Writing Conflict in Fiction

Writing Conflict in Fiction

Unforgettable stories and characters must be more than some quirky or autobiographical details. If you give your lead character the right kind of conflict, readers will stay glued to the page. Writing Tip for Today: Not all fictional conflict is created equal. Here are some tips for writing effective conflict: So What? In fiction we […]

Writing Fight Scenes Part III

Writing Fight Scenes Part III

I don’t write many actual fight scenes, but those who write fantasy, adventure, mystery or thriller often do. Make those fights irresistible to readers with these tips. Writing Tip for Today: A few more tips for effective fight scenes: Change It Up Whether you write actual fights or verbal/emotional scraps, your readers will want variety. […]

Writing Fight Scenes, Part II

Writing Fight Scenes, Part II

Fight scenes in a story or novel need purpose, rising tension and differing camera angles. But wait! There’s more. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some more features of effective fight scenes. Use Powerful Verbs & Words Fight scenes (literal or figurative) shine when you reach into your word bank for the most powerful […]

Writing Fight Scenes

One of the lessons I learned while writing my first novel was how to stage and execute fight scenes. Whether the fight is physical, verbal or emotional, you can make your fight scene come alive. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for writing effective fight scenes: Purpose Counts One of the basic yet […]

Back in the Scene Writing Chair

Back in the Scene Writing Chair

Hi everyone! Thanks for your patience while I helped out as care giver. Now, as August slips out the door, I’m back and thinking about good scene writing. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at some common scene problems: Once Isn’t Enough A common scene problem I see is repetition. Repeating either the […]

A Chrysalis

A Chrysalis

I’m driving home when I spot him. On a busy street corner, a man stands astride his bike. He looks a lot like my grown son. The uncanny resemblance cuts a path across my broken heart, carving fresh tracks where I’d tried to forget. I’m hurting and there’s no end in sight. My son’s meth-use […]

A Writing Tips Pause

A Writing Tips Pause

First, thanks so much for checking out the writing tips each week. This blog is about ten years old now–I can’t believe I still have stuff to say about the writing life. Due to COVID-19 in my extended (not immediate) family, I’m going to take a couple weeks off to watch my grandkids so my […]

Rewriting Chapter One

Rewriting Chapter One

In the last few posts we’ve gone through “big picture” rewriting and the smaller stuff. Perhaps you’ve gone through these revisions multiple times (hurray for you!). One of the last rewrites I usually tackle is my opening: chapter one. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about tips for shining up your novel’s opening in chapter […]

Rewriting: Tightening Your Word Count

Rewriting:  Tightening Your Word Count

When a drafted novel is in the “hot mess” stage, the word count may exceed original expectations. Many times, this problem boils down to the sentence and paragraph level, where repetition, overexplaining and unnecessary description inflates the total word count. But you can fix it! Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about ways to trim […]