13 Ways to Be Creative When You Feel Unimaginative

You are a creative but when you sit down to create you go blank. What do you do? All creatives have bad days. Sometimes a string of bad days. Do you have a toolbox of ways to be creative when you feel unimaginative? Read on for 13 ways to be creative when you feel unimaginative. Give Yourself Permission to do Badly Often the reason you cannot create is because of expectations you have. Perhaps you need to be creatively private. Or you expect yourself to create when you are undergoing personal upheaval. Maybe you’re ill or too tired. Give yourself permission to do the work badly. Challenge yourself and deliberately make your creative endeavor as flawed as you can. Allow yourself to fill it with mistakes. Sometimes, a mistake becomes inspiration. And if it doesn’t? Then you’ve learned what not to do. Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Mary Tyler Moore Turn it Upside Down One way to shake loose your creativity is to change things up. For example, if you’ve been writing from the viewpoint of a woman—change it to the viewpoint of a man or a child. If you’ve been trying to design a pattern for […]

Because There Are Lies, Secrets, and Scars

The plot is what happens to your character. The story is about how your character reacts to the things that happen. It’s simple cause and effect, right? Hold on there. It’s not quite that simple. For the most effective story your forces of antagonism (see this post) and your character’s lies, secrets, and scars (see this post) are interwoven. Easy for me to say. Difficult to do. Until you have the golden ticket. What’s that golden ticket? Because there are lies, secrets, and scars and opposition, there is a unique plot. Writers often worry about a story being “done to death.” It’s easy to believe there are no new stories in the world. One look at all the titles in Amazon can overwhelm you. Let’s rephrase. There are no new story concepts in the world. A story concept is reducing the story to the basics. Concepts include: the revenge plot, the detective story, the space marine story, and so on. There are hundreds if not millions of stories about revenge. That’s the test. If it’s a concept, there are lots of other stories like it. So how is a writer to make his story stand out? You make choices. Your […]

How to be awesome reading your work aloud

How to be Awesome Reading Your Story Aloud

Reading fiction aloud can sound like music. Reading prosody, is the term for that musical style of reading. In other words, it’s reading with expression.  And reading with expression is how to be awesome reading your story aloud.  But as a writer, we spend a lot of time alone with our thoughts and our keyboards. Preparing to give a reading can be daunting. You’re filled with questions and doubts. Where do I start? What do I read? How much do I read? How do I get through the reading without sounding like an idiot? What do I wear? Stop. Take a breath. This is your guide on how to be awesome reading your story aloud.   First hint: Don’t hide behind your book. Talk to Your Host Preparation begins with knowing more about what’s expected. Ask your host: will you be sitting or standing? At a table or a podium? Will you use a microphone? Do you check in? When and where? Is it okay to sell books after the reading? Can you ask for signups for your email list? Is it okay to bring props or bookmarks? How long are you expected to read? Sometimes how long you read is […]