Dialogue Exercises : 40 Writing Prompts To Get You Going

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers

Dialogue exercises are a great way to strengthen your ability to listen to your characters. When you’re working on dialogue exercises, you’re not worrying about plot or where the scene’s headed. You’re not distracted by furniture or waiters or sunsets. In essence, you’re closing your eyes and giving your complete attention to the subtext of […]

Dialogue and Tension | Bringing Scenes To Life

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

Dialogue and tension go hand-in-hand. If the dialogue sounds fake or flat, you will not grab readers and compel them to read your book. In this post I’m going to give you four ways to revise dialogue and increase tension. I want to shine a spotlight on dramatic scenes. Scenes are where the reader forms […]

Why You Should Look Beyond Your First Book

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Ready to Publish

Think beyond your first book. What does this mean and why am I suggesting it? I mean think about where you want your writing to take you. How many books do you want to publish? Or, if stories, how many published stories would bring you the satisfaction you’re looking for? I’m suggesting that you think […]

Mindmap Your Memoir | Part II

by Marylee MacDonald in Apps & Software, For Memoir Writers

If you create a mindmap to brainstorm scenes and episodes that might go into your memoir, you’ll move yourself one step closer to your goal. While mindmaps can help fiction authors, having a roadmap for your journey down Memory Lane can bring focus to what might otherwise turn into a rambling tale.   A mindmap […]

Mindmapping Your Memoir | Part 1

by Marylee MacDonald in Apps & Software, For Memoir Writers

Mindmapping software can help writers untangle the knots in a memoir’s storyline. A mindmap is a brainstorming tool that can help you in the following scenarios: before writing your first draft, or when revising. When you’re writing your first draft, you can use mindmaps to play around with focus. Even on your first pass through […]

Writing Your Memoir | A Step-by-Step Guide

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers, For Memoir Writers

Writing a memoir will force you to dig deep in the archives of your soul. When you recall the past and try to figure out just what it is that’s compelling you write a memoir, you’ll find yourself looking through old photos, postcards, letters, and newspaper clippings. Writing a memoir can be as overwhelming as […]

Writing A Memoir | 5 Common Misconceptions

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers, For Memoir Writers

So you’ve always dreamed of writing a memoir. Where should you start, and how can you get a handle on the big and small turning points, traumas, and people that constitute your life? Several subscribers to this blog are writing memoirs, and I want to help them get started (or finished). Are You Confused? Writing […]

What Makes A Good First Line?

A good first line is one that draws the reader into the world of the story. Kick off your story with a sentence that makes the reader want to read the next one, and so on, until the end. A good first line can entice the reader by doing one or more of the following: […]

Limited Third Point-of-View Explained Simply

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers

Limited third person point-of-view (POV) lets you experience the world through the eyes of a single character. The experience is so intimate that you’ll soon begin to hear the character’s voice inside your head. As an author you’ll be especially interested in knowing about limited third because of its potential to build a close emotional […]

Twitter Tips for New Writers | My “Man In Cairo”

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Who Need Readers

Is Twitter a waste of time or an essential investment every new writer ought to make? In the age of the internet, Twitter has proven to be a challenge and an opportunity. Like most authors, I’d far rather be writing than doing anything else, but if I only wrote and never took advantage of the […]