My Top Ten Books Every Professional Writer Should Own

Professional Writers Post: My Top Ten Books Every Professional Writer Should Own By Shannon Leigh Rivera For those of us who write, whether it be novels or short stories, news articles or blog posts, there is a never-ending supply of books written to help us achieve more. Those achievements could come in the form of …

Voice and Style: How to be Unique in a Sea of Storytellers

Voice and Style: How to be Unique in a Sea of Storytellers By Shannon Leigh Rivera   “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the …

Busy Vs. Productive: Too Much of the Wrong Stuff is Bad for You

Busy Vs. Productive: Too Much of the Wrong Stuff is Bad for You By Shannon Rivera A few years ago my family moved from sunny San Diego to the middle of nowhere Tennessee. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed many aspects of this move. Gas is cheaper, housing is more affordable, and there is …

Show what needs Shown, Tell what needs Told

Show what needs Shown, Tell what needs ToldBy Shannon Leigh Rivera “Specificity in writing should not depend on modifiers” – Adam Sexton, Master Class in Fiction Writing Show and Tell. As writers, we have heard these two words a lot. The more you study writing and the more you read on the subject of writing, …

Words into Worlds

Words into Worlds “The best descriptive writers are the best observers—of sight and sound, smell and taste, of texture” – Adam Sexton in Master Class in Fiction Writing Have you ever found yourself walking down the street, alone at night when no one else is around? Or maybe you were taking a walk through a …

The Art of Character Creation

I was on a break this past week from my job teaching writing workshops, so it gave me extra time to focus on story creation and editing my own works, rather than my students. I have been stuck in editing mode for my larger novel that I would like to see out later this year …

Not-So-Well-Written

Today was Comic Writing and Art class and, like usual, my students were happy to do the drawing and doodle work but feeling reluctant when it came time to write. At one point a student told me “but I don’t write well”. I had to pause before reacting because I was really hurting for my …

Fearless Creativitiy

Fearless Creativity  Teaching a group of young adult writers this semester has really challenged me as a writer. Not just because these intelligent kids are looking for me to help them through sticky writing situations- plot problems, character development issues, wonky dialogue- which can be difficult in and of itself. Rather, these youth have challenged …

It’s a Hard Write Life

It’s a Hard Write Life”The first draft is the talent, in the second is the art.” – Paul Valery, French Poet   One of the most difficult things about writing is editing. I remember a few years ago when one of my college professors in a writing workshop told me that editing takes up the …