Making Use of Feedback

If you are serious about becoming a writer then at some point you will need to show others your work and ask them what they think. When your pet project comes back, scarred beyond recognition in red ink, you have three choices: You can quit writing. You can decide to be a poor, misunderstood artist […]

Virtual Book Tours: Wise Investment or Waste of Money?

Across the Internet and around social media the word is out: Authors, virtual book tours are the key to success! I bought into this in a big way last year when Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective came out. I was desperate to make a splash, especially since there’s an entire series behind that title. Since May […]

Quick Tips: First Lines

1. Keep it short. Short sentences are easier to digest. They tend to convey simple concepts. They get straight to a point. Longer sentences are useful when you need to describe something bigger, more detailed, or more complex. I’m sure you know that varying sentence lengths throughout your prose makes it stronger. Shorter sentences move […]

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 […]

Characters Welcome: Quinn Hollister

Characters Welcome is a new blog series in which authors have a chance to introduce their characters and tell readers how they “met.” I’m honored to have kindle bestselling mystery author Aaron Lazar join me for the first post in this series. Please welcome him, and particularly welcome his character, Quinn Hollister! How I Met […]

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 […]

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 […]

Once Upon a First Page

Last week, I said that the goal of the first sentence is, quite simply, to get the reader to move on to the second. This week, I’m going to give you some thoughts on what will keep people reading. Before I begin, however; I must mention this: There is nothing more subjective in the writing […]

On Writing a Novel in One Month

For many writers, November means NaNo. Since I’m actually participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, I figure it’s only right that I add my voice to the write-a-book-in-a-month movement like many of my fellow writers have done. (Check out Aliette de Bodard and Mary Robinette Kowal) I’ll be honest with you. November […]