Recent Blog Posts

writing

Building Compelling Characters

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How do we build characters our readers want to follow? How do we engage the reader at an emotional level to where she will want to stay with them through the entire story? There are a slew of books, articles, workshops, podcasts and other forums that address this element. Let …

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What’s in a Theme?

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Frequently, when speaking with readers and other writers, the subject of theme or message comes up. What is the message of the story? What themes run through the story? What does the story say about the human condition? Themes are not always blatant or obvious. If they are, it may …

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What Makes for a Successful Writer?

I was sitting and chatting with a group of writers the other day and one asked, “What makes for a successful writer?” People started to bubble up with definitions and dropping names on both sides of the question. I raised my hand. “How do you define success?”?The silence was like …

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When in doubt…

Doubt is a fact of life for all us, writers included. Writing is, by its nature, introspective. Most of us create alone. This opens the door for all kinds of insecurity to creep in and whisper in our ears. Sometimes it’s as simple as wondering if I’ve taken the right …

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How to Write a Novel

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  When I’m introduced as a writer to a group of non-writers I get a wide range of reactions. Some look at me as if I’m from another planet. Others back away as if they might catch a strange disease. In my early days, one person asserted I couldn’t be …

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What Inspires My Writing?

This is an interesting question from one of my readers. One with several layers to it. One is to tell the stories that grab my mind and just won’t let go until I tu   rn the idea into words on a screen or page. Sometimes it’s an image. Or …

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The Value of Writing Mistakes

Are you like me? I hate to make mistakes. When I have to fess up, I sometimes feel like a little kid. I tell myself, “I know better than that.” The perfectionist in me tries to correct them. The little kid in me says, “Maybe if I hide them, nobody …

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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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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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