Writing Tips, Technique, & Craft
The creative process generally feels like a rollercoaster. There are moments of intensity, from the highs to the lows, partnered with a wide range of emotions from fear and anxiety to a sense of calm, to excitement. This is a journey that shouldn’t be taken lightly, of which only many years of practice will prepare a person for the mental game of publishing—for both the author and publishing professionals.
Grab a drink and crack open your notebook, it’s happy hour at the Loft! Our new Happy Hour Classes take place on Friday afternoons with a concurrent happy hour at the cafe downstairs from 3-6 p.m. Students can purchase a half-price beverage and bring it to the classroom. Start your Friday nights off right by mixing, mingling, and learning at the Loft!
How Elizabeth McCracken's short story, "Hungry" uses descriptions that hold power because they play off an old cliché—but tweaks that cliché to surprise and gain intimacy with the reader.
Memoir is self-portraiture. But what does the reader need to know about the memoirist in order to be captured by the story? How does a memoir writer decide which life details can be left out of one story, but are absolutely critical to the next? Successfully creating a character of the self is crucial to the memoir. Consider these tips and questions as you develop your "I" character.
Bette Adriaanse's Rus Like Everyone Else is a startling novel about a set of lonely neighbors whose lives intersect in peculiar ways. Near the end of the novel, two characters come together. Grasping at intimacy, they flounder and then find a path that's specific to them. See how the author avoids mushiness and structures the intimate dialogue perfectly....
Tired of resolutions and lists yet? I’ve always been a non-resolution person. Instead I offer ways you can develop a list of simple and easily achievable writing goals. Take however much time it suits you to accomplish them. Weeks, months, years....
I always come back from a trip with stories to tell and an impulse to share them. These days, what I did and where I went is easy enough to determine from my Facebook page. Between these curated snapshots there is always a more interesting tale to tell, and most of the time this story is more difficult to articulate than flashing a few selfies. So how can I, or anyone, make these memories worth hearing?
When I was younger, I had a diary. It was pretty, pink and pale purple with a pair of ballet shoes on the cover. It sparkled. It had a lock to keep it secret. It was everything a little girl could wish for in a diary, and I loved it.
I did not, however, write in it that often.
Someone somewhere said that words are the building blocks of language, and I agree, but I often forget—only to be forcefully reminded, like a whack upside the head, when I’m innocently reading along, turning pages, until a particular word or well-crafted sentence forces me to stop. To pause. Marvel. Appreciate. “Wow,” I think, “the author nailed that,” or, “Wow, I don’t know what that means (*reaches for phone and trusty dictionary app*) but I love it and need to figure out how to work this into daily conversation.”
It’s almost Halloween, which means my house is decorated with spiderwebs (most of which are fake), glowing pumpkins, and candy corn-colored things...It’s the time when we have permission to eat loads of sugar and dress up in outrageous costumes.
It’s the time for ghosts and ghouls and goblins. The time for all things scary.
Which seems like the perfect time for a blog post about how terrifying writing can be.