of him reading.
He was a surgeon and a teacher. Most nights, after dinner, he would sit down at the end of the table with a stack of medical journals on his right. He would then read through them one at a time. When he finished one, he would stack it on his left.
He was a brilliant man who invented surgical techniques, wrote articles, and published a few books; yet still, every night he was reading. As writers we spend so much time with words, we forget how important it is that we are also reading and learning.
It’s a new year! New goals! New motivation!
But what happens when an ER visit derails me, a work project explodes and requires far more time than I planned, or I experience some other plan-busting interruption?
Too often, I have an all-or-nothing attitude toward change and progress. If I’ve eaten off the plan for one meal today, I’m far more likely to make unhealthy choices the rest of the day, week, and month. How can I short-circuit this negative thinking pattern and abandon all-or-nothing thinking to get more writing done this year?
Writers’ conferences can launch a career. They bring writers face to face with authors, agents, editors, publishers, and other writers at all skill levels.
But they can feel overwhelming for the uninitiated. With all the offerings, how does a writer navigate a conference to get the most from it?
There’s no shortage of writing prompts out there. We even do them with every post here on the Write Practice blog.
Prompts have a place in writing, whether it’s overcoming writer’s block or simply as a warmup to get your brain moving. Writing prompts are awesome.
Until they’re not.
What do you do if you hate the writing prompt you’re given?
You have a book inside of you. Perhaps you have a great story idea. Maybe people have told you, “Your life should be made into a book!” Or maybe you feel like you have an idea that’s important to share with the world. Whatever your motivations, it’s not enough to want to write, you need to know how to write a book.
In this post, we’re talking about how to write a book, including the ways not to write a book, plus the 10 steps that I’ve led hundreds of now-authors through as they finished their first books.
Psychology and writing go hand-in-hand. Both are about understanding how people think and act, and why. But you don’t need a psychology degree to write a good story—just a curiosity about the people around you.
Do you want to write a book? Is 2019 the year you finally accomplish your dream?
A new year is a time for fresh starts and audacious goals. And if your goal this year is to write your book, you’re not alone. One year is the perfect length of time to write and publish a book, as long as you know the right steps.
Do you know what your character’s objects of desire are? What do they want, and what do they need? And how do you leverage those wants and needs to create conflict in your story?
Writing a great story is a very challenging task. But there are secrets, shortcuts, and techniques that will give you an advantage as you start writing so that every word is focused on the proper goal of your story.
Shawn Coyne’s Story Grid is an excellent place to turn. And in this third post in my series on writing great stories using Story Grid principles, you’ll learn why conflict is the lynchpin of powerful storytelling and how to use it to thrill your readers.
How do you become a great writer? How do you write books that people love? How do you turn your writing into a career without losing it as a passion?
These are the problems I was trying to help writers solve when I started The Write Practice in 2011, and in 2018, we did more to accomplish those goals than ever. But we couldn’t have done it without the help and support from this community.
To my knowledge, no one has ever claimed that the life of a writer is easy. Not without a heavy dose of sarcasm. Any process that involves the production of creativity on demand will mess with your head.
As writers, we deal with Resistance on a regular basis. And just when you think you’ve got it beat and you settle down for a long winter’s nap, the devious imp sneaks in and twirls a feather under your nose. He whispers nasty things in your kerchief-covered ears until you fly to the window and throw up the sash (too much sash is notoriously bad for the digestion).
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the number of tasks you want to complete in 2019, never fear. I’ve definitely been there before. When everyone is posting on Facebook or their blogs about what they’re going to do come January 1, it can be easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough or that you don’t even know where to start.
Luckily, I have some prompts to help you decide what writing goals you want to focus on next year.
Why do some books “work,” while others don’t? Why do readers ravenously consume one book, while they put down another and forget about it entirely?
If you want to write books that readers love, you’d be wise to find answers to these questions and apply those answers to your work. Thankfully, there’s a resource available to you that provides an insider’s look at what readers want: The Story Grid!
In order to succeed, one thing writers need is stress-free time to work and think, which is why the holidays can be hard for us. With all the added parties and present buying and family events, it can be easy to feel stuck and unable to write.
Yes, writing can be particularly challenging during the holidays. But that’s no reason to quit trying altogether. Instead of giving up and not writing for a month, try these writing tricks to get through the craziness of the holidays.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle to write on Mondays. There are always so many details to catch up on, emails to respond to, meetings to attend.
But for me, last week was a pretty terrible week for my writing. I had way too many late nights cranking out words to make my word count goal. I procrastinated way too much. And I’m determined to have a better week this week. So I’m implementing one writing tip in my rhythm this week, and it might help you, too.
Sometimes I have students who say they don’t like to write. I suggest that perhaps they haven’t found a subject or story worth writing yet. Then I ask them if they have any scars.
Inevitably, the stories pour out of them, and they point to their arms, their foreheads, and their legs revealing skateboarding mishaps, fights, and sometimes deeper trauma.
Scars often hold an entire world of story. We wanted something and the pursuit of it left a mark.
Giving a character a scar can be a cliché or it can be a fast-track to deeper character development. When you’re creating characters with scars, execution is key.
It’s that time of year again: the season of a million holiday writing prompts plastering the internet. I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and give you another one. Groan if you like.
Two of the most vital skills you should focus on as a writer are how to tell a story that works and how to develop compelling characters. But once you’ve got that figured out, aren’t there other writing techniques, more subtle perhaps, that draw readers in and make stories shine?
There are. And one of those writing techniques is called euphonics. Rayne Hall, author of the Writer’s Craft series, defines euphonics as “the use of sound devices for prose writing.”
December can be a difficult time for creatives. With holiday parties, additional family responsibilities, and decorations to hang, it is hard to keep up the discipline of writing. Sometimes what we need is someone in our ear, giving us advice and spurring us onward, with motivational quotes for writers.
It would be helpful if this inner coach was a model of leadership and discipline. So let’s embrace some of the motivational quotes of retired four-star general in the United States Army Colin Powell.
You’re a storytelling genius full of brilliant ideas, right? You don’t need things like “structure” and “rules” to write a good story.
Or do you?
The Six Core Questions of Story Grid identify the fundamental elements of your story. They’ll help you figure out what your story is truly about, and what you need to include in it to turn it into a book readers will love.
When I published my first book, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller many times over, I had an edge over most other authors. My advantage wasn’t because I’m a better writer. It wasn’t even because I’m better at promotion than other authors. It was because I had developed relationships with two very important groups of people.
How did I do it? How did I become a bestselling author before I ever published my first book?
In Write to Publish, my program that teaches you the foundation you need to become a bestselling author, I share the timeless strategies that I learned on my way to becoming a bestselling author myself. How does the program work? And does it actually help people become published, bestselling authors?
In this review of Write to Publish, I’ll share the two most important rules that changed my life as an aspiring writer, and I’ll share the three most important relationships you need to make as an author. I’ll also answer frequently asked questions.