Chicago Writers Association Blog
Chicago Writers Association Blog

October 19, 2021

10 Fun Writerly Things

by Samantha Hoffman

What's more motivating than being in the company of other writers? Make that happen with these 10 writerly things:

1. Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference brought to you by Chicago Writers Association
A two-day, in-person conference in the heart of Chicago's Mag Mile. Twenty-plus presenters, workshops, sessions, panels, one-on-one with one of our presenters...and more. Your registration fee includes breakfast both days, one lunch, and dinner…

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October 12, 2021

Edit as You Go? That is the Question

by Samantha Hoffman

There are two camps on editing as you go, no middle ground. The "don't" camp is way bigger, and more adamant than the "do" camp. I wonder, do we have control over that impulse?

I've done it both ways. When I wrote my first book I edited as I wrote,…

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October 5, 2021

How It Feels To Finish The First Draft Of Your First Novel

by Joanna Penn

Reprinted with permission from The Creative Penn.

I have stumbled through to the end of my story, and now I sit at the end of the first draft of the first novel. So how does it feel?

I'm proud to have over 70,000 words of a coherent story…

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September 28, 2021

Writing Advice from the Masters

  • Dorothy Parker: If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.

  • Stephen…

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September 21, 2021

Why Most Writing Rules Can Be Broken

By Tim Storm

Reprinted with permission Tim Storm

Almost every writing rule you can think of has exceptions. Why? And if breaking writing rules is possible, why pay any attention to them?

The Case of the Effective Deus Ex Machina

Earlier this year, I read a book called Fifteen Dogs. The…

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September 14, 2021

How Many Drafts are Enough?

by Samantha Hoffman

When asked in a 1992 interview for The Paris Review, "How many drafts do you go through in writing a story?" Grace Paley said, "I don’t like to count. I never understand what people mean when they say they’ve done twenty drafts or something. Does that mean they’ve typed…

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September 7, 2021

Be Kind to your Perfectionism

Excerpted from interview with Margaret Ghielmetti on ThriveGlobal with thanks to Arianna Huffington, Yitzi Weiner, Tallulah Films (Karina Michel Feld.)

What exactly is a perfectionist?

MG: For me, perfectionism means zero tolerance for gray areas — in myself. I don’t mind if…

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August 31, 2021

What Dickens Can Teach Us About Complex Characters

by K.M. Weiland

Previously published by Helping Writers Become Authors

In Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens' final completed novel, he presents for us one of his most comprehensive and well-rounded tales. Herein is all the darkness of Hard Times, the cynicism of Martin Chuzzlewit, but also the optimism and hopefulness of David…

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August 24, 2021

Want to be a Successful Author? 10 Things English Majors Have to Unlearn

by Anne R. Allen

posted by Anne R. Allen (@annerallen) May 1, 2011

One of my favorite moments in film happens in Star Trek IV, when the Enterprise crew find themselves back the 20th century. Kirk refers to “the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins,” and Spock replies, “Ah……

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August 17, 2021

Why Writers Belong on Instagram

By Maggie Smith

I can read your mind. Oh, no, not another social media platform I have to learn. Spare me.

Hold that thought while I share a few facts from the Pew Research Center. There are 500,000,000 users of Instagram (IG). That’s not five million. FIVE HUNDRED MILLION. And 300,000,000 of those…

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