creative writing Archive

From the Slush Pile: Don’t Fall Flat

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Alfred Hitchcock says, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  That is absolutely true for the stories that are being passed on to editors. It is your job to tell the story but get rid of the boring bits. A reader wants to travel seamlessly from scene

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #8: Cut & Paste

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  Last month’s exercise was to come up with different narratives surrounding an inanimate object. Of all the miscellany on display and tucked

Writing Is Like Going on Vacation

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Over the past few months I’ve compared writing to walking, mixing a drink, cooking, and baseball, and you’ve indulged my metaphorical ramblings. But writing is like going on vacation? No siree. Writing is work, hard work. Work that takes dedication and thought and effort. Lots of effort. I’d rather

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #7: Show & Tell

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  Okay. This last exercise, Stop, Look, and Listen, was a challenge. I feel sheepish about this, but continually checking my phone

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #6: Stop, Look, and Listen

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  If you’ve been following along with this series from the start, you might have noticed a bit of a theme emerging—each

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #5: Take A (Mindful) Break

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  We’re all here because we want to write. We love doing it even when we hate doing it—and we try, valiantly,

From the Slush Pile: Have You Got What it Takes?

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I’ve said it before: you have to play to win. And I’m sorry to say, in terms of the slush pile, “winning” is a bit of a crapshoot. To rise out of the slush pile you must submit and keep submitting. It’s a numbers game and resiliency and pluck

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #4: Go Big

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  It was mid-morning but there were no shadows on my wall; the sun was being shy, so I knew it was

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #3: Letters

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part! Well, my plan was to do a prompt a day since the last post, ten minutes a pop. That did not

Relationship Rescue! Courting Your Long-Lost Writing

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 10 Comments
First, a confession: I’m lousy at prioritizing fiction writing. I let everything else in my life take precedence. I even let other writing take precedence—articles, book reviews, syllabi, comments on student work, status updates, replies to all. And yet, good things have happened to the fiction I’ve written. I