Making the Great Novels into Your Own

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

*Today’s essay is from Fine Lines Senior Editor Stu Burns

Writers Read, Right?

A while back I read the first draft of a friend’s novel then punched out my critiques and advised her to read more novels. This would give her a sense of how she could finish her work and take it to a more mature conclusion. That was the diplomatic version. Privately, I was wondering if she had ever read a novel. As I typed, I looked at the reflection in my monitor’s glare and realized I was staring at a hypocrite.

reading quote

I was trying to write my own novel at the time, an entry in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) creative project I’d floundered on the previous November. I am a voracious reader, but mostly of nonfiction; I will argue all night that the life of Moe Berg is more interesting than anything J.D. Salinger ever wrote. Novels had never been something I looked forward to. When I read them, it was out of obligation, either for school or after years of prodding.

If I was going to be able to write my own fiction, I had to read novels and like them. In other words, it was time I indulged in outright thievery. There is a much-abused quotation from T. S. Eliot:

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Writing Fast or Slow? It’s Personal

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

*Today’s Guest post is by senior Fine Lines editor and author Margie Lukas

I consider myself a slow writer.

WL_farthest-house_2For me, the deepest connections in Farthest House came over time. I worked on the novel for seven years, though the ideas had been swimming in the back of my mind for a few years even before I put a #2 pencil to yellow legal paper. Which doesn’t mean I did nothing else in that time. As it simmered, I worked on other writing projects.

Grace of Time

Writing slow gave me the time to think and rethink plot lines, discuss them with others and consider fully my objectives. I asked myself over and over, “Is there a better way? What does this achieve, and what might that achieve?”

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5 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Posted on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

*Today’s guest Blog is by author and Fine Lines editor Marcia Calhoun Forecki

There are plenty of blogs for writers which are positive. Bloggers giving advice on the six things every writer should know about combating writer’s block, seven things to jump start your creativity, or eight ways to end a sentence without using a preposition. And although no one likes a negative Nelly, today I’m taking that honor and talking about:

Five things a writer should never do.

  • Never plagiarize. That one is pretty obvious. If there’s a code for writers it has to be do your own work.


  • Never think you will remember a great idea or sentence in the morning. This does not happen. Between the time the idea comes to you at night while brushing your teeth before bed, or while tossing and turning before sleep, many things can happen. In one night alone, you can lead a brigade of dragons to save the kingdom’s supply of toilet paper, lunch with Mary Todd Lincoln and your high school band teacher, or even kiss your first true love while he turns into Mr. Peanut. Who could be expected to remember a sentence or even a great idea after all that action.

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My Top 5 Reasons Writing is Better than Sleeping

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
*Today’s Blog is by Fine Lines editor and contributor Rhonda Buckhold

Sleepless Nights

papersBeing diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sleepless nights is a topic for which I am uniquely qualified. It is hard to shutdown an overactive brain. Many of my nights are spent writing, journaling, or list making. Writing is a great way to pass the time. These are my top 5 reasons that writing is better than sleeping.

Reasons From 5 to 1

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How I Got Over the Fear of Publication

Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Writing Journey

 *Guest Blog today by Lauren Narducci

Fine Lines LogoEver since I can remember, I have had a pen in my hand. I would write and write and write, until my hands cramped, and the room grew dark. I was always writing, and always imagining. Recently, I stumbled across the many notebooks I had filled when I was younger shoved in a box in my closet. Written in those crumpled notebooks were pages full of short stories that had gone unfinished.

After a while, I dropped that pen and did not pick it up again until senior year of high school. That school year, my creative writing class came soon after a favorite teacher of mine died. Writing was an outlet for me, a way to let go of the thoughts entangled in my brain; so I saw this class as a way to cope.  My writing was dark, and filled with death. Many of my classmates started worrying and began asking questions. I told them I had lost someone I loved, they nodded their heads and that was all that was said. The end of the semester approached and after editing and editing and editing, I turned in my final story to my portfolio. When grades came back, I was surprised at my teacher’s comments about the story.

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Magic & Creativity

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Blog on Magic & Creativity

*Guest Blog from magician Jeff Quinn

“Write a guest bJeff Quinn rslog,” they said. “It’ll be easy,” they said.

That’s more easily said than done. This is about the 7th revision I’ve made. I’ve scrapped several pages and started anew. Can any of you relate to that? When it comes to magic and creativity, I know what I do; I just have trouble explaining how I do it.

But I’ll try. I really, really want you to gain an insight on what I do and I hope it may in some way help you in your writing.

Magic Moments

I’m sure you’ve experienced the times when creativity just flows from your fingertips. You can do no wrong. It’s almost like the words are being sent from the heavens directly to your fingers. Those times are rare for me, but I relish them when they do happen. I’ve found these periods of genius usually occur after I’ve sacrificed seven pure white rabbits to the cackling spirit of the Great Houdini. (Dear PETA people: the previous sentence was a joke. I DO NOT and HAVE NOT ever sacrificed seven pure white rabbits. Three or four, maybe. But NEVER seven.

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Our Thanks for Another Successful Writers Camp

Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2014

Volunteers teach, move, inspire and work – work – work to make the Fine Lines Camp a success!

Participants engage, inquire, listen and write – write – write, and this makes Fine Lines Camp a success!

Thank you for being a part of camp this year. Share with us your experience. Submit your work!

Stay in touch, we’ll see you next year, and Write On!


3×5 Folded Card
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Fine Lines Camp for Creative Writers

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Camp is coming up!

June 9 – 13th

Have you signed up?

This is our 15th year of creating Fine Lines writing summer camps for students of all ages. Join writers who add clarity and passion to their lives with the written word. Register now with the PayPal buttons at the bottom of our Camp Page, only $160. Ages 10 and up welcome!

Speakers CollageWhat does this year’s camp have to offer?

Inspirational, talented, and diverse speakers!

Check out the presentation schedule here.

Where Magic Happens!

magic hapens pic