Next Steps for NaNoWriMo

Next Steps for NaNoWriMo

Writing a novel in thirty days is quite an accomplishment. If you’re racing toward the 50,000-word count or have sat back with a “Whew! I did it!” you might be wondering where your draft should go from here. Writing Tip for Today: When you finish your NaNoWriMo draft, what are some next steps? Let It […]

Blind Trust

Blind Trust

A few days before Thanksgiving, it was already dark at four-thirty—the time of year when I jump into jammies early and pray again for my son’s miracle: Let him find recovery. Then the text came: Can I get a ride home before you go to bed? I heaved a sigh but pulled on my boots […]

Writing Unforgettable Dialogue

Writing Unforgettable Dialogue

Writing unforgettable dialogue should be on every writer’s bucket list. Iconic passages such as, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities come to mind. Do you wish you could write […]

Writing More Effective Dialogue

Writing More Effective Dialogue

Any writer who watches movies understands how important dialogue is to the story. Yet in too many instances, we’re writing dialogue that could use a tune up. Instead of asking what the character might say, a better question might be to ask what a character must say. Writing Tip for Today: How can we write […]

The CandyLand of Scene Goals

The CandyLand of Scene Goals

An inspiring post over at thewritepractice.com has me thinking about ways to keep fiction stories moving.  We all hear, “Every scene must move the story forward.” For me, that command conjures up visions of the kid’s board game Candy Land. Writing Tip for Today: How do your story’s scene goals relate to a game of […]

NanoWriMo 2020: Pandemic or Not?

NanoWriMo 2020: Pandemic or Not?

Here we are in 2020 on the edge of November and this year’s NaNoWriMo. For months, we’ve all been trapped in the pandemic bubble. But should you write about it for your 2020 Nano project? Writing tip for Today: Let’s talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic could influence your writing for Nanowrimo. Should you address […]

The Power of Words

My husband and I ought to have permanently melted ears by now. Over the past years, our three grown sons with addiction have cursed us, called us awful names and vowed that they hate us. The old schoolyard taunt declares, “words can never hurt me.” Moms and dads of those with addiction know that’s so […]

Writing Crowded Scenes

Writing Crowded Scenes

When your novel’s lead character walks into a crowded room—or even a room with more than one person, your scene writing skills need to be ramped up. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about scene writing in a multiple-character situation: Set the Scene Ever notice how many scenes we write with only two characters? In […]

Writing that Has Staying Power

Writing that Has Staying Power

Want to produce writing that has true staying power? Many writers have heard that including passing fads, slang or even current events will quickly date a novel. You need to make your story relevant to readers, but you don’t want scenes that seem silly or naïve. What was all the rage yesterday is often passe […]

Writing Predictable/Unpredictable Characters

All novelists must portray their lead characters in both predictable and unpredictable ways. By digging into what sorts of predictable unpredictability that readers look for in a character, you can increase reader engagement. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss some tips for refining your character according to predictable/unpredictable traits and actions. Predictable, not Stereotypical A […]