from the blog:

Writing Your Character’s Big Secrets

May 21, 2019 | 4 Comments
Writing Your Character’s Big Secrets

We’ve all heard that our stories must contain rising tension and plenty of conflict. As a new writer, I thought that meant stuff had to blow up to make the conflict apparent. Boy, was I wrong! Writing Tip for Today: To maximize tension and conflict, force your character to reveal her biggest, darkest secrets. Here […]

Mastering Scenic Reminders

May 14, 2019 | No Comments

Effective scene writing weaves nearly a dozen elements together to tell the story: everything from a purpose, lots of sensory details and most importantly, a character at a specific time and place. Even when the place setting is spelled out at the opening, readers will need reminders to keep imagining the scene. Writing Tip for […]

How to Revive a Dead Scene

May 7, 2019 | No Comments
How to Revive a Dead Scene

Last post we discussed injecting some kind of death into every scene—to keep tension rising and story moving forward. But what if you’ve written a scene that’s DOA? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about some ways you can breathe new life into a scene that’s dead. Is it Chit-chatty? Scenes that include a lot […]

Writing Death into Scenes

Apr 30, 2019 | No Comments
Writing Death into Scenes

James Scott Bell teaches that every scene must include death. Whether it’s the death of a dream, the death of hope or the death of a real person, every scene in fiction must propel the protagonist toward an alternate way of solving a problem. Writing Tip for Today: Death isn’t something most of us want […]

Write Deep, Write True

Apr 23, 2019 | 4 Comments

I’ve just returned from teaching at a wonderful writing conference located in the redwoods of Northern California. There, for six days I taught classes, read manuscripts and met with writers about their work. One bit of advice I gave again and again was to learn to write deeper and truer. Writing Tip for Today: Here […]

Writing to Know Oneself

Apr 9, 2019 | No Comments
Writing to Know Oneself

Forgive me for deviating from my usual practical tips, but once in a while it’s good to ask what it all means. Writing Tip for Today: How does a writing practice illuminate our understanding of ourselves and others? Learn What You Know “I write to discover what I know.” –Flannery O’Connor. What was true for […]


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.

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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.

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