Entries by Alli

The Story Sandwich

Figuring out what makes up a story and how to make those elements speak to each other can be one of the more elusive aspects of craft. While elements can be developed and adjusted in revision, it’s important to understand how those ingredients work together. In one analogy, you might think of writing a story […]

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The Secret to Receiving Constructive Criticism

Receiving constructive criticism can be as difficult as giving it. It can be challenging to divorce personal feelings—and all the hard work put into the previous draft—from someone else’s opinion. But when I put my story out there to receive constructive criticism, I need to be open to it. I have to put aside my […]

Talking It Out

I had dinner with a writer friend last week and after gushing about the novel I’m currently developing, I asked what he’s working on. After a long awkward pause, he finally confessed that he didn’t want to talk about it until he had a first draft. I subscribed to this methodology once upon a time, […]

Why on Earth Would You Write Every Day?

In 2016 I stumbled into my current habit of being an every day writer. It was a goal for a number of years, but one that I could never make stick until I discovered I had written every day for a week and then through sheer stubbornness continued to write every day. (I’m currently on […]

DIY Edit: 01 A New Hat

Even though I’m an editor for hire, I firmly believe in self-editing. For one, it helps you develop your skills as a writer because it forces you to learn to analyze your own work. For two, you’ll get more from a professional editor because if you’ve already caught simple mistakes, an editor can spend more […]

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The Changeable Plan

Almost every week I meet my friend for dinner and we go to either Barnes & Noble or the library. We spend an hour walking through the books, reading titles, touching covers, and expanding our to-read lists. In addition to an ever-increasing to-read list, I also have an ever-increasing library. And of those books there […]

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The Secret to Writing Great Critiques

Writers tend to focus on getting feedback—wanting to know how others received the work and what to do to make it better. But I’ve learned a lot about writing by critiquing others’ work. It’s made me more cognizant of rhythm and meaning (understanding the logistics of a sentence), and it’s helped me figure out how […]

Determining the Punk

In 2008 one of my friends introduced me to the term “steampunk.” I’d say that I fell in love then, except I’d apparently been a fan of this genre without having known it existed. That’s the thing about punk sub-genres, they’re still not well known and even if you know about them, there are so […]

Happy 4th of July

In lieu of a post on the 4th of July, please enjoy these pictures of fireworks I took at Disney’s Boardwalk in March. Shiny and blinky and photogenic! Regular posting will resume next week. Enjoy the holiday, fellow Americans.

I Tweet, Therefore I Write

Twitter is one of my favorite online resources for writing. It’s a great place to meet writers and find opportunities and inspiration. Everyone uses Twitter differently, but here are five ways I use Twitter to help my writing career. 1. To Connect With Other Writers Connecting with other writers is one of the best things […]