Micro Is A Writers’ Best Friend

You want to slay the blank page. Your heart and soul longs to fill it with words. But in spite of this deep desire, the creation of lines proves to be a formidable challenge. No worries, this post will provide you with a mighty tool to win the battle!

Ready for the tool that changes the game? Here it is, brace yourself! The tool is “word count.” Pick a number that you can reach daily. Think micro for the first month. A reasonable word count ensures productivity and allows you to jot down sentences even on hectic days.  Stuck in line at the post office or grocery store? Make a dent in your word count. Waiting for a spouse or child at a doctor’s office? Write.

Two hundred words a day at the end of February  will equal 5,600 by the end of the month. That’s a sizable portion of written material for your novel.

This week, select your word count and start filling the page.


Armed & Ready

Feeling frustrated with your tools of the trade? Sure you have a computer, gel pens, blank journals and pads of paper, but there are other resources you are missing. If only you had a faster computer, a tablet to allow you to be mobile, or the best writers’ software, life would be more productive.

Down the line, your computer can be upgraded or replaced, a tablet can be purchased as can great software.  You are already armed with the most powerful tool necessary for a writer, the creative mind. Everyday you also receive a fresh opportunity to flex your mental muscle, harness the muse and be productive.

Grab the gel pens, blank journal or fire up the computer. There’s a world to be birthed onto the page and you are the creator.


One Writing Project On A Flash Drive

You’ve got one writing project stored on a flash drive, numerous others stored in the Cloud or on your hard drive. Time to open each one and examine them. Read the documents line by line and out loud. Now comes the hard part, brace yourself.

The challenge is to decide which one you will finish this year. I know you want to complete each project and some of you will do so. However, sometimes you have to focus on one goal, completion of one thing.

Start opening the files and get to work. I am certain that this year will succeed!

The Year You Reach Your Goals

Some of us rocked 2016! We found an agent, had articles published, completed manuscripts.. And some of us did none of the aforementioned.

If you did finish not finish the novel, poem or send out as many queries as planned, you’re not allowed to beat yourself up.

We have turned a fresh page on the calendar and just entered a new year. It is time to ramp up to reach our writing goals. Turn on the laptop, grab your favorite writing tools and let’s go!

This month, this blog will focus on reaching 2017’s writing goals.

Click away now ( but come back in a couple of days for more) and go write. This year we will be more prolific than ever!


Destruction Is Based Served In Print

The computer can help you destroy enemies. No, I am not encouraging you to banish an enemy in the head with your laptop.  Put down the CPU and stop eyeing the monitor that way! The ideal way to do them in is via print, regular or electronic.

“When someone is mean to me, I just make them a victim in my next book.” Mary Higgins Clark

The next time you’re cut off in traffic, have to interact with the king or queen of rude, or someone takes great joy in ruining your day, man your keyboard. Perhaps the person meets a comical end in your story or a tragic one. Why not let go of the crappy feeling they provoke and  exercise creativity at the same time?




Walk Us Through Your Fantasy World

If you are writing a fantasy novel, your primary task is to weave a tale so rich that it feels real. You are the creator and as such you have the power to breathe life into every word tapped into the keyboard. The reader needs to experience the environment on your pages as their new normal. And when they reach the last line, the setting should beckon them to come back again, to yearn to climb back into that realm. After all, who hasn’t wanted to live in Middle-Earth after reading  J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit?

Wait, someone just slid their mouse toward the x. Don’t go! Don’t you dare be afraid of world building. You can do this. Begin by imaging as many details as possible about your alternative world. Now write these thoughts down and describe the characters who live there. The next step is to develop the rules. Yes, even fantasy worlds have rules. Think of the aforementioned as a guide to the story, a reference to assist should the plot become a tangle of twisted words.

Give world building a try. When it is done well, it is a joy for the reader. In Dorothy Must Die By Danielle Paige, Oz has changed and it engulfs us, drawing us deeper into this strange world with every page turned. As a reader and writer, I’m encouraging you to build a fantasy world. Myself and other readers are waiting.

Slay The Blank Page

You sit down and power up the computer or tablet.You are met by your mortal enemy, the blank page. A blinking cursor taunts, silent mockery. You freeze, overwhelmed  with frustration, trying to mentally force yourself to battle with this foe. Exhale, a strategy for standing up against the foe has arrived.

Start by leaning back and observing your environment. That’s right, ignore the manuscript and look around your creative space. Allow yourself to soak up the smell, sights and sounds. Type what your sense are experiencing. Make it a list or poem, the form of  these words is less important than getting them down. The goal is to free your creativity by putting something onto the screen.

Okay, now that you typed something, it is time to open your current project. The computer knows that you are a force to tangle with and the muse has been summoned to your side. Go forth a slay the manuscript.

Start In The Middle

We are taught that stories are linear, they have a beginning, middle and end. What happens when this sequence disturbs the creative process? Look, it’s great when you are able to sit at the computer and plow away a to z. However, sometimes the plot wants to take a winding road. 

The scene that your fingers tap into the keyboard starts in the middle of a story. Conflict has occurred, you write that portion and double around to the beginning. After the aforementioned sections are complete, you create the end. Crafting a novel this way can be liberating. Too often we worry about the mechanics and tie up the Muse.

Stretch out your hand. Here, take this invisible sticky note. This is no ordinary paper. It is a pass to venture off the linear story path. Enjoy every turn along the writing road. 



Warnings From A Reformed Editing Monster

I was a monster, I admit it. After completing a manuscript or poem, something horrible  often happened. My creative side would dissolve only to be replaced by the Editing Monster. This beast slashed sentences and killed beautiful lines. In her quest for quality, she stripped the work down to the bone. What was left in her wake was not fit to be read. This morphing had to be stopped. With the help of a writers’ group, the beast was  off.

Writing means editing but don’t let the Editing Monster destroy your work. Learn the difference between trimming the fat and destroying the manuscript. Clarify the sections that are too wordy, eliminate areas of redundancies.  However, should the Editing Monster jump you, seek help.  


POV of the Sidekick

Stuck on a plot point, stumped by clumpy dialog or battling writers’ block? It’s time to switch POV, to write through the lens of the sidekick. What does she/he think of the main character? What is the glue that holds their relationship together?  How far will the sidekick go to support the friend? Are they the type to nurture, give a swift kick when needed, calm down the drama with humor or a combination of those behaviors?

Focusing on the sidekick has the potential to expand the dimensions of both the plot and main character. Slightly removed from the challenge, this character can also serve as a conscious, the voice that pulls the lead back from slipping head first off the ledge.

Stop staring at the section of your work that’s driving you slightly mad and play with the sidekick. At the very least this will trick the Muse into to taking a seat.