Apprentice Wordsmith A Writer's Blog

Details Tell

Creative writing involves a lot of description – of people, of places, of things, of what is happening and what has happened. Writers spend more of our time describing stuff than we’d probably care to admit.

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Finding Your Writer's Voice

A new member of the writing forum I belong to posed a question about finding her voice as a writer. While her concerns are legitimate, I couldn’t help but shake my head.

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Stop Trying to be Unique

I recently filled out a job application for a company which I’ll leave unnamed, and one of the questions was:

“In 150 characters or less, tell us what makes you unique. Try to be creative and surprise us.”

I initially drew a blank. It wasn’t the character limit that was the stumbling block. Twitter has invaded our social fabric, like it or not. And for this particular company, the tweet-length answer wasn’t a surprise.

Here’s my real dilemma. They’ve already received hundreds if not thousands of applications for this job. They’ve read hundreds if not thousands of answers to this question. The chances that I’d produce something completely unlike what they’ve seen before are slim to none.

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4 Things Every Story Needs

If you’ve spent any amount of time Googling “how to write a story” or “how to write a book”, then you’ve probably encountered some of the myriad frameworks writers have devised as a diagnostic tools for successful stories. From books to blogs to special software, everyone seems to have their own pet theory, each with their devoted following.

Before you jump down to the comments, let me be clear. I’m not here to bash or replace [insert your favorite framework here]. If you follow a certain method that you read about in a book or on another blog, and it works for you, that is wonderful. Keep using it. The purpose of this post is to point out something that all of the frameworks I’ve read fail to mention.

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My Process

Most of my writing happens on the computer. That’s the way it’s been ever since I started. Word served me well for over a decade, but for the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with different software. I was curious if my beloved Word was really the best and only tool I needed. The experiment is terrible as far as producing drafts. However, it has been an enlightening reflection on my process.

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