Category Archives: Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge #19: Kathleen Lane’s Thing Collection

I’m honored to be in a writing group with author Kathleen Lane. She has a strong, compelling voice and an uncanny ability to mix humor, heartbreak and oddities of the human condition. I learn something new about myself every time I … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #17: Cutting Back on Minor Characters

Writing Challenge #16 focused on using organic metaphors to lend your minor characters more personality. This one is about the opposite–dealing with too many minor characters. Is your novel-in-progress full of bit players who are sitting around doing very little … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Plot, Writing, Writing Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Writing Challenge #16: Organic Metaphors

When I was younger, I used similes and metaphors whenever they occurred to me. I’d prop up the story with elaborate, supposedly literary comparisons. Then I learned the importance of such language being organic. A metaphor has to grow out … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #15: Exposition

Show don’t tell is an important storytelling rule. But sometimes it’s useful to tell through exposition. Exposition a great way to get a few years to pass, for instance, or to set up a scene in a world that is … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #14: Pick a Song

Florence, of the wonderful blog fOIS in the City, offers this short but sweet prompt for today’s Writing Challenge: “Listen to your favorite song and when it ends, sit down and write what it called out to you.” Thanks, Florence! … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #13: Cut It Out

When a writer is lacking inspiration, looking at pictures can be key to adding color and texture to a fictional world. Many writers use images to help them get to know their characters or their setting. Lisa Rivero recently posted … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #12: Happy Leap Day!

It has been a while since I’ve run a writing challenge, likely because I’ve been so immersed in my sprawling rewrite. I so thoroughly enjoyed the flash fiction exercise I participated in recently that I decided to offer a prompt as today’s challenge. … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #11: Finish Something

I used to joke I had only knit three socks. Not three pairs. Three socks. My first pair came together rather quickly. Excited by the outcome, I began a second pair in a lovely reddish-pink Colinette Jitterbug yarn. I completed one … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Knitting, Writing, Writing Challenge | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Writing Challenge #10: Keep an Eye on Your First Chapter

Many writers are in the midst of speeding through a 50,000-word novel for NaNoWriMo. This challenge isn’t for you–at least not this month! It’s for those of us working on manuscripts at a less aggressive pace. In fact, it’s all about … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Revision, Writing, Writing Challenge | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Writing Challenge #9: Coloring Your Fictional World

As writers, we work daily to avoid cliches and find our own way of saying things. Sometimes it’s easier to dash off a color word–like pink, for instance–to describe a character’s shirt or the kind of light entering the room. … Continue reading

Posted in Revision, Writing, Writing Challenge | Tagged , , | 11 Comments