Theme Memes: Start With The End

When I conference with writers, they often say they’re having trouble coming up with a satisfying ending. Instead of talking to them about their plot, I ask them to tell me about their intended impact: when their audience reaches the end, what do they want them to be feeling and thinking? Some writers are immediately... Continue Reading →

Timeline Cards: for Backstory, Worldbuilding, and Complication

A few weeks ago, I visited one of my Philadelphia Young Playwrights classrooms as a guest teaching artist. The students finished writing scene one of their plays, and it was time for them to outline their full story arcs. It was a perfect moment to introduce timeline as a way to challenge them to think... Continue Reading →

Outline for Opportunities

Happy New Year, writers! This post comes to you from the snowy grounds of Ragdale, where I have the good fortune to be one of twelve artists-in-residence for the month of January. I had grand plans to write a blog post a week while I was here, but the first two weeks of my stay... Continue Reading →

A Tile and Place for Everything

I recently had an amazing time visiting Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens with my Philadelphia Young Playwrights Ed Staff, where we were inspired by the work and process of creator Isaiah Zagar. On our guided tour (which I highly recommend), we learned that when Zagar creates his mural mosaics, he pulls tiles out of his bucket at... Continue Reading →

Advice For My First Draft Self

With the revision deadline for my young adult novel in the not-so-distant future, I spent last week wresting with a chapter of my book that needed major restructuring. In the midst of already having my work cut out for me, I found myself fed-up with my ‘First Draft Self’ because she had made some choices... Continue Reading →

Just Another Writing Hack

When I saw the challenge this week on Making Learning Connected was hacking your writing, I knew that it was the week I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and into the realm of glorious bumbling.  Despite the growing popularity of the term "life hack,” which is quickly widening the idea of... Continue Reading →

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