The Role of Angst and Creativity

The Words That Changed Your Life: Discovering What Made You a Writer

For me, it’s almost become a cliché answer: “I write because stories have always been my language. I write because my very first memory is telling myself a story.” “Why do you write?” and “What made you a writer?” are two questions I’m ubiquitously asked in interviews. I can respond to those questions in my […]

4 (Possible) Reasons Why We Write

It is the nature of writers to wonder. We wonder about others and we wonder about ourselves. We even wonder why we write. For most of us the compulsion to write is so… ineffable. Why do we write? We just do. We desire the stories. We love the words. We are compelled to communicate our wonder with […]

Why Writers Should Never Worry About Originality

The Lazy Author’s 6-Question Guide to Writing an Original Book

Never once have I worried that I might not be writing an original book. Even just saying that kinda sounds like a dirty secret—like maybe the only kind of author who could say such a thing is either one who lacks anxiety enough to care if her stories are original and/or one who lacks integrity enough to check if […]

4 Ways To Tell Your Story Has A Solid Concept

4 Ways to Verify Your Story Concept Is Strong Enough

All story concepts are not created equal. Even once you get past all the boring, been-there, and just plain blah ideas to the point where you’ve discovered something legitimately interesting and cool—that’s not enough either. Many a cool story concept has gone on to be a wasted story. But that’s not going to be you! Today, I’m going to […]

The #1 Tweak to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters

The 4 Tweaks to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters

The process of writing original stories is shrouded in mystery. Occasionally, as part of my daily Writing Question of the Day (#WQOTD) on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll ask, “What makes your story original?” It’s a question that tends to get fewer responses than normal, and the responses I do receive are often nebulous or downright uncertain. […]

How to Make Better Writing Resolutions in 2016

5 Ways to Make Better Writing Resolutions in 2016

Better writing resolutions should be something we make all year ’round. But there is something about January 1st that always seems to get people to focus, both on everything you didn’t get done last year and everything you hope to do this year. But let’s stop hoping, shall we? This year, take your writing resolutions beyond wishful maybes […]

Not Feeling Creative? 4 Ways to Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing

Writers are supposed to be magical beings who live somewhere in the glorious wilderness between insightful reality and abandoned creativity. Sometimes that’s exactly what the writing life feels like: heady with inspiration, swirling with visions of people and places beyond the prosaic world in which we actually live. Everything has meaning and wonder. Who needs drugs, […]

7 Ways to Keep Writing During NaNo When You Only Want to Watch Football

You’re all geared up for National Novel Writing Month. You’re excited, you’re prepared (you did read last week’s post on preparation, right?). Your story is so ready to be written that it’s practically exploding out of you. But then November 1st rolls around, and . . . wow, how about that? Wouldn’t you know it would be a Sunday–and […]

The Secret of Getting Your Writing Unstuck

The Secret of Getting Your Writing Unstuck

Whenever I get stuck writing, whether it be in the pre-writing stage or in the middle of a draft, my go-to tool for getting unstuck is the free write. Take a look at how you too can use free writing to get your writing unstuck!  What Is a Free Write? A free write is what I’d […]

The Single Best Trick for Originality in Your Fiction

The Single Best Trick for Originality in Your Fiction

This week’s video shares the most important question you can ask yourself about originality in your fiction and how to access it in every single scene.   Video Transcript: Originality is an important quality test for fiction—although perhaps not quite as much as we like to make out. Pulitzer-winner Willa Cather tells us, There are […]