I recently read A simple favor, a twisty thriller about the friendship of two women and the mysterious disappearance of one of them. I had a fair amount of feelings while reading this book - Unlikable characters with interesting stories to tell: I've always envied and wondered on how this can be done in my … Continue reading A Simple Favor and connection
Well, it's that time again. We're in the midst of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where novices and experts alike try to write 50,000 words in one month. I wish I could say there are two kinds of writers - those who struggle to craft every word and those who write quickly and with a … Continue reading How do you write?
Hello there, I'm dusting off the cobwebs of this blog to wish you a happy NaNoWriMo's eve. And while I'm at it, for all the non-writers out there, happy Halloween! But back to the topic at hand - NaNoWriMo. In case you didn't know, November is National Novel Writing Month. It's a chaotic time, when … Continue reading NaNo WriMo’s Eve
One of the most common questions we ask as writers is - how much editing should I do? We know first drafts are hardly ever (I don't want to say never, but really, pretty much never) fit for publication. But how do you know when your work is ready (or even simply good enough)? I've heard other … Continue reading Are developmental edits worth it?
On writing dialogue I hear it in my writers' group often - there is a fear among many writers of failing at dialogue. And it's a valid fear. The worst thing, as a reader, is to come across something on the page that pulls you out of the moment (or worse, the story). And dialogue, that tricky … Continue reading Verbal Diarrhea – on dialogue
I did it. I participated in the pitch slam this summer and got good feedback - including requests for the first 50 pages of my novel and a request for the whole thing. <Gasp!> I, of course, freaked out and spent the last month re-ediitng...but hey, that's how we writers work, isn't it? But tonight....tonight, … Continue reading Agent Queries…
(The importance of finding your own "writer's pack.") I began my writing journey when I was in the fourth grade and teachers would assign writing exercises - you remember, don't you? The ones where they give you a topic, like going to the moon, and you got to fill in all of the blanks? Oh, after just … Continue reading Packs, support groups, beta readers, and drinking buddies
On adding flavor to your short stories and novels I love to cook, pulling the spices together to season things just right and adding some wine...and a little more wine, hmmm maybe a little more wine...until everything tastes delicious. There are a few strange cases of people who don't care about flavor and for whom … Continue reading Adding Flavor
As writers, we do terrible things to our characters over the course of short stories and novels - we throw obstacles in their paths, send them after serial killers, break their hearts, introduce them to their arch-nemesis, strand them in foreign lands, and make them flirt with disaster. Often when I'm in the middle of a story and … Continue reading Characters and the writers who torment them
He said/She said - On Dialogue "You really need to work on your dialogue," she said. "Oh really?" He answered smart-assedly. Yes, really. Dialogue is a tricky thing - first to be able to write the way people actually talk and then, well, to label it correctly. Do you have to tell the reader … Continue reading He said/She said