Why We Write

There are a lot of reasons to write. Most of us who spend any length of time learning the process, going through draft after draft, and ultimately turning out finished products dream of career success and recognition. Yeah, I want to sell a million books. I want a movie deal — not because I think […]

The One-Word Sentence

These days, fiction writing is a somewhat less formal affair than it has been in the past. All-knowing narrators who set the stage with passages of elegant prose have largely made way for limited omniscient narrators who share the voice and attitudes of a single character. Those characters voices can still be elegant, flowery, and […]

How to Kill Your Muse in 10 Days

You’ve just achieved inspiration! Lightening has struck! Your muse tapped you politely on the shoulder… No, your muse knocked you upside the head. THIS is a good idea. Time to kill it. And here’s how: First, discuss your idea openly with any number of disinterested people. They’ll be sure to hack it to pieces before […]

Characters Welcome

I’m teaching a new writing workshop this Monday at Savvy Authors. This one involves coming in character to add depth and breadth. We’ll ask one another questions and dig deep. Details here. 

Tips for Writers: The Perfect Crit Group

Not all critique groups are created equal. We all know that to improve as writers, we need to find that perfect balance — the reader who knows how to be honest and constructive, the one who can point out our flaws without fatally wounding our muse. Yet reality rarely offers that perfect balance. Most crit […]

The Hot Seat

One of my favorite things to do with my characters is to tie them up, shine a bright light on them, and ask them difficult questions until they squirm. Okay…not literally. Although I often picture them that way in my head. You can’t always accept the first thing a character tells you as gospel truth. […]

Characters Welcome

  Characters Welcome     Come join me next week at Savvy Authors, where I will be leading a new and highly interactive workshop for writers who want to get up close and personal with their main characters. This is a different type of character workshop, one that goes beyond general wisdom and into an […]

Setting Stories Free

Stories are never finished, they can only be set free. A few months ago, I was honored to stumble across a woman who had decided to take three workshops with me. It had been about a year since I had seen her last, but it didn’t take me long to recognize the novel she used […]

The Quest for the Three Magic Words (2)

Two years ago, I lambasted that favored plot crutch of romance authors who can’t come up with a more interesting source of tension — the quest for the three magic words. In it, I bemoaned the endless waiting around for two people who already love one another but who are, for whatever reason, afraid to […]