• Browsing all articles by David Duhr | WriteByNight Writers' Service

    Are You Writing? Week of 12.11.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 1 comment
    Dec
    11

    What are your literary goals for this week?

    They can involve writing, editing, reading… whatever you want to accomplish, let us know below if you think a little public accountability might help.

    If you reached the goals you set last week, pat yourself on the back. If you didn’t, can you identify what went wrong, and how to fix it? Let us know in the comments below. read more

    What’s Your “Sad Waste of Brains”?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Finding Time to Write     Comments 6 comments
    Dec
    7

    Last week at the Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh an object and placard in the Sir Walter Scott section caught my eye: It was a chess set that belonged to Scott, and the accompanying text described the author’s view on chess.

    In essence, he understood the appeal of the game (he’d played it often as a young man), but why, he wondered, would someone spend so much time studying and practicing and playing it when he or she could use that time to instead learn a new language?

    Surely,” he said, “chess-playing is a sad waste of brains.”

    Good thing he didn’t live to see Hungry Hungry Hippos. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 12.4.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 3 comments
    Dec
    4

    What are your literary goals for this holiday week? They can involve writing, editing, reading… whatever you want to accomplish, let us know below for a little bit o’ public accountability.

    If you reached the goals you set last week, give yourself a pat on the back. If you didn’t, can you identify what went wrong, and how to get past it this week? Let us know in the comments below. read more

    You’re Never Too Old to Write

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 15 comments
    Nov
    30

    Annie Proulx, in her recent NBA acceptance speech, said this: “Although this award is for lifetime achievement, I didn’t start writing until I was fifty-eight, so if you’ve been thinking about it and putting it off, well…

    OK, so lots of trolls playing “Gotcha” point out that Proulx published stories in her thirties and a collection at fifty-three, and that she was fifty-six when her first novel came out.

    Who cares! Proulx’s point is, you’re never too old to start writing, and you’re never too old to find literary success, however you may define it. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 11.27.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 3 comments
    Nov
    27

    What are your literary goals for this coming week? They can involve writing, editing, reading… whatever you want to accomplish, let us know below for a little bit o’ public accountability.

    If you reached the goals you set last week, give yourself a pat on the back. If you didn’t, can you identify what went wrong, and how to get past it this week? Let us know in the comments below. read more

    Recommended Reading For Thanksgiving Travel

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN Story Club     Comments 13 comments
    Nov
    21

    Happy Thanksgiving, writers! Many of you will be on the move during this hellish travel week.

    If you’re hoping to write during your time away from home, or during your time at home that will include family/friends buzzing around (hopefully not like angry wasps), this post from 2016 offers strategies for writing on the go:Holidays, Family & Writing.”

    Maybe you’ve reached the end of your to-be-read stack of books and are looking for a new travel companion?

    In the comments section below, share with your fellow writers/readers your favorite books from 2017, and take a peek at everyone else’s if you’re in need of some good airplane/bus/train/car reading. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 11.20.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 3 comments
    Nov
    20

    What are your literary goals for this holiday week? They can involve writing, editing, reading… whatever you want to accomplish, let us know below for a little bit o’ public accountability.

    If you’re worried about getting derailed because of Thanksgiving travel plans, maybe you’ll find something helpful in this post that offers strategies for getting your writing done when surrounded by family: “Holidays, Family & Writing.

    If you reached the goals you set last week, give yourself a pat on the back. If you didn’t, can you identify what went wrong, and how to get past it this week? read more

    Meeting Your Favorite Writer

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 6 comments
    Nov
    16

    When Roald Dahl was six he begged his mother to take him to meet Beatrix Potter, author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    Potter was eighty then, and working in her garden when the pair showed up. She asked what the lad wanted. Young Dahl said he’d come to see Beatrix Potter. Potter replied, “Well, you’ve seen her. Now buzz off.”

    Potter didn’t like children.

    Dahl spent a lifetime not liking adults. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 11.13.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 4 comments
    Nov
    14

    Time for our weekly goals check-in!

    We’re about halfway through NaNoWriMo: Any of y’all working through a novel? How’s it going so far?

    What are your literary goals for this week? They can involve writing, editing, reading… whatever you want to accomplish, let us know below for a little bit o’ public accountability.

    Did you reach the goals you set last week? (I did, I did!) If you did, do some boasting and give yourself a pat on the back. (I pat, I pat!)

    If not, what kind of roadblocks did you run into, and how will you vault over them this week? read more

    Honestly, Abe: Editors Are the Worst

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 8 comments
    Nov
    7

    Last week our friend Pete Greulich passed along what he called a “little bit of editing nostalgia from the 1860s.”

    While reading an Ida Tarbell bio of Lincoln, In the Footsteps of the Lincolns, Pete came across a passage detailing a kerfuffle between Lincoln and an editor who wanted to put one of Abe’s speeches “in pamphlet form for circulation.”

    The speech was his February 1860 Cooper Union address, an anti-slavery oration that is often credited as a major reason he won his party’s presidential nomination later that year.

    In other words, a speech that changed the course of our history.

    And yet… well, just like haters gonna hate, editors gonna edit. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 11.6.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 2 comments
    Nov
    6

    Another week, another writing goals accountability post.

    What are your literary goals for this week? They can involve writing, editing, reading… whatever you want to accomplish, let us know below for a little bit o’ public accountability.

    Did you reach the goals you set here last week? If you did, do some boasting and give yourself a pat on the back.

    If not, what kind of roadblocks did you run into, and how will you jump over them this week? read more

    Micro (Non)Fiction Challenge: Your Favorite TV Show

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 30 comments
    Oct
    31

    [Image courtesy of Shutterstock]

    This month’s Micro Fiction Challenge is all upside-down and ass-backwards.

    The prize is the same as last time: A SIGNED copy of Michael Ausiello’s wonderful memoir, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, new from Simon & Schuster/Atria.

    But here’s the thing: Michael Ausiello himself will decide who wins his book!

    That’s right, friends, a fancy & famous guest judge right here at WriteByNight.

    Not only that, but this Micro Fiction Challenge is actually a Micro Nonfiction Challenge, and the subject matter is one that some of you might consider the writer’s worst enemy — televisionread more

    Are You Writing? Week of 10.30.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 5 comments
    Oct
    30

    Happy Monday, writers! Are you writing?

    What are your literary goals for this week? (Writing, editing, reading, whatever.) If you want and/or need a little public accountability, share them in the comments.

    Did you reach the goals you set here last week? If so, why not do a little bragging!

    If you didn’t, what kind of roadblocks did you come across, and how will you bust through ’em this week? read more

    Does It Take a Village to Raise a Book?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Strategies     Comments 17 comments
    Oct
    24

    TL;DR version: Should you share your work, or even your ideas, before the writing is done? Or should you keep it to yourself until “The End” so that you don’t risk losing psychological steam? Share your thoughts and approaches in the comments below!

     

    Last weekend I had a workshop with my writing group in which we discussed the new opening to the book I’m working on. This was the first time the gang had seen anything from this WIP. I was hella nervous.

    But their feedback was warming and encouraging, and their comments were helpful. Better yet, two of the guys alerted me to a flaw in my prologue that I would never have spotted on my own, and which would have been harder and harder to fix the deeper I got into the book.

    Such feedback is a major reason why it can be useful to have beta readers, or even beta idea-bouncers-off-of.

    But there can be a dark side to sharing your work, or even your idea, before it’s fully cooked. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 10.23.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 9 comments
    Oct
    23

    Welcome to a fresh new “Are You Writing?”

    What are your literary goals for this week? (Writing, editing, reading, whatever.) If you want and/or need a little public accountability, share them in the comments.

    Did you reach the goals you set here last week? If so, bust out and do a little bragging!

    And if not, what kind of roadblocks did you come across, and how will you bust through ’em this week? read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 10.16.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 11 comments
    Oct
    16

    “Are You Writing?” is a new weekly space that will allow you to post your writing, editing, and reading goals for the week — in public! for accountability! — and to let us know how you did the week before.

    Anyone remember AccountabiliBuddy!? It’s like that, but with many more partners.

    New posts will appear every Monday. read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 10.9.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 6 comments
    Oct
    9

    “Are You Writing?” is a new weekly space that will allow you to post your writing, editing, and reading goals for the week — in public! for accountability! — and to let us know how you did the week before.

    Anyone remember AccountabiliBuddy!? It’s like that, but with many more partners.

    If y’all like this and find it useful, we’ll do it every week. read more

    Jeanine Walker and Early Writing Influences

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 5 comments
    Oct
    7

    TL;DR version: This week we welcome to the WriteByNight team our newest coach and consultant, Jeanine Walker. In her Q&A, Jeanine cites her ninth grade English teacher as a major influence. When asked about our influences, many of us will name writers we admire. But what about the people who impacted us at a young age? Let’s discuss below.

     

    If you’ve visited our Staff page recently you’ll have noted that we’ve hired a new writing coach and consultant, Jeanine Walker. Jeanine, who lives in Seattle, received a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Houston and runs writing workshops in and around Seattle.

    To learn more about Jeanine, take a peek at this Q&A. If you’re interested in working with Jeanine through one of our signature one-on-one services, contact us for a free consultation to discuss.

    What jumped out at me in Jeanine’s Q&A was her response when we asked about her writing influences. Most of us will immediately begin rattling off a list of writers we admire and perhaps have tried to emulate. And Jeanine does do that, eventually, naming writers such as Mary Gaitskill, Marie Howe, and Ruth Ozeki.

    But first she says this: “My 9th grade English teacher, Lloyd Sheaffer, was a huge influence. He read everything I brought to him to read outside of class for four years.” read more

    Are You Writing? Week of 10.2.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 13 comments
    Oct
    2

    “Are You Writing?” is a new weekly space that will allow you to post your writing, editing, and reading goals for the week — in public! for accountability! — and to let us know how you did the week before.

    Anyone remember AccountabiliBuddy!? It’s like that, but with many more partners.

    If y’all like this and find it useful, we’ll do it every week. read more

    Micro Fiction Challenge: More Fun with Sp*m!

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 22 comments
    Sep
    24

    TL;DR version: We’re going back to the sp*m well in this new Micro Fiction Challenge. Starting with one of the five sp*m comments below, write a fifty-word or shorter story. Type or paste your story in the comments. Get creative! Win books and fame!

     

    Let’s get our generative juices flowing by using some auto-generated gibberish.

    That’s right, gang: It’s another Micro Fiction Challenge based on the absurd comments our sp*m filter catches!

    Remember how much fun we had last time we did this? We had reality stars (“Kim who, Joey what”), athletic wind, people conveying other people. Jerry Schwartz won by using all five prompts in very funny fashion. One of you even emailed to say that this prompt led to a short story.

    This time around, the prize is a brand-new SIGNED copy of Michael Ausiello’s new memoir, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies.

    But the real prize? Creating some new micro fiction, of course! read more




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