Tag Archives: writing tools

Create associations for your reader

This great advice is about the associations you create with the words you choose in your story, and the need for mindful precision. It’s focused on poets and adjectives, but applies equally to flash story writers and to nouns and verbs … Ted Kooser, in the Poetry Home Repair Manual, writes:  You may have been […]

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Alternative thesauruses

So, you know how much I love the thesaurus as a writing tool, yes?  Well then you can imagine my excitement at discovering an abundance of alternative thesauruses at Writers Helping Writers. You’ll find links to scads of helpful resources, such as the Weather & Earthly Phenomena Thesaurus, Setting Thesaurus, Symbolism Thesaurus and more. The Character Trait Thesaurus and […]

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Blind your inner editor

I was talking about Flash Memoirs at my book club the other day and a fellow writer/reader threw out a brilliant idea: To stun your inner editor into giving you a moment’s peace, use a symbol font such as Wingdings, or change your font to white, while writing on your computer.  When you’re ready to review […]

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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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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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Why free-write the first draft?

“Don’t get it right, just get it written.” ~James Thurber “Rewriting in process is usually an excuse for not going on.” ~John Steinbeck I’m a big fan of free-writing the first draft, which means you don’t pick up your pen until you’re done – or at least you don’t look back and start revising until you […]

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Warm up with keywords

An essential in writing a flash memoir is refreshing your memory of the scene. Before you start writing, take a few moments to visualize the scene. Step through the physical environment, sequence of events, and your reactions. While doing this, make a list of keywords and phrases that capture the most distinct elements, emotions, and visual cues.  This […]

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Use distinct nouns & verbs

The more specific you are, the more universal you are. ~Nancy Hale A good trick for making your flash stories more compact and meaningful is to choose just the right nouns and verbs. When you’re referring to an orchard, what type of orchard is it – apple, pear, orange? When your character is walking, is […]

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