Week 51. December 2017. Tool: DIRTY WORK~ Manuscript Checklist. We're in the home stretch of this version of The Nudge, so these final weeks are aimed at writers of all genres--fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. If you’ve been a thoughtful writer all along, these last weeks will be easy for you. Now, it's time to do the dirty work if you haven’t already. Ensure that the manuscript is all typed in the same font, preferably a font that is easy to read for a variety of readers (Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Georgia are a few examples). Complete a spelling and grammar check. Make sure all the big issues are correct: Section and chapter breaks, paragraph breaks, and title changes to chapters and sections. For the sake of consistency, complete a “Find/Replace” for character name changes that you made. Finally, make sure that your manuscript has a main title.
Week 52. January 2018. Tool: READ with minor revisions. Writers, it can’t be all character creation and fun descriptions of fake worlds. Yes, it’s still all of that, but you’re making your writing much better for everyone outside of your head if you revise the manuscript and do a read-through of your own work this week. It’s your responsibility to revise your own work, first. Expecting others to do the dirty work for you in every way causes the work to suffer by your inability to use the depth of talent available from editors. Create a pattern for revising your own manuscript, and maybe this revision needs to be in great detail, but save the revising until later. This is a read-through, so right now only complete the quick and necessary revisions that the computer spelling/grammar/etc. didn't catch. Keep it quick so as not to interrupt the flow of your reading. If you see a mistake, fix it! Don’t wait for an editor. The editors can then give you more advanced editing suggestions instead of being mired in your typos. Enjoy the reading, and hopefully you will find both your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. One of the most helpful ways you can "see" your manuscript is by reading it aloud, whether that is only to yourself or to a friend, family member, or colleague. Just be sure that if you include someone else in this reading, that you note their recommendations after you finish the story. Ask them to keep notes about their opinions, and not to share their thoughts with you until the manuscript reading is complete. Be selective about including someone else, as some influences could suggest alterations that could harm the work and you as a writer.
Week 50. December 2017. Tool: Point of View~ ANIMAL'S STORY. Write a scene or short story from an animal’s point of view. This could be a wild animal or a domesticated pet. If you’re incorporating this story into a longer work or novel, consider using the point of view of your character’s pet for an experimental scene or chapter. This is an opportunity to be imaginative and creative. Perhaps the animal is the first person narrator.
Additional advice for creative nonfiction and poetry: Return to a memory from your past that involved an animal. Write about that moment from the animal's perspective. Imagine. Explore. Consider possibilities that you might have overlooked by focusing on yourself or your own point of view.
Week 49. December 2017. Theme: SEASONS OF NATURE. If you tend to avoid writing about nature, let's try some subtle revisions on the setting throughout your novel, or choose a particular recurring place in your setting, AND show the changes of the seasons. In this way, you can show the passage of time, and nature can be a more active element in your story. If you tend to lean away from descriptions of nature in your writing, focus on a single natural cycle and symbolize that complete cycle.
Additional advice for creative nonfiction and poetry: Choose an element of nature, other than the human experience, whether you focus on a plant, animal, mineral, or a land formation, and write about that natural element's cycle of life. Even though you may even write from your own point of view, focus on the seasons of life that accompany whatever life form or natural process you choose.
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Week 60. February 2018. Writers, consider changing your writing space. Light a few candles and create a new atmosphere for your writing session. If candlelight writing isn't the type of new mood that would inspire you, find any new atmosphere for your writing and try out these words:
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Week 55. January 2018. Pick or buy yourself a couple of flowers or sprigs from a plant or tree to set upon your table and use as a muse in more than one way. Often, plants, especially aromatic barks and herbs, blooms and bulbs, can be captivating in fragrance as well as visual beauty. Texture adds another element. All combine to allow for experimentation with words...or, choose to use in your own way...
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Week 57. February 2018. Grab a late night snack and sit down with the new words of the week. Do they inspire a new recipe for your writing? We hope that they give your mouth some new vocabulary words to play around with...
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Because we shortened some months to three weeks back earlier in the year, we've decided to double down for December and give you these last weeks two at a time. So, enjoy the final weeks of this version of The Nudge. In the New Year, our publisher has a new prompt style for The Nudge...
Week 48. December 2017. Theme: GAMES. People play games in life, so think about the types of games that your character plays. If you’re writing an historical novel or story, this gives you an opportunity to add a scene that shows a game that may now be out of fashion. Be creative and have fun with playing games in your story. Examples, the play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” by Edward Albee is an elaborate mental game shared by a married couple, and our publisher’s novel, Poke Sallet Queen and the Family Medicine Wheel, contains a scene in which secrets are revealed over a card game of Hearts.
Additional advice for creative nonfiction and poetry: Focus on a game that you no longer play but that was important and pivotal in your past. Show your transformation from the time when that game was your focus and why you became enamored with it in the first place, to how you lost interest or moved away from it, as well as how it shaped who you have become now. Consider showing how easily a game can lead to an obsession of some sort, whether that is winning or some other scenario.
Week 59. February 2018. Weekend writers, get going on these word groups. Allow them to lead you on a fresh adventure. Observe how these words are commonly used in the world, and what sort of worlds these words inhabit.
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Week 54. January 2018. It’s time for some late night word play in the style of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and all of their friends. Grab a drink, settle in, and conjure up something akin toWoody Allen's Midnight in Paris. See what you can make out of this week’s word list. Cheers!
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Week 58. February 2018. Rise and write! Grab a power drink of fresh orange juice or a smoothie, and set yourself up for a successful writing session first thing in the morning. For some inspiration, we have a few words of the week for you...
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Week 53. January 2018. For the New Year, our publisher has a new prompt style for The Nudge. Every week, she will provide us with a group of words that are not necessarily related in any way. These words could be nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and/or verbs. You may choose to approach this writing prompt style in a variety of ways. You could use this as a challenge to add words to your story or manuscript that you may not otherwise have used. Another option is for you to learn the definitions of the words, if you don’t know them already, and practice usage of the words in order to incorporate them into your vocabulary. You may also approach these prompts by learning word etymology, delving deeper into the meaning of the word throughout history, and bringing that knowledge into your writing. Be creative as you learn and use words from these prompts. Challenge yourself to use all of the words in a single poem or short prose piece, or even to use them in conversation during the day. Take note of which words are easy and which are difficult or awkward to incorporate into your spoken vocabulary or your particular style of writing.
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Week 56. January 2018. Even if you are familiar with the words of the week, and use them often in your writing and/or your spoken conversations, try them in a new perspective. Apply the words to a new setting or character, and one that isn't commonly associated with the words and the ideas that the words typically convey...
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