Posts filed under ‘Revision’

We’re Moving!





WriteLikeCRAZY is packing up and moving to a new home!  

Because my goal is to focus on writing and teaching fiction, I decided to merge my two blogs into one powerhouse of information and inspiration!  

What will change:   

  • WriteLikeCRAZY blog will still be here so you can find archived prompts, tips and links like before
  • Writers Inspired will be home to how-to tips on the craft of writing and submitting your fiction work, for both young adult and adult writers
  • Writers Inspired will occasionally host published authors through interviews or guest posts on the writing, organizing and publishing processes, plus awesome Book Giveaways!!
  • Writers Inspired will also offer games, exercises and prompts for young adult writers (and their teachers!!) to use
  • Writers Inspired will be like an online writers group where you can read and share helpful topics, like:  unique ways to find ideas, dealing with procrastination, the latest in writing contests and new markets, tools and resources for fiction writers, tips on tracking submissions and all aspects of the fiction writing craft.
  • Writers Inspired will have one page for young writers with links, prompts and advice PLUS one page for teachers with lesson plan ideas, games to energize the class and notes on what I’ve learned as a Creative Writing Teacher
  • Writers Inspired will also have a list of events for young writers and teachers in the DuPage County (IL) area

What you need to do:  

  • Go to Writers Inspired
  • Click “Follow”
  • Be surprised by the updates you get in your email inbox or Google Reader every time a new post appears
  • Leave lots of comments! This new blog is for you – the readers-and I want to provide content that you’re interested in reading: )
  • Send your friends and teachers!

So, thank you to my current and future followers! Now, let’s get on the ROAD!!!  


April 15, 2010 at 10:55 am 1 comment

Does your character seem flat?

Think of your favorite books.  What makes those books so memorable to you? I’ll bet it’s the characters.

Select the main character from one of your favorite books and answer the following.  Even if the author doesn’t mention these specifics in the book, if the character is well-written, you should be able to guess at the answers:

  1. If the character had free time on their hands, what would they most likely be doing?
  2. If confronted by a bully, how would this character react?
  3. What is this character’s favorite subject in school? Favorite band? Favorite TV show? Best friend?

How did you find the information listed above?  Was it written into the story? Or maybe, the character’s traits, personality and unique quirks were so specific, you could make your own conclusions. This is a well-written character. 

So, when you’re writing your own short stories or novels, how do you create memorable, realistic characters? In a first draft, your characters may seem lifeless and flat.  Not sure?  Test it out:

First, give your story to someone else to read. Then, give them the list of questions above and see if they can come up with the correct answers. If they’re stuck, so are you. Your character needs more life, more details to flesh him out.

Come back all this week to get tips on “fleshing out” your characters.  Already have tips that would help others? Share them here!

July 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm 4 comments

Achieve Excellence TODAY!

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.”
Thomas J. Watson ~ 1874-1956, Founder of IBM

OK, time for an honesty check. Do you ever turn in or submit lazy work? Meaning, you know you could do better, but it’s too hard or you’re not quite sure what needs to be fixed in your writing. So, you chalk it up to “it’s the best I can do.” But is it?

Writing is a competitive sport. I say “sport,” because like baseball, hockey, soccer, etc., writing takes practice, repetition and training. You’ve heard that some authors are “born writers.” But what you don’t hear is that even the best of our league needs to practice, refine and revise. Even the famous names you see on the NY Times Best Seller’s lists have been rejected at one point in their writing careers. And you will be too. It’s part of the game.

But, if you push yourself, join a writers’ group to get feedback on your work, take writing classes, read books on the craft* and WRITE EVERYDAY you will achieve excellence and that coveted byline (aka publication).

I speak from experience, my young writers. Wanna know how I handle rejection? Read about it here.

What do you do to strive for excellence? Have you experienced rejection in your writing? Share your story with us!

*for a list of excellent writing books, check out the side bar “Writer’s Toolbox” on my Writers Inspired blog!



May 7, 2009 at 12:34 am

A case of the Mondays

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever have a day where you wish you had a “do-over” button? Although you can’t change the past, you can change the way you look at it. Learn from your blunders, use your wrong decisions to make new opportunities.

Writing, however is different. It’s magical in the way that you can do it over. Whatever is written can be revised, changed and “done-over.” Use this special opportunity to really rake over your words. Do the characters act as they should consistently throughout the story? If they don’t, is there a good reason why? Does the setting add to the entire feel of your story? How is the pacing? Too slow or fast in some spots? What about the transitions from one scene to the next, do they flow or is it confusing to the reader?

Use this chance to “do-over” your story. Meet with other writers in a group or one-on-one to critique each other’s work. Find a writing mentor, someone who has attained the goals you’re after. Listen. Reread. Rewrite. Revise. And infuse your story with its true potential.

March 9, 2009 at 3:40 am

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Young Writers Program: NANOWRIMO

Young Writers Program NANOWRIMO
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