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The Process of Writing a New York Times Bestseller in One Month (Part 2 of 2)

  In my last post I told you the ingredients Mark Divine needed to cook up a New York Times Bestseller.  If you haven’t already, notice that none of those things have anything to do with actual writing.  Once he had hired me to be his writing coach, we had to produce an entire book […]

What a Fitness Coach Needed to Write a New York Times Bestseller

  I wasn’t excited when I walked in the room.  Only four people had signed up to take my “No One Told Me How to Write” workshop at Wizard Academy (it’s not a Harry Potter theme park) in Austin, TX.  Half of them were missing.  Dennis and Mark sat expectantly.   “Hey guys!” I said, […]

Website Copy People Want to Read

  In five seconds name the last website you loved reading.  Can you think of one?  If you did, I bet it was a blog, news site or some other web address containing a story.  I’m pretty certain you didn’t think of an online store or the website of a small, local business.   Why […]

2013 U.S. Fall Tour Starts Today!

  Are you excited? I’m sooo excited!!! Vicki and I are just about to walk out the door for the 2013 U.S. Fall Tour. We’ll be teaching writing workshops for schools, universities, businesses plus some one-man shows and Tree of Psalms preview performances. We’re even bringing our new tent to camp out whenever we feel […]

Want Your Students to Pay Attention?

Before you read this, watch this video. The first minute and forty seconds gift-wrap one of the best lessons on how to teach. The next two minutes show you the impact on kids. The final eight and a-half minutes may inspire you for life.     What did you learn? By the time I finished, […]

Because YOUR Self-Promotion Sucks

Why Your Self-Promotion Sucks I just consulted a musician in England.  When I asked him what he did he said, “Well, uh… I guess… uh… it’s hard to explain really.  I write songs… and I play gigs…”   That’s a terrible way to make an impression that someone will remember.  I say this not because […]

A 5-minute Video Narrative Writing Lesson

It’s only basketball commentary.  But watch this video from Henry Abbott and TruHoopTV.  It’s a 5-minute writing lesson that will make you look like a master.  Notice how the words and video dance over a melancholy music bed:     “Artistry”, “Showtime”, “…Magician with the ball”, “…Cast his Spell”.  These unexpected, vivid words lock your […]

Tell me How to Begin

What do I want to write about?  How do I begin??  Why won’t anything come into my mind???   Calm down.  Those are three thoughts that just popped into your mind.  Write them down on a piece of paper, or type them on your computer.   Which thoughts?    The “What do I…” “How do […]

Writing Dialogue for Dummies

  “Gimme yours.”   “No.”   “I said, give it to me.”   “Uh-uh.”   “I’m gonna tell your mom if you don’t.”   “Fine.”   “I WANT YOUR KIT KAT!!!  GIMME IT NOW, YOU…”   Dialogue.  Makes you feel characters.  Your imagination hostage to the writer’s will.  Sights, smells and scenery all beam vivid […]

The Details are Juicy…

“Kevin screeched out of his driveway and roared down Devers Avenue.  Her words still stung his ears.  “Why should I tell you my feelings?  You don’t care.  You can’t even remember to take the garbage out on Tuesdays.”  Shannon had been making accusations a lot since her sister’s divorce became final last Tuesday.  Living 3 […]