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 […]

Writing Past Writer’s Block

Writing Past Writer’s Block

Last post, we talked about ways to train your Muse to show up when inspiration is AWOL. But after you’ve plopped down at the keyboard, how can you be writing past the dreaded writer’s block? Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few more ideas to keep your writing productive: Junk it Through One of […]

Train Your Writing Muse

Train Your Writing Muse

Has your writing Muse gone into hibernation? Writing when you don’t feel inspired is a hallmark of a pro. Yet even those who’ve been at it a long time run into dry spells. Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few ideas for stoking the writing fire: Read Up If I can’t seem to make […]

Getting It Right

Getting It Right

The treatment center’s director met me in the lobby. Tall, blonde and willowy, she listened as I outlined my young adult son’s challenges. I told her how at just ten or eleven he’d started sneaking out at night to drink alcohol. Yes, ever since then, he’d abused methamphetamine. The director nodded sympathetically. “He’s over eighteen […]