On Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 35

Seen inside a public restroom:

Sure, maybe that was the only space available for storing extra chairs, but you’re a writer, so come up with a more creative and interesting story for why there’s a row of chairs facing the toilet and/or a character’s reaction to seeing them there.

On Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 33

The terribly bored-looking gargoyle in the forefront of this photo I took atop Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris back in 2008 is this week’s writing prompt.

Gargoyles atop Notre Dame de Paris, June 2008

Maybe you want to try some personification and write about the gargoyle itself—what it’s contemplating, feeling, or daydreaming about, what it’s saying to its companions (Disney did it ages ago, but I believe you can do it better). Perhaps your bored AF character sees the stone figure and it prompts some inner reflection on their part. Or maybe you’ll be inspired to record the thoughts and feelings that the gargoyle stirs in you. You might even choose Paris as the setting of a new story. Or, if you’ve been to Paris, maybe you’ll choose to write about your own journey to the City of Light.

The possibilities are numerous. Bon chance and happy writing, fellow ink-slingers!

On Writing

The Last Guardian

I’m delighted to announce that my client É.M. Bossé has published her first book, The Last Guardian, a tale of magic and adventure, on Amazon. It’s available as an ebook and in paperback form. I hope you’ll check it out (click on the title above for the direct link)!

On Writing

One Way or Another

This post came about because I’ve grown tired of the oft-repeated but rarely-expounded-upon non-advice of “just write.” It goes without saying that to write anything you have to actually engage in the act of writing, but telling some to “just write,” is unhelpful to say the least. Yes, you have to do the work, but for some people, especially those for whom writing isn’t a main job (or even a source of income period) or who have never attempted to write something before, that act of “just writing” can seem downright impossible or terrifying. Just write? Easy for you to say, I can hear them thinking. Where will they find the time? Assuming they’re able to carve out the time among all of their other responsibilities, how will they even get started? And when they’re stuck for ideas, how are they going to get over those hurdles? Telling people to “just write,” is dismissive and flippant. I want to help writers and would-be authors actually solve the very real issues that make it difficult for them to “just write.” As your coach and creative partner, that’s my job.

In workshops that I’ve held and in previous posts, I’ve offered some practical advice and suggestions for how to do things like make writing a regular habit, get started on a project, and combat anxiety and other blocks. However, I always strive to do so with the caveat that these are not the only strategies you can use because that’s the truth. I want to help you find the strategies that will work best for you.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “writer”? Do you picture someone sitting at a desk scribbling on paper with a pen and ink or imagine someone typing away on a computer? When you get an idea in your head, do you think “I want to write a book” or “I want to tell a story”? The fact is, ink, pens, pencils, paper, journals, notebooks, typewriters, word processors, and computers are just some of the many tools available to you as a writer. If writing by hand or typing isn’t your thing, you can tell your tale using dictation or speak-to-text tools, make an audio recording, or use visuals like pictures, drawings, film, and animation. You can also do combinations of any of the above. Use the tools that are most accessible and useful to you based on your unique needs, preferences, and skills. The same goes for the medium or format that your story takes. That does not have to be a book. You’re a writer whether you write poetry, a personal blog, research papers, an advice column, film scripts, or graphic novels. There are as many ways to tell a story as there are storytellers and all of them are valid, so a one-size-fits-all approach to helping writers just won’t work and you won’t find that here.

On Writing, Ranée

This Woman’s Work

Hey there! Thought I’d give you a little glimpse into my work for this Thursday. The relaunch of Tazeric is a little over two months away (June 1!), so I’m hard at work on John’s revisions this week. I’m also still writing my own novel (I’m deep into the shit-shoveling phase on that) and developing a workshop on dialogue.

I’m armed with a full water bottle, a cup of tea, candles, my notebook, and an Art of Ophelia pen (tools of this writer’s trade). Today’s also the first day in a very long while that I’m actually listening to records while working. Check out today’s rainy day soundtrack in the photos below.

On Writing

Tazeric: Sword of Light and Dark

I’m excited to announce the forthcoming re-release of my client, J.W. Berwyn‘s, book Tazeric: Sword of Light and Dark on June 1, 2021. I’ve been working with John for the past few months, helping him to revise and improve his first novel, and it’s been an awesome experience for me both as a coach and as a reader. John is a talented writer who has crafted an intriguing tale of magic, love, and adventure centering on a small band of heroic women on the quest to find a sword of power. I can’t wait to have a copy of the finished, revamped story and hope you’ll check it out once it’s available. Follow @berwyn_j on Twitter or jwberwyn.net to keep up with publication news. Cover design by Fay Lane.

On Writing

Word Crimes

I am first and foremost a writer. I just happen to be a writer who also edits other writers’ work. What does that mean? Well, it means I’m a bit of a maverick in the editing world, more of a rule breaker rather than a strict rule enforcer. I make and suggest changes only for clarity of meaning, consistency, improving the flow of your writing, and enriching the story because I respect your voice as an author. Your text should sound like you, not me. I might get annoyed if you refuse to use spellcheck, but if you break some random grammar rule because it sounds better to do so, I’ll be the last person to call up the grammar police. I believe that some rules were made to be broken.