When you think of a scene, consider starting with a wide angle lens first. Capture the bigger setting. Once you’ve done that, you can move in closer and closer and closer until you introduce the character and the conflict. Think about it like this: A movie starts. First, the director shows stars twinkling in the dark blanket of the universe. Next, we see a rocket ship hurtling across the expanse. Finally, we see the inside of that rocket ship. It’s only after we see all that that the director introduces us the character(s) inside. We already went through a memory exercise to get the juices flowing, Now let’s pan back out. The kitchen is in a house. The house is in a neighborhood. The neighborhood is in a town. So let’s start there.  Prompt: Describe the town in which the house with the kitchen exists, If you descibed your childhood kitchen, then now is the time to describe your childhood …

Writing Prompt #2: A Place You’ve Lived-Your Town Read more »

Would you be surprised to learn that all writers suffer from doubts and fears and insecurities? It’s true. I’ve written and have had published more than twenty-five novels. Each time I start a new book, I find myself wondering if I can pull it off.  When I’m halfway through, I wonder if I’ll be able to finish. And as I get close to the end, the doubts creep, my negative self-talk making me question whether or not it’s good enough. At some point, I realized that I was letting my negative self-talk have too much power. As a teacher, the concept of growth mindset is very present, and very powerful. A growth mindset means you push forward through obstacles, and failure is not an option. Instead, it is a springboard to a new way of thinking or a new path. Obstacles aren’t roadblocks that make you stop; they are opportunities to grow and develop. A writer’s journey is often paved …

Growth Mindset: What are Your Writing Insecurities? Read more »

Everybody lives somewhere. When we look back on our childhood home, it’s common to feel uninspired by it. After all, it was jut the place we lived. Nothing exciting there, right? If I asked you to describe the kitchen in your childhood house, how detailed can you be? Close your eyes and try to visualize it. Use the five senses, What color are the walls? What smells do you remember? What do the counters look like? Are they tile with grout lines? Hard wood? Formica? Is there a favorite meal that was prepared there? What sound does the dishwasher make? How about the singing tea kettle on the stove? Prompt: Now describe this kitchen using as much detail as possible. Summon up memories that have been tucked away in the recesses of your mind. Once you begin writing, you’ll be surprised at what resurfaces! If this doesn’t inspire you, describe the kitchen in the photo, or your dream kitchen!

Writing may be your passion. It is certainly mine. It can, however, take you on a roller coaster of emotions. It can bring up emotions we aren’t necessarily prepared to deal with. It can be mentally exhausting. By the end of a really great writing day, my brain is, simply put, tired. Add to that moments of doubt. Those doubts may manifest through questioning our ability, maybe our talent, and sometimes even wondering whether or not we should be devoting this much time to something so unsure…something that may not make us any money in the end. We tend to work alone, which can be isolating. So much of the time, we live in our heads, creating characters and conflict and entire worlds there, all to the exclusion of living in the real world. Regular people don’t really understand what that’s like. Only fellow writers tend to really ‘get’ what other writers go through. Below is my Top Ten List …

Top 10 List of Writing Tips Read more »