The Writer’s Lexicon: Bring the Vocab

In today’s exercise, the author of Writer’s Lexicon asks us to replace all iterations of the word “bring.” Look no farther, she indicates, than the dictionary definition: “to carry, convey, conduct, or cause . . .” The definition provides your synonyms.   The solution requires that we pay attention to […]

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The Writer’s Lexicon: Big Replacements

In this chapter we are asked to tackle the big problem of using the word big in our stories. To work this, we are given a series of paragraphs to improve. Tools include utilizing “-size,” such as “roach-sized,” or “saucer-sized”; synonyms that characterize; and simple show not tell.   Ready? […]

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The Writer’s Lexicon: Soar Beyond the Limits

In this edition of the Writer’ Lexicon, Ms Steinemann urges us to invent adjectives (a form of loosening the neurons, if you will) just as Lewis Carroll did.   Combination   The nineteenth century author combined words to create slithy (slimy+lithe), and even mimsy (miserable+flimsy).   Let’s have a go […]

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Commune Exercise Day 5: Perfect Your Practice

Take 2 minutes to describe your “daily ideal” for writing. Relevant to your life, particular to you.   Manias: quiet or music, closed space, uninterrupted. Long stretch of time or at least two hours (minimum 1 hr). Completely for myself first drafts, with reading option. Email sharing not until full […]

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Putting It All Together: Reflections on Chapter Five

I did not reflect on the last chapter, because it was essentially a recap. So quickly let us recap.   According to Mr Ed, all good beginnings have, to various degrees, the following:   Backstory (or events before the book) Setup (events leading up to the start of the story) […]

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Hook ’em Good: Reflections on Chapter Two

Fun fact: the mascot at my university was a longhorn bull and our motto was “Hook ’em!” Sad fact: rarely do writers grow horns and hook their reader in the gut. In a sense that’s what Mr Ed’s book is all about: not so much throwing a line into the […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 39: Putting it all together

Phew. Now that we got through that whole book, it’s time to sketch a quick plot. Mr Bell suggests we take everything we know and write a plot summary. So, we need LOCK for the general layout (lead, objective, conflict, knockout). We need ARM (action, reaction, more action). And of […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 38: Plot Tools

In Mr Bell’s final chapter (FINAL CHAPTER!!!) the gentleman of plot offers us a peek inside his tool chest. Inside is an assortment of techniques we can use to spruce up a tricky novel. The metaphor, which he offers at the beginning of the chapter to help us understand this […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 8.9: Flipping a Genre

Today’s exercise stretches our imaginations just a little bit further. It tasks us with picking a well established genre. Then flipping it upside down. The example it gives is of George Lucas setting a western story in outer space. In my case, we’re going to pick the Romance genre, but […]

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