This is something I have to constantly tell myself when writing. Why? Because I am a painfully slow, pedantic, crazed perfectionist who can sit and obsess over a single word for hours. I cannot write a paragraph without reading over it at least three times, only then can I move on and write the next […]
Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter battle over whether the gold standard is actually the worst economic policy ever proposed, written Facebook messages to old schoolmates I […]
The Word Count Conundrum When this past weekend started the word count on my work in progress (WIP), tentatively called Blood in the Water, stood at 29,822. Given the way this story has been progressing I was looking forward to a very productive weekend. Saturday was a day of limited work. I had to meet […]
At Vida, writer Dallas Athent confronts one of the thorniest issues plaguing the literary scene: the unspoken nepotism-fueled culture of connections and reciprocal favors that determines who gets published where.
Use the picture below as a writing prompt for a POEM. Make the poem as long or as short as you’d like but be sure to describe the setting. Is it dark and mysterious? Is it lush green and turquoise as far as the eye can see? Are there predators? Use your imagination. Happy Writing!
There are several surprising similarities between your book and the dark, clandestine Nosferatu. Let’s start with the fundamentals. Vampires are bloodsucking, demon soul usurpers. They suck you dry and bleed the life out of you. Just like your manuscript! If you’re anything like me, you will have experienced that moment in which the book you […]
The writing prompt for today will explore both FICTION and NON-FICTION. It’s fun to mix real life with fiction isn’t it? Sometimes I like to sit in Starbucks or the mall and watch people, I like to make up stories about them and what their lives are like. Try this the next time you’re out and about.
Everybody loves a mysterious strangers and there is inspiration everywhere! A cute barista, an old man complaining at the bank, the eccentric woman who sits on the park bench every Wednesday afternoon in her cat pajamas (if you see this woman it’s probably me) . Think of an interesting stranger you’ve seen around and develop a story.
Be sure to use dialogue,gestures, mannerisms and ways of speaking. Don’t spend much time on physical descriptions. Focus on showing the inner conflict of your muse through their actions and words. Have fun and as always, Happy Writing!
Scott Woods is a librarian, author, poet, and critic who runs one of the most successful poetry open mics in the American Midwest. At Scott Woods Makes Lists, he compiles lists, writes mostly as a satirist, and comments on current events, popular culture, and other issues.
Let’s talk about point of view for this writing exercise, but first things first-what exactly is Point of View?
Point of view refers to the way the author allows you to see and hear what’s going on it the novel, book, short story or manuscript. We’ll focus on four main points of view:
- First-person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-me-my-mine. The reader is sitting beside the character and is viewing the world through the eyes of that character. The reader experiences the world through the eyes of only one person.
- Second-person point of view, the author uses your and you, this is rare; authors rarely speak directly to the reader. If you do happen to come across this point of view, you should pay attention because the author is trying to tell you something. Second-person point of view draws the reader into the story, and makes the reader participate in the action.
- Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. This is the most common point of view. The author’s voice, not the character’s voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages.
- Objective-point of view is when the narrator is a fly on the wall or a video camera in the corner of the room. The character’s thoughts are never known. Objective point of view is all about watching, listening and observing.
Try writing from a different point of view and step outside of your comfort zone. This allows you to stretch your abilities and who knows, you may actually really like a particular point of view that you had never considered before. Happy Writing!
I’d like to welcome you to my blog and say that I am so excited to embark on this adventure together. I look forward to blogging about my journey as an author as well as the whole process of rejection letters, self-publishing, marketing my book and more. I’ll share writing exercises, great advice that I’ve received, workshop tricks and tips and some of my own short stories.
Thanks for joining me and for listening to the ideas in my mind that eventually make it onto paper. Let’s get started!
The name of this website is called myguidedpen.com for a reason. A while back I went to a tarot card reader and she asked if I had ever done an exercise called…you guessed it, a guided pen. I had no idea what she was talking about! She explained the process and I’ve used it ever since with a few tweaks of my own. Here’s how to get started:
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed
- Get a beautiful notebook (this will serve as your idea book that you can refer back to from now on)
- Get a pen
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in a comfortable sitting position. Feel the rhythm of your chest and slowly relax your body. Listen to the silence for one minute. Open your eyes and start writing down everything, and I mean absolutely everything, that enters your mind. DO NOT EDIT! This exercise is supposed to get your creative juices flowing and expand your mind. Write until all of the thoughts you’ve had are on paper. Refer back to the thoughts later in the day or the next day or whenever you have time and use them as story starters or topics to write about. Don’t worry if the ideas you have don’t make sense yet, some you’ll use and others you’ll discard but at the end of it all, you’ll have some great information that could be the subject of your next best seller! Do this as often as you’d like or whenever you have writer’s block. It works for me and I know that it will work for you!