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Think fast

On Saturday I attended my WRW chapter meeting, and our guest was author Barbara Samuel. During a session on understanding and uncovering your voice, she had us do several impromptu, timed writing sessions, no editing allowed. What an eye opener. The goal was to help us understand that how we each approach the same topic

Stop the movie

Many writers complain that they can no longer read for pleasure, that their writer brain won’t let them get into the story without analyzing for plot points, tension, and word choice. While I find myself occasionally noticing these things as I read—or stopping to wonder how the writer got me to read 30 pages without

Taking a shortcut

A few months ago I read a good writing book called Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. In it, Bell advocates going through six books and writing a note card for every scene to describe its POV, location, type of scene, and purpose. Then when you’re done (six months later), you periodically pull out

The Daily Squirrel

Years ago, when I was in Toastmasters, we had a member, Ken, who was truly a remarkable speaker. Anytime we had an unfilled speaking slot, he would give an impromptu speech using a random topic from the audience. His most memorable speech was about gray squirrels. He gave a humorous, completely off-the-cuff, 7-minute speech about hunting