Recent Blog Posts

Writing

Meet My Characters: Martha, Martha

Today, we’ll meet Martha Matthews, the pastor’s wife in Journey to Riverbend. The snarky, sarcastic pastor’s wife. As her husband, Luke, said, “She makes pastoring interesting.” Martha loves Jesus. But…she is sometimes challenged in walking out this love with others, especially with her mouth. She tells me it stems from …

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The Secret Life of a Pantser

I was talking with another writer one day and, from her first question, I knew I was in trouble. “How long does it take you to outline your novels?” she asked. “I don’t,” I said. She sputtered like a Volkswagen with a bad spark plug. Finally she said, “How do …

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Writing When Life Stinks

I’ve had writers say to me, “I can’t write. My life stinks.” For some of us it really does. Life events can throw a stink bomb into our cherished writing. A call the HAZMAT team kind of stinker. That happened to me during my medical crises in April. From the …

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10 Commandments of a Successful Writer – Part 3

This is the final installment (so far) in this series on the commandments of being a successful writer. You can catch up on the first two at these links: 10 Commandments, Part 1 and 10 Commandments, Part 2.  This week, we’ll look at dealing with envy, developing patience, setting goals, and never giving …

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Make Your Characters Work for It 

  Fiction at its essence is people in conflict. Our hero has a goal and something or someone is trying to prevent her from getting it. To write really meaningful fiction, regardless of genre, means making our characters work to get through the conflict and achieve that goal. We can’t …

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What Is a Beta Reader?

  In a recent blog on rewriting, I mentioned sending the completed second draft to my beta readers: Into the Pits of Rewriting. Some authors call them first readers. These are people who read the completed manuscript and give you honest feedback. They are not editors or critiquers—they are READERS. Their purpose …

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Into the Pits of Rewriting

On March 27, I typed The End on my latest manuscript. That’s one of my favorite parts of writing. Until the next day when I realize I have to rewrite it. I know of very few writers who can consistently complete a novel in one draft. One thing I’ve learned …

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The Devil Went Down to Georgia

This blog was originally posted by Steven James in Writer Unboxed. Reposted with permission. This blog so touched my writer’s heart I want to share it with all my readers. Twelve years ago I decided to sell out. I landed on an idea that I felt would be a financially …

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Researching a Novel

Doing research on a novel is one of the most crucial aspects of creating a winning story. If we don’t get our information right, we damage, if not destroy, our credibility. For pantsers like myself, research can be a huge interrupter of the process if not handled right. When I …

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