In my debut novel, The Fence My Father Built, my antagonist, Linc Jackson, chewed on a toothpick. An editor told me this trait made the antagonist a cliché. Over the next few revisions, I worked hard to make Linc more believable. I hope I succeeded. Writing Tip for Today: Many of us put more effort […]
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You write your novel’s first draft until you reach the end. After letting it rest, you come back to this hot mess of a story, ready to rewrite, revise, rewrite again. What do you look for in your novel’s first ten pages? Writing Tip for Today: Of course you will be revising scenes, smoothing out […]
The adage says, “Character is story.” Writers are urged to develop three-D characters and avoid flat or stereotypical characters. While this skill may come naturally to some, others struggle to write characters who feel like real people. Writing Tip for Today: In my classes, I teach scene writing alongside character development. Practice scene writing is […]
To prologue or not to prologue–for many novelists, that is the question. Some say readers skip them, therefore prologues aren’t worthwhile. Others maintain a prologue is fine as long as it’s short. While many writing coaches advise against using prologues, just as many writers feel prologues are crucial to their stories. Writing Tip for Today: […]
First-time novelists often grapple with the idea of a novel’s climax. I’m always amazed at how many of my students claim their novels have “more than one climax.” Well, no. Your novel’s climax should be identifiable and a story gets only one. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for nailing down your novel’s […]
First novels often have a common problem: the protagonist is on stage alone, traveling to a destination, sitting and thinking. While successful novels may contain some of these same elements, the combination often ends up stalling a story. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at each of these problems and offer some fixes. […]
LINDA S. CLARE
Linda has always been a daydreamer, artist and storyteller. In addition to doting on grandbabies, collecting too many cats, gardening and walking on the beach, she loves to write and to help writers develop their skills.
A SKY WITHOUT STARS
Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man’s ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government’s Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it.