Tag Archives: writing tips

Go small to go big later

Memories, moments, scenes, nothing longer than a few pages, some only a line or two. These bits and pieces kept flying out of me, and I kept writing them down. ~Abigail Thomas, author of Thinking About Memoir With most projects, I find that breaking them down into small specific pieces makes for greater success, and […]

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13 writerly quotes for inspiration

These are just a few of my favorite quotes about writing, which I hope provide some inspiration for you too.  For a tasty endless supply, browse #writequote on Twitter. Their stories are not so different from my stories and their healing aids my healing. ~Len Leatherwood My writer self is braver than the rest of […]

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Top 5 posts of 2013

It’s always interesting to review the blog stats at the end of the year to see what has risen to the top: 1.  This post, at the heart of it all, was the most widely read for the second year in a row.      What makes a flash story? 2.  This post garnered the most […]

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How to craft the twist

Aside from word count, the most distinctive trait of a flash story is the twist. You know, that sudden change in meaning or surprising detail that makes you smile or gasp or read out loud to the nearest bystander. The twist is arguably the toughest part of the story to craft. One way to create […]

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Make an engaging story

Delve into your story guest post by Lynette Benton As we sit around two rectangular conference tables we’ve pushed together, I eye my memoir-writing students and say, “When you write about your life, make sure it’s a story, not a report. Even your nearest and dearest will recoil from the prospect of reading fifty pages […]

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Holidays make great flash stories

From snowy heights to palmy beaches, and the chemo chair to Santa’s lap, the holidays provide great fodder for flash story writing. You can get a lot of mileage out of the oddest family members, the best presents, the unforgettable faux pas, and the magnanimous surprises if you pay attention. Take notice of the rare […]

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Do what works best for you

In classes and writing groups, I’m often asked about my writing practice. This always leads to comments about suggested habits we’ve all read about ( seat time, morning pages, Evernote, the perfect notebook or pen, phone apps, …), and then to guilty confessions about how difficult it is to observe them.  I’m surprised at how willing people […]

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11 editing tips

Early drafts are notorious for repetition, indirection and overdevelopment of the trivial. ~Pamela Erens in The Joy of Trimming Now that you’re done free-writing your first draft, you’re ready for more writing – yes, revising is writing. Does the first sentence grab your reader? Beginning with action or a compelling piece of dialog is a […]

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Writing prompts that always work

I recently wrote a guest post for YourStoryCoach.com that gathers together a few of my favorite writing prompts, which coincidentally all contain the word “always.”  I hope you’ll take them for a test drive and share your thoughts and/or results. For extra credit, here’s another great writing prompt: Write about the person who has always […]

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How to write about family & friends

“What a character!”: How to write about loved ones in your life stories Guest post by Tami Koenig I find the most powerful personal stories are about emotionally compelling relationships. When writing the stories from our lives, we naturally focus on our primary relationships—those with our mother, father, brothers, sisters, lovers, partners, children and friends. […]

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From journal entry to flash memoir

I recently wrote a guest post for Mary McCarthy’s Personal Growth Journaling Blog that discusses the value of your journal to provide raw material for your flash stories. The in-the-moment account of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences are the key to the richness of your personal stories. The post also outlines my favorite exercise for […]

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3 essential books on writing creative nonfiction

… I’m an avowed writing book junkie. I get a thrill from checking out the latest advice at my library.  Given my habit, it’s pretty telling that I own only three writing handbooks: Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark, Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & David […]

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