How to Read Like a Writer

Reader

If you’ve hung around here at The Spinning Pen at all, you’ll know a fun fact about us that isn’t very surprising: we all LOVE to read.

Last week, Caleb talked about the Reading Only Challenge he’s embarking on, and I thought I would add a little writing tip to go along with his fantastic idea. Missed his post? Check it out at the link above.  Continue reading

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The Creation of Pain: Adding Depth to Your Stories

Back Pain 1

In our relatively sheltered lives, pain is usually a passing phenomenon – injury or accident; sickness or disease. But what about those that live with daily pain? Those stuck in poverty, starvation/malnutrition, warfare or abuse? All of these should be present somewhere in our stories, even if they remain on the outskirts.  Continue reading

How to Survive in the Creative Darkness

I feel like the only appropriate way to start this post is with a quote from George Washington in “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda:

“Check it–

Can I be real a second?

For just a millisecond?

Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?” 

hamilton+washington

It’s one of those seasons for me where everything feels a little darker than usual. There’s a heaviness to the air, in my limbs, and in my soul. Yeah, it’s dramatic, but we’re writers. Drama comes with the territory.

I’m guessing most of you have been in one of these seasons, and if you haven’t, you likely will be at some point in the future. Especially for creatives, the dark seems to follow us around a little more.

So today, when I just don’t know if I can get the words out any other way, I have this bit of encouragement for you–and for myself.  Continue reading

How To Win At Writing After A Conference

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The writer’s conference: There’s little more exciting than the thought of surrounding yourself with a hundred or more people who love words and books as much as you do, and getting to spend anywhere from an afternoon to an entire week learning about the business and how to become better at your craft.

For me, anyway, there’s little more exciting than a good conference. What’s never so good is the re-entry afterward. The introverted side of my personality starts kicking back in, my brain is happy but also exhausted from all of the information I’ve squished into it, and I usually just want to sleep for a few days.

From what I’ve heard from many other writers, this isn’t uncommon. And while it’s enticing to curl up in a cave and hide, the time right after a conference is golden, and we should do what we can to use it well. So here are my best tips for re-entry. Continue reading

The Spinning Pen Girl & Boy’s Writing Tip of the Week

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This lovely depiction of the Spinning Pen Girl is done by Artist and Writer Sarah Kovin Synder. Check that talented girl out here.

As you know, the Spinning Pen Girl always searches for amazing writing resources and loves sharing them with you. Today she wants you to click here for Co-Creator of Author Mentor Match and Author Alexa Donne‘s long list of amazing articles on writing for writers.

Happy Writing!

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SP writer, Nova signing off.

 

 

“What I Learned from a Writing Fiction College Course” by Teen Staff, Noah Dingman

What I learned from a Writing Fiction College Course

noah

Currently, I am enrolled at Edmonds Community College as a Running Start Student, which means I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Sadly not the fun kind of writing I wish I was doing, just a bunch of boring academic essays. I know, gross. Word of advice, when signing up for your first quarter of college classes, don’t pick two five credit English classes; since nobody told me that, that is exactly what I did. I picked the basic English 101 course, and English 161, or a Writing Fiction class. Needless to say I was excited to have an excuse to write fiction for school, but the class I got was much different than I expected. Here’s some things I gleaned from my experience.  Continue reading

Word Count: Tips to Cut it Out!

Critique

“Your novel is too long.”

“Your story would be stronger if you tightened the plot and eliminated the fluff.” 

“If you bring it down to a more appropriate YA word count, I’d be happy to take another look.”

Have you ever heard agents, editors, or critique partners say these things? Have friends or beta readers who have not finished your story because it’s too long?

If so, we have some advice for you.

Continue reading