Sudden Transformation of Personality

I’m sure you’ve heard of dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities), but perhaps you were unaware that in fiction, there is often a dramatic and equally troubling phenomenon: Sudden Transformation of Personality. We’ll call it STOP! STOP usually occurs when a character does something at odds with everything the reader has been led to believe about […]

Workshop: Beginnings

I’m teaching another Savvy Authors Workshop starting next week…Beginnings. It’s about what it sounds like it’s about…beginning a novel. We’ll talk about the all-important hook, and how to fill the reader in on background info without dumping it. It doesn’t matter what genre you write, most of the tricks and tools remain the same. I […]

Tips for Writers: The Value of Schedules

I like plans and I like schedules. I have short-term, medium-term, and long-term plans for my family, my home, and especially, my career: Fiction writing. The schedules make me feel safe, they help me set goals and feel like I’m working towards something, but ultimately, they’re an illusion. Let’s take my family: I planned to […]

Tips for Writers: Giving Books Away

A few years ago, before we moved to the Kansas City area, my husband and I had a moving sale to get rid of all those things we didn’t want to drag 300+ miles to our new home. One of those items, an old console TV, had been given to my husband for free, and […]

Tips for Writers: Take Your Artist for a Walk

If you’re reading this right now, perhaps it is because you’ve run out of steam or inspiration, and have sought refuge among someone else’s words. Don’t get me wrong — I’m happy for you to take refuge in my words, especially in my books, but not because you’ve run out of steam or inspiration for […]

Tips for Writers: The Cliffhanger

Series are very much the thing these days. Readers love to stay with their favorite authors and characters book after book, and publishers love to keep selling the stories! Authors often love the chance to tell a longer, fuller, or more involved story as well. Yet there are very few rules, or even guidelines, for […]

Tips for Writers: Making Magic Believable

One of the primary struggles of fantasy and science fiction writers is to convince their audience to suspend disbelief, even though the readers know the events couldn’t really happen. Could they? The good news is that your readers expect magic. (For science fiction writers, let’s call any sufficiently advanced technology magic.) The bad news is […]

Bringing Worlds to Life in Science Fiction and Fantasy

I will once again be teaching a month-long world building workshop at Savvy AUthors this January. I’ve led this class three times before, and learned something new each time. I love it! I always give personal feedback, and try to tailor my lessons to meet the needs of the group. They’re always a little different, […]

Tips for Writers: The Gambler

I hear a lot of writing advice that goes something like this: “Put your butt in a chair and force yourself to keep writing.” In fact, BIC (butt in chair to those of us in the biz) is probably the most popular writing advice out there. I’ve even given it myself, and for those of […]

Tips for Writers: Chapter Journals

I’m always on the lookout for new ideas, and as I am working on the latest round of revisions to my WIP, I have hit upon something that seems to be working well. I’m calling it a chapter journal, and so far, I feel like it is working very well. The goal of the chapter […]