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CategoryWriter’s Workshop

The “Writer’s Workshop” blog posts are meant to be a collage of writer’s tips, tricks, and strategies, including the first steps to publishing, writing prompts, strategies for writer’s block, and a general jumble of ideas to help you in your quest to create and publish.

Prompt Your Story

By Meagan Jones

You know how in my disclaimer above I mention writing prompts? Well, whatever happened to those, huh? Here’s the short answer: I didn’t really do them. I’ve given some suggestions on how to write, but no honest-to-god prompts.

Music & Writing, Very Very Frightening

By Meagan Jones

The notes dance around my ears, filling the room. I don’t usually like to put my music on speakers, but my ears have been hurting from having headphones on all the time. In my tiny dorm room, the sound echoes. The volume is only at a measly amount, yet the music seems to be twice that magnitude, bouncing off all corners.

The Art of Revision

By Meagan Jones

She crosses out a paragraph. It is good writing – she thinks so herself – yet it is unnecessary. It doesn’t fit with the work. It is out of place. It doesn’t sound right.

She peruses over the rest of the manuscript, tapping the pages absentmindedly with her pen. That piece of dialogue on the third page, she realizes, sounds awkward. She writes a note to herself to rewrite it. Then she reads her work out loud.

Reading by Example

by Meagan Jones

As a writer, you read. You read a lot. Don’t try to get out of it (yes, you)! It’s impossible. You’ll read good things, bad things, crazy things, and generally, (if you study English or Creative Writing), a mish-mash of words spewed forth by some person long since gone from this world (looking at you, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf).

Self-Critique: The Red Pen in Your Hands

By Meagan Jones

I firmly grip the red pen, but my hand’s shaking, and the pen spills drops of red ink on the freshly printed paper. I think vaguely about how there have been studies about red pens – how they negatively affect the human psyche. Red, scribbled all over a paper, is a student’s worst nightmare.

Workshops and Critiques: All in the Life of A Piece

You sit in a white-walled classroom, fidgeting in your seat. A cluster of tables is in front of you, and fourteen other people sit around them, staring at stapled sheets of paper: your paper. It contains your fiction story.  

Two weeks earlier, you had typed away at your keyboard, word after word, feeling like a genius. The story was perfect. A masterpiece. You couldn’t believe how amazing your talent was.

Trending Towards Tone

 Tone. Tone, tone, tone. When I began writing this, I tried to think of tips my writing professors had given me to help establish tone. Of course, I came up with nothing. Brains work like that, I guess. Though I’m not completely sure I remember a time we really went over it in class in detail – it was just something everyone seemed to struggle with, yet no one seemed to have any solutions.

Ironing Out a Character

Name: John Everyman

Age: 37 Earth years.

Physical Description: He is every-man. He’s that dude. The dude you swore you’ve seen before, the one with the brown curly hair and sideburns, with blue eyes and a tall figure.

Setting: A Strategy to Establishing Your Foundation

Meagan sits in a worn maroon chair with wooden armrests, opening her laptop. The chair rests to the right of the front doors – three of them, one after the other – two wooden and one screen, each keeping the last of the sticky summer heat inside the creative writing house. Normally, they would be used to keep the heat in during the winter; holes between the windows and their sills let in egregious amounts of air – but now, they just serve to stifle the room.

The First Steps to Publishing: A Complete Breakdown of Looking for the Most Eligible Bachelor(ette)

“So you want to publish,” the old woman’s gnarled hand beckons you forward. Her long nose is speckled with dark spots, and one of her olive green eyes drifts lazily to the left. Her silver hair is knotted into a bun, held together with pencils (as a true artist’s should). She sits on a rocking chair, covered in quilted blankets, directly in front of a crackling fire. It is boiling in there, yet you walk forward.