Copyright Law | Little Known Facts For New Authors

Copyright law changed forever when Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, broke with convention by wearing a white suit to the 1906 Congressional hearings on American copyright law. In Twain’s day, copyright law didn’t protect authors from piracy. However, Twain, sympathetic to the financial needs of his fellow authors and aware of the need […]

Writing Dialogue | A Writer’s Cheat Sheet

Writing dialogue comes naturally to many writers. Others avoid it entirely. If you are going to use dialogue, make sure you work hard to capture readers’ interest. Here’s a cheat sheet with pointers I’ve picked up over the years. Must-Dos When Writing Dialogue Dialogue must do three things. It must: sound realistic advance the plot […]

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: […]