The Stay-at-Home Writer

The Stay-at-Home Writer

In Oregon and many other states, governors are issuing Stay-at-Home orders. What does this mean for writers? Writing Tip for Today: What are some publishing changes writers will need to navigate during coronavirus crisis? Publishing Problems Traditional print publishing has never been known for speed, but now it will slow down even more. Yes, agents […]

Corona-crisis Journaling

Corona-crisis Journaling

Too Upset to Write? Journal Instead. As coronavirus ravages our country and the world, many are comparing it to 9/11. During that crisis in 2001, I couldn’t write for weeks. It seemed inconsequential to write about ordinary life when so many were hurting. Now, during the pandemic, I think I should have tried harder. Writing […]

Writing Your Life: Go Deep

Writing Your Life: Go Deep

I love reading a good memoir. It’s one of my favorite ways to escape reality. I love writing memoir and teaching it too. These days, it seems as if everyone is writing about their personal experience. Writing Tip for Today: What are readers looking for in personal stories or memoir? Answer the Why With the […]

Writing Rules: Made to be Broken?

Writing Rules: Made to be Broken?

We who keep writing even when it’s still not profitable run a gauntlet of writing rules. Those writing rules reign like grouchy royalty over our every endeavor. But can you break the rules and still succeed? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at rules that can be occasionally broken without penalty: Which Rule? […]

Flexible Writing: Russian Dolls

Flexible Writing: Russian Dolls

One of my writing mentors was always suggesting that my book ideas might really be articles. I was always indignant until I discovered how to be flexible. Today, let’s talk about some ways we can all be more flexible in our writing with the Russian Dolls method. Writing Tip for Today: If you’ve been working […]

The JUST Drawer

The JUST Drawer

Despite the sunshine, the morning was late-winter crisp. As a friend and I ventured out for a walk, I poured out my heart. “All three of my sons are messes.” I pulled my woolen scarf higher around my neck. “And not one of them is willing to change. It’s like Russian roulette—do I wait for […]

Writing Emotional Resonance

Writing Emotional Resonance

  Lately I’ve been posting on emotions in writing, and with good reason. Everything we write must come from a deep place of authenticity or else our readers will see past surface or phony stuff and stop reading. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about emotional resonance in our writing. Don’t Chew the Scenery Emotional […]

Writing Character Emotions

Writing Character Emotions

For the last few posts we’ve been discussing characters, their emotions and how they play into the overall story as well as the reader’s reactions. A reader today asks, “But how can I write those emotions?” Writing Tip for Today: Talking about the underpinnings of story is good, but as you write your scenes, you’ll […]

Why Stories Need a Main Character

Why Stories Need a Main Character

Student writers often tell me that their novel has more than one main character. While most really mean that they are writing more than one Point of View, some really do have characters battling for the readers’ sympathies. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some reasons every story needs one main character: Multiple POV v. […]