free the pen, a blog for writers

October 17, 2012

The Silent Voice

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:07 pm

How many times do we find ourselves lost in thought playing out both the antagonist and protagonist positions? Our minds are often the battlegrounds for sorting out a dilemma, an imagined conversation, a difficult decision. Then when we realize we are driving ourselves crazy we get busy doing something to distract ourselves from the chatter inside our heads.

The silent voice that sets this pattern ablaze rarely gets to escape. We tuck it away, sometimes in embarrassment, sometimes in desperation simply to shut it up. But what if you let it out with pen and paper? What if you gave each side of the issue its own voice and let it become statements on a page? Would you solve your problem or decision? Would you wind up writing a short story, book, or piece of flash fiction?

Guess you won’t know until you do it. That’s what writing holds: surprises. Go find your pen, dust it off, and find what delicious surprises await.

Until next time,

keep the pen moving,



October 3, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 8:17 pm

Who doesn’t enjoy the compelling nature of a good story where words fly you across their sentences and onto the next page? And if you’ve ever read a book that keeps reading despite all that is happening around you, you know how it feels to be so engrossed in a story that everything else fades away and you become one with what is taking place on the page.

How do stories get such a hold over you? Conflict. Yes, conflict. As much as we try to avoid it in our day to day lives reading conflict keeps are attention. Could it be that we are just addicted to problems? Well, maybe. And what comes after conflict? Resolution. We ache for the synthesis of the conflict. We ache for solutions.

When you write your next story, present a conflict that holds a question the reader wants you to answer. For instance:

1. will the couple get back together,

2. will her business succeed,

3. can the mother possibly forgive her daughter,

4. will society be better off if he is convicted, or

5. will this book render me a relieved and happy ending?

Until next time,

keep the pen moving,


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