Monday, October 12, 2009

A Call for Help

Many of you know that I teach online writing classes for homeschool teens. In addition to lessons, assignments, and forum interaction, I provide the students with additional tips and provoking thoughts about writing. This is the part where you come in; I could use some tips from my writer friends. Do you have any to share? My students seem to enjoy getting feedback from us real writers:)

Any thoughts are welcome, such as grammar tips that you've found helpful, character development techniques, article/essay writing thoughts, ways to overcome writer's block, things that inspire your writing, and so on.

The sessions that I offer include general creative writing (fiction & non-fiction), writing the research paper, essays, and flash fiction. Thoughts do not have to be long, even a line or two would be great. One tidbit that I share with my students is a short list that a reporter from The Press of Atlantic City (NJ) gave me. He basically told students to keep their writing tight, consult a good grammar guide such as The Elements of Style, and to have fun.

If anything strikes you, I would welcome and be blessed by your comments. The tips would include your name, and your website or blog address if you like. Thanks for your help! Blessings to you, and of course, happy writing! :)


  1. Karen, one of the best pieces of advice I received early on was to keep my paragraphs short. That means making use of every word, and cutting, cutting, cutting. It sure makes the read go faster!

  2. Thanks, Eileen, great tip! I will put it to good use:)

  3. Hi Karen -

    When writing dialogue, it's important to put the action first. Then write what the character says.

    Example: Mary threw the book at his departing back. "Take that, you jerk."

    Get the idea Mary is a little bit mad?

    Susan :)

  4. Karen:
    One way to keep writer's block at bay is to have a 'job jar' with writing prompts in it. Draw one out and write whatever comes to their minds We do this at each writing group meeting. We write for about 15 minutes.

  5. Great idea, Cecelia! Thanks for sharing that. I will definitely pass that on:)

  6. Susan,
    That's a good one! We were discussing dialogue recently in a lesson. Thanks so much:)

  7. Hi Karen,
    Your students may ask, "What does keep my writing tight mean?" Read each sentence and ask yourself, "Does the reader need to know this?" Read each word and ask, "Does the reader need to know this?"
    I'm following this technique right now to cut a story that is over 700 words down to the 400-600 word limit.
    Hope this helps.

  8. Thanks, Carol! This is great advice, and something I try and practice all the time. I will be passing this along:) Blessings!

  9. Probably one of the best parts of writing I found to perfect was the art of showing and not telling. When a writer grasps that concept, it changes everything for them--it makes their writing stand out and pulls the reader in.

  10. Terri - Yes, this is so important! Thanks for sharing; I will pass this along:)

  11. Your homeschoolers may enjoy being challenged to write about what God is teaching them in their personal quiet times. Something their peers could relate to! Talk about taking a stand and being a great role model! What an opportunity!

    I've taken the same idea (from an adult's perspective!) and adapted it to my blog. I'd love your feedback:

    I'm constantly amazed at what God is teaching me and how He is using it!!

    God Bless.

  12. Hi Maria, thanks so much for your thoughts. Will have to share this too. Blessings!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!