Blog on Writing

The Rest of the Story by Pamela Mytroen

Alarm Clock

Does a writer’s waking time impact their creativity? This is a question worth asking, as the amount and quality of sleep have obvious effects upon our alertness and ability to concentrate, two skills that we all need. Sleep Patterns Examined Maria Popova, a Bulgarian writer, blogger, and critic from New York, asked this same question. She is known for her blog BrainPickings.org, which features her writing on culture, books, and eclectic subjects. (more…)

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6 Reasons to Enter Writing Contests by Steph Beth Nickel


Sure, it’s fun to win a writing contest, but that isn’t the only reason to enter. Here are six other reasons: Practice Makes … Better Every time you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, hopefully the result is better than the last time. While practice doesn’t really make perfect, it certainly does make better. (more…)

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Effective Endings – Fiction 101 Part 1 by Janice L. Dick

Janice Dick - Pic

Satisfaction Guaranteed! That’s our motto. We want to make sure that once we’ve shared with our readers the journey our characters have taken, we also grant them a satisfying ending. It doesn’t matter how great the story is; it must leave us content on some level by the time we turn the final page. (more…)

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Writers Write by Brenda Wood


We just started a writers’ group, and more than half of the folks in attendance haven’t written a word. They don’t even journal. I’m not sure they even do a grocery list. However, in our breakout session, every one of them asked the same question. “How can I find a publisher for my book?” I wanted to scream, but you would have been proud of my tact. I spoke gently into their expectant faces. “Book? You have no book! You don’t even have three lines on paper. You don’t need a publisher yet!" (more…)

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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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