"Mark Twain said, 'The right word is to the nearly right word as lightning is to the lightning bug.' Fill your book with lightning." ~ Robert Little

Here are some articles to help you start some decorative fires in your manuscript!

Keeping with ye olde schoole advice, here are some tips from a book called English Through the Ages.

A bit more modern are tips from Seth Godin and the Word Factory on making the right word choice.

How about sci fi author Eli K. P. William using painter Claude Monet's advice to help explain how to write vivid descriptions?

And my personal favourite piece from this list references neuroscience since... brains! In The Art of Dynamic Descriptions we get descriptive examples from fabulous books to show us how the pros make it look so easy!

~ New this week ~

New on our YouTube channel

We are delighted that author and Creative Academy member JP McLean took time from her writing schedule to talk to Crystal about rebranding a book series.

New in our free Resource Room

As folks move from writing their hearts out in November to a more sustainable pace to finish manuscripts and then on to revisions, we've uploaded a workbook that could help you see where your draft could use some extra love and attention. It's called Host Your Own, Personal Writer's Contest and it provides a couple dozen specific areas to evaluate in your story. You can do this yourself or, if you have a trusted reader friend, give it to them with your work-in-progress.

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

As happens virtually every week, we have at least four new office hours replays which are kind of like potato chips — just as tasty the next day and just as addictive.

In Eileen's Happy Hours last week she discussed writing contests with publication and contract terms, did a blue pencil critique of a picture book, and discussed non-verbal communication.

In Crystal's Strategic Author sessions she tackled... well, what didn't she tackle? There's a fun new series that she's undertaking with one of our members, called the Manly Series Makeover, where she and the author of a series (the Manly Series!) are analyzing her books using David Gaughran's failure matrix. You can find Parts 1 and 2 so far.

In Donna's NaNo Mastermind group (meeting 5) we hive mind brainstormed some ways to tackle the sagging middle of a story and what to do when your main character needs to hand over control of her climax scene to achieve her character arc.

~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

Do a search of your manuscript seeking out common words like look, walk or anger and challenge yourself — is that the BEST word to describe that feeling? Instead of walk do they amble, stomp or saunter? Instead of being angry are they irritated, livid or frustrated? There are times when the most common word is exactly what you want to use — but at other times selecting a more vivid, more decorative word will elevate your manuscript.

Eileen, Crystal and Donna