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Carol Test presents to The Scottsdale Society of Women Writers at their Tenth Anniversary Celebration. All artists experience times when they yearn to create yet find themselves unable. But from a scientific standpoint, why might accessing creativity be harder for writers? Recent studies in neuroscience suggest the tools and rituals surrounding writing do not, in themselves, evoke the brain state […]

Local and Live, The Writing Process
September 1, 2015
Scottsdale Society of Women Writers Welcomes Carol Test
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Are you giving editors a reason to stop reading? Before submitting to literary magazines, ensure your manuscript doesn’t contain these common errors. As a fiction writer, I’ve felt the sting of rejection more than I’d like to admit. It can take years to craft a story that resonates with readers. After all that effort, wouldn’t it be […]

July 12, 2015
Top Reasons Your Writing Was Rejected
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The Writing Cycle has rounded up ten of the best quotes on the writing process to offer inspiration as you engage in creative work. Which most resonates with your triumphs and challenges? Or would you add another piece of advice to this list? Quotes On Writing for Writers “A scathing perfectionist ethic undermines any serious artistic endeavor.”  — […]

May 29, 2015
The 10 Best Quotes On Writing
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  The rise of online submissions systems means it’s likely your manuscript will first be encountered by editors in digital format. Form affects experience – people’s attention spans are shorter online. Add to this the fact that many publications and agencies lack the staff to read thousands of unsolicited submissions to completion, and it becomes […]

Craft and Revision, Publishing
May 16, 2015
How to Hook Readers: 3 Essential Tips for Openings
Hook readers with openings that captivate.
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Polish your first five pages in a private editing session with Carol Test.   The SinC Desert Sleuths welcome Carol Test, Founder of The Writing Cycle, as their professional content editor for the 2015 WriteNow! Conference at the iconic Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. SinC Desert Sleuths is making available the services of professional content editor Carol […]

Local and Live, Publishing
May 1, 2015
Editing Sessions with Carol Test at the 2015 Desert Sleuths Conference
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The drive to connect is a primary motivation of both writers and readers. If authors don’t capitalize on viewpoint intimacy, they won’t have an audience . . . or an art form. When I was an undergraduate, my award-winning creative writing professor embodied the workshop adage “show, don’t tell”. An old-school minimalist, he boiled fat from the bones […]

Craft and Revision
April 10, 2015
WHAT FILM CANNOT: The Technique That Saves Fiction from Extinction
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On the hunt for the best books on writing? Enrich your craft mastery and writing process with six unconventional guides on the art of creativity. For more than a decade, I have been tasked with selecting guides for aspiring authors. I take this seriously: the ideal combination of insight and expertise, couched in compassion and borne […]

Inspiration, The Writing Process
March 31, 2015
A Portable MFA: The Best Books on Writing
best books on writing
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All artists experience times when they yearn to create yet find themselves unable. Writers, in particular, seem to struggle with this. They even have a term for it in the OED – and it isn’t called “Dancer’s Block”. From a scientific standpoint, why might accessing creativity be harder for writers? Recent studies in neuroscience posit […]

The Writing Process
March 1, 2015
It Isn’t Called Dancer’s Block: Neuroscience on Writer’s Block
writers block
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When The Guardian asked bestselling authors to share their top dos and don’ts of the writing process, I drew upon experience to draft a similar list for students in my creative writing workshops. It came as little surprise that the truths that resonated with me emphasized process more so than any element of craft. Perhaps this is […]

The Writing Process
February 22, 2015
10 Rules for Creative Writing
rules for creative writing
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What element is most important when writing a novel or memoir? In ten years teaching creative writing, this is the question I’m most frequently asked. Writers want to know, is it plot? Character? Subject matter? I insist it’s none of the above. The most important element of craft is voice, and the most valuable asset a […]

Craft and Revision, Inspiration
February 17, 2015
how to find writing voice



Hi, I'm Carol,

a writing coach and editor who turns ideas into art with craft.


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