• Craft,  Creativity

    Why Write At All?

    Some days I have no trouble getting down what I want to say or describing the dream I had, or my strong opinions about my co-worker’s parenting choices, but some days. Ugh. I can’t formulate a sentence describing how difficult this is.

  • Craft,  Revising and Editing

    Does Your Backstory Make Your Readers Stabby?

    ou've written thousands of words of backstory! You know how his parents met, how he got that scar on his pasty white tuckus, and why he gets all shaky and whiny when he's served enchiladas. This is all-important stuff you told yourself as you dumped it out into the first chapter of your work-in-progress. It sets the stage! The readers can really know him! This will make the story richer! But your character's backstory may be have bored your reader to tears. Here's what to do instead.

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Before Your Next Writing Session

    While some writers are able to naturally jump in and focus on their writing projects, most of us take a little more prep time. I find that if I make some decisions before I sit down to write, my writing time is more enjoyable and I have a clearer sense of my progress. For today’s Take 5, I thought I would share a few of the things that I decide in advance of my writing sessions. Note: Sometimes, I make these decisions in the moments before the computer goes on. Ideally, though, I would make these decisions in advance of a planned writing session. 1) What will you work on?…

  • Community,  Craft

    12 Reasons You Should Go To a Writers’ Conference

    Now, I'm not a writers' conference junkie, but I'd like to be. I know enough about them to understand that if you are in a climate-controlled hotel ballroom, surrounded by writers from all over the world, with speakers and experts in front of you, then you're in a great place to grow.

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5: Five Fun Friday Prompts

    Writing is serious business, of course, but it’s perfectly okay to have fun while you are doing it! This week’s Take 5 is filled with fun prompts so you can play around with your words. Maybe they will help you with your work-in-progress or maybe they will be an enjoyable diversion. Either way, any writing that you do will build your skills and help you become a better writer. Have fun! Write on! 1) Stir up some emotion Choose a video/scene from TV show where someone is clearly angry or joyful. 1) How can you tell their emotions just by looking at them?2) How do their actions reveal their emotions?3)…

  • Craft,  Inspiration

    Writing What You Know (And You Know A Lot!)

    But I don't believe that “writing what you know” necessarily means that, or at least it does not mean only that. Sure, if you've lived on a farm your whole life, it will be easier for you to tell the story of a farming family. If you've been a businessperson for the last thirty years, you will be able to write an office-place drama more easily than most other authors. However, you know a lot more than that. So do your readers. This is where you need to “write what you know”. And what do you know? Plenty.

  • Craft,  Revising and Editing

    Eight Awful Beginnings You Want To Avoid

    Will it be a good beginning or a bad one? Within reading the first two sentences, you've already made a decision on whether or not you'll keep reading. Your reader has too. If they have picked up your novel, they may be turned off by what they read if you have one of these eight awful beginnings.

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Nine Ways To Write An Emotionally Abusive Villain (Part One)

    Emotionally abusive villains are scarier than the Darth Vader types, in my humble opinion. They can play with a person's mind, trick them into thinking that they are safe, twist their reality and torture their soul. In real life and in real literature emotionally abusive villains have been responsible for all kinds of evil.