Blog on Writing

Emphasis, Only When Necessary – Carolyn R. Wilker

Attention 2

There was once a writer who emphasized so many words in his text that it felt as though he was screaming at readers. His message was full of capital letters, underlines and italics, and so nothing important stood out, not even the writing. I closed the book and put it away, but I didn’t throw it out; I used it as examples in my teaching of what not to do when writing. (more…)

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Daily Obeying Our Caller – Jack Popjes

Path in Autumn

The name of Eugene Peterson’s classic book on discipleship A Long Obedience in the Same Direction describes exactly how we become the writers God called us to be. C. S. Lewis, writing about character development, mentioned the importance of not just being on the right road but facing the right direction and moving, be it ever so slowly, in that direction. What can we do to keep obeying the One who called us to be writers? (more…)

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Curtains: Writing effective endings – Pamela Mytroen

The End 2

Endings can be difficult. Do they ever feel like they are just tacked on? I like to think of them as different types of curtains on stage. I’m not a scriptwriter or even an avid theatre-goer, but this visual helps me as I write my endings. Three that I come across regularly are the “Sudden-Death Curtain,” the “Preview Curtain,” and the “Curtain Call.” (more…)

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Holed Up or Hold Up?


A while back, I got to thinking about why I have such a tough time just sitting down to write. I have lots of ideas for books floating around my head. And because I work from home, I have the privilege of creating my own schedule. So, what’s the hold up? (more…)

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Fiction 101: Part 10 – Don’t Let Your Middle Sag – Janice L. Dick

Open Book

At my age, a title like this makes me take notice. I sit up straighter, pull my shoulders back and suck in my middle. Adapted from http://goo.gl/nNe6vj That’s what we want to do with the middles of our stories: Be aware of their presentation and do what’s required to improve them. (more…)

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Never Stop Learning

Learning Road Sign

How to confound your family in one easy step . . . Curl up on the couch reading Lynne Truss’s Eats Shoots and Leaves and laugh uproariously while your family is trying to watch television in the same room. “Only a writer,” you say. And you’d be right. Or an editor, agent, or publisher. (more…)

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How to “Right” Funny – Brenda Wood

Live Laugh Love Banner

I’m told that I write funny. People laugh at my comments all the time, but I can’t say that I always understand why. Anyway, there is no point trying to dissect the why of a joke because then the joke is no longer funny.  Some of the world’s funniest people had no sense of humour at all, but their work is hilarious. Think Lucille Ball. You don’t need a sense of humour to be funny because funny is in your mind.  (more…)

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Getting value from a writer’s conference — Carolyn Wilker


Having attended writer’s conferences over the years, I encourage others to try it out. Those opportunities charged and inspired me and offered the push I needed to move on.  It’s one thing to sign up and say you’re going; preparing oneself to get the most from the event is just as important.  (more…)

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Write an Autobiography – Jack Popjes

70 years ago, author on far right

  Parents and grandparents generally want to leave an inheritance to their children and grandchildren. These legacies usually range from money, jewelry, or real estate, to such simple keepsakes as photographs. My four grandparents in the Netherlands left me nothing! The reason probably was that my family emigrated to Canada when I was twelve years old and we never saw each other again. What bothers me the most is that they left no heritage of life stories. Nothing—not a single anecdote. All they left me was a head full of questions. (more…)

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Focused or Forgettable – Pamela Mytroen


Without focus a photo is of little value and is destined for the garbage, forgotten. A piece of writing must have focus or it may also be forgotten. Consider a good photograph. What is it that draws you in and provokes an emotional response? (more…)

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