Ok, you just did something really hard. You might be getting back on your feet after having a baby or after stepping on a race car that your precious child left on the kitchen floor. Either way, your responsibilities and the calls for your attention just increased enormously, but for the sake of yourself and of your family, you are striving to keep doing what you love.
Session Goals, Space, and a Set Time are the elements that can help you keep writing even as your life is being turned upside down. What makes these things important is that they all clear the way for you to be able to get down to writing. If you’re looking for tips on content, check out our Character Development, Plot Development, and World Building sections on the menu above.
How many times have you heard “write what you know”? It’s good advice – to a point. Because if everyone only wrote what they knew, we’d have no space odysseys, no dragons, no magical words, no elves or dwarves or krakens… and we’d be poorer for it.
So where does one draw the line between what you “should” write and what you can write? I’d say there isn’t a line, and if you’ve been limiting yourself, STOP! If you can make your readers want to enter the world you’ve written, no matter how unrealistic or crazy, then you’ve still succeeded in writing something good (i.e. interesting). You don’t need to be an expert in fighting to write a fight scene, or on trains to write about your characters taking a train ride. Same goes for flying on the back of a dinosaur, or piloting a ship through outer space – if you can make it interesting and immersive for your readers, only a few are going to nitpick the details. ♦ Continue reading
It’s Conference Season, Pen Friends! If you’ve ever been to a writer’s conference, you know the wonder and the crazy exhaustion and overwhelm that come as a result of being immersed in a gathering of a couple hundred (or more) writer friends.
I just got back from Realm Makers in St. Louis, and as I myself am feeling the end-of-conference feels, I thought I’d share this #throwback post for you in case anyone else is going to be conferencing soon (or if any of my fellow Realmies need a boost as they readjust to real life).
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
Not the catchiest challenge title, I know, but I think it gets the point across. This challenge is pretty straightforward: stop watching Netflix, log off social media, and start reading.
I already lost about half of you. To the other half, thanks for sticking around to at least read why anyone would do something so preposterous. But you’ve been warned- you’re about to be challenged to do something that will benefit your writing career more than anything you’ve tried yet, and it’s not going to be easy.
“How will this help me?”…
…you might ask. Good question.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King.
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
I feel like the only appropriate way to start this post is with a quote from George Washington in “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda:
Can I be real a second?
For just a millisecond?
Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?”
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
Do your descriptions need invigorating? Have you been looking for that word that would exactly caption that action? I’ve done the work for you! I have brainstormed and compiled lists of some of the most useful sound words and categorized them for your use.
Summer is here and it’s time to write! Maybe your schedule has opened up or maybe you’ve just decided that it’s time to buckle down and pound a novel out– either way, we’re here with some fantastic resources to help you reach your goals.