Honest Feedback

One of the most important skills that a writer can learn is how to provide effective feedback. If you want your writing to climb out of interns’ slush piles and into the hands of editors, or even if your stories are ready to become great rather than merely acceptable, you will need to show them […]

The Quest for the Three Magic Words

Put simply, the quest for the three magic words is an irksome phenomenon I’ve witnessed in novels with a strong romantic component, characterized by the stubborn refusal to say the words, “I love you.” In a broad sense, the goal of any HEA romance is for the characters to fall in love, and often the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Book Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Dresden is BACK! Not that I was worried, but after the disappointing Ghost Days (#13), I was eager to reconnect with the Harry I knew. Cold Days is the 14th (yes, that’s right) novel in an impressively long series — impressive because I’m still eager for more! This series doesn’t stagnate. With each new book, […]

Idea Generation

Where do ideas come from? If you’re a writer, then someone has probably asked you this question. Likewise, if you’re a writer, you probably already have some notion as to the answer. As a frequently asked question, this one has had a strange dichotomy in my life — it is the question most frequently asked […]

Writing Tips: Know What You Write

I’m sure you’ve heard the tried and true piece of writing advice, “Write what you know.” It only makes sense, in terms of realism and believability, but don’t let the advice hold you back. You aren’t stuck, from now until the end of time, writing about the same things over and over again, regurgitating the […]