Posted by: annmariegamble | April 17, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Saturday

To round out our week, one last book:
The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | April 16, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Friday

Setting the Scene
We start with “Where does the scene take place?” (and that’s the prompt for today). But we can add depth for the reader: time of day, sensory experiences, attitudes of the characters to this place and time, how it compares to other settings . . . Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | April 15, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Thursday

A book! An honest-to-gosh book!

The Pocket Muse, Monica Wood
Photos, essays about the writing life and getting it done, quotes, random thoughts, and prompts. This kind of thing could be a sappy soup, but I’ve found it to be a great testament to noticing: what you have available to you is enough, so do the work. Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | April 14, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Wednesday

2010 Writer’s Challenge

This is a blog put together by some grads of Emerson University to keep their writing going. The challenge is simple: “I will write every day.” They put up a blog post every day with anything from a few words to a writing exercise to get you moving. Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | April 13, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Tuesday

one word

“simple. you’ll see one word at the top of the following page.
you have sixty seconds to write about it.
as soon as you click ‘go’ the page will load with the cursor in place.” Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | April 12, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Monday

The Forecast
What’s the horoscope? How do the I Ching sticks throw down? If you had a fortune cookie right now, what would it tell you?

Prompt: Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | April 11, 2010

A Week of Prompts: Sunday

The From the Heart chapter of RWA has a writing group contrarily called the Procrastinators. Really what we do is pick a week or two every month to post goals and encourage each other to move forward, with quotes, cheerleading, and tips. I’m the host this month, and I thought I’d cross-post the tips.

Today’s prompt:

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day
April 6

\TAN-tuh-lyze\ verb Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | March 30, 2010


This is a sample of columnular basalt in the Field Museum in Chicago:

The famous place I’ve heard of this formation is the Giant’s Causeway, a cliff on the northern coast of Ireland. There’s a geological explanation and a legendary one, a tale I enjoy because the hero actually dodges the issue and defeats the villain with a trick instead of a fight. In Rite of Return the hero and heroine end up at Giant’s Causeway at a moment when the heroine is questioning why she’s in the country. It was a scene that took me a long time to write, and I did a lot of staring at photos of columnular basalt while I was trying to do it. Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | March 22, 2010

Why I Like Computers

Back when I was in college, kids, before there were word processors, I wrote or typed my papers for school on the back of scratch paper and laid it out on the floor. To edit, I snipped it apart with scissors, taped in new paragraphs or rearranged it, and retyped it. Read More…

Posted by: annmariegamble | March 15, 2010

Is It Really Fat, What They Tell You to Cut?

I clicked on somebody’s link on Twitter and found an interesting tool:

The Wasteline Test assesses whether your writing is ‘flabby’ or ‘fit’. The test works by counting percentages of words in five categories commonly associated with stodgy sentences: weak verbs, abstract nouns, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs and ‘waste words’ (it, this, that, there). For every writing sample you submit, you will receive an overall fitness rating ranging from lean to heart attack territory.

I read a lot of academese for work and wonder how this affects my writing, so I pasted in a chunk from my novel and clicked “Take the test.” Read More…

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