Four Steps To Revitalize Your Creativity

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #012.

As writers, all of us know what creativity feels like. It’s that magical time where the sky is the limit. Anything is possible. That’s what caused most of us to become writers in the first place. The opportunity to create is just too enjoyable to pass up. Unfortunately, however, there are times where that creativity seems to dry up.

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Outlining vs. Planning

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #011.

While authors are, for the most part, fairly reasonable and level-headed (you have to be if you’re going to get in the headspace of each of your characters), there is one question that divides even the best of us. It’s an elemental debate that stems from the very core of how we function. 

That conflict is between planners, those who outline their novels ahead of time, creating a step-by-step guide to carry them through the writing process, and pantsers, those who fly by the seat of their pants, allowing nothing, not even their own notes, to stifle their creative process. 

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Editing—Things To Look Out For, Part Two

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #010.

Finishing the first draft of your novel is an absolutely enormous accomplishment. If you’ve ever written the final paragraphs of your 100,000 word manuscript, bookending it all with “The End,” then you have the right to be proud. Maybe even let yourself feel a little cocky. After all, you’re going to need all the encouragement and energy you can muster to push yourself through the next step.

If you know what this step is already, then you’re more than likely dreading the following word: editing. As awesome as it is to finish a first draft, it’s only half the battle. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s a lot less than half.

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Editing—Things To Look Out For, Part One

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #009.

You’ve finally done it. You’ve put in the time, the effort, the blood, sweat, and tears. You’ve come out on the other side victorious, a first draft in your shaky grasp. Creating an entire novel is a substantial undertaking. No doubt by the time you typed “The End” on the last page of your document, you were ready to take a break.

Taking time away from your manuscript, especially after an intense, no holds barred experience like the recent National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), is certainly understandable. In fact, most people consider it to be a necessity. There’s something about spending time away from a project that allows you to be able to see things objectively, and thus make drastic improvements on your first draft.

The idea of editing, however, is a daunting prospect to many writers. For first-timers, it may seem utterly impossible. You know that there is so much to do, but you can’t find a clear indication of where to start. So what should you look for when you begin the editing process on your work-in- progress (WIP)?

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The One-Week Author

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #008.

Books, magazines, pamphlets, scrolls, clay tablets; the written word is a distinctly human invention. With it, we can share our thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions across time and space. We can transfer our knowledge and wisdom directly to our readers’ minds, achieving a level of intimate understanding that is unique to our species.

It’s no wonder that millions of individuals around the world aspire to be authors. Unfortunately, however, this is a near-insurmountable goal for the vast majority of them. The ideas are there, as are the feelings and emotions they want to elicit in the hearts of their readers. But writing a book is an enormous undertaking which requires at least a moderate understanding of the art of storytelling.

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Taking A Break: How Long Is Too Long?

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #007.

No matter how eager you are as a writer, no matter how many ideas you have, or how grand your visions of your career are, there will almost inevitably come a time when you need to cut free from the word-count goals and get a little R&R.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to take a break. You don’t want to lose your momentum. You’re afraid that you might not get back into the groove, that days will become months, and months will become years.

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The Economization of Intellectual Property

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #006.

Nearly every person who calls themselves a writer has one dream objective that’s always hovering right in the back of their minds: they want to be able to make a living off of their writing. It’s the ever- elusive act of quitting our day job which we are all actively striving for.

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(Insert Character Development Here)

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #005.

When I was a kid, I loved developing stories. I always pictured each and every scene of my epic stories in my mind, as if they were playing on the big screen at the local theater. Well, every scene with the exception of one type: Scenes of character development.

I had no idea how to develop them. I didn’t even know where to start. I knew what the types of scenes I was looking for were. I knew that there was character development going on between Han Solo and Leia Organa when they were stranded together in the Millennium Falcon. But in my stories, starting from scratch, I was worse than clueless.

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Tracing For Authors

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #004.

When it comes to writing, most people have their end goal firm in mind: sign book deals, get published, sell the rights to Hollywood, move into a mansion, live off the royalties.

Ok, that may or may not be a little exaggerated, depending on the person. Most of us who have been in the business for any amount of time know that it’s an ever more elusive goal. Even so, deep down, we all still want our writing to have the potential to make money.

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If So, Why? The Ultimate Character Development Guide

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #003.

If you’ve read either of the first two issues of this magazine, you may have noticed the section with the title: “Developing Your Character.” (If you haven’t, then welcome! I’m glad you’re here.) Each week, I include a question or three which I pull out of a list of 850+ character development questions.

Originally, I intended to simply post a couple questions every week, and maybe in a year or two, I would make the entire guide available for purchase. However, I finally came to the decision that I would rather share this guide with the writing community in its entirety than piecemeal it over weeks and months and years.

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