Want more emotion in your fiction and less drama pinning down the draft?

Emergency sign showing body language for Si (yes) and No on a hiking trail in Italy's Cinque Terra.

If you are a fiction writer and haven’t ever used Angela Ackerman’s and Becca Puglisi’s writing thesauri, you might be really missing out. You know that feeling of holding two things in your head at the same time? These books are serious headache prevention. (Trust me, I’m an epidemiologist. 🙂 I’ve written about the thesauri […]

Need some ideas about how to handle The Waiting Game?

Today, I’m over at The Winged Pen for a post about what to do while you’re waiting. . . . . .for query responses, . . .for editors, . . .or for anything else in the writing life that requires another person to react. How do you handle The Waiting Game? What did I forget? […]

Four Ways Writing a Novel is Different than Reading One

Reading is a collaborative and creative activity. The reader is in partnership with the writer, and they create an experience together. Writers are told to read, read, read. . .to improve their writing. Good advice. 🙂 But I’ve recently noticed four ways writing feels very different from reading. The set-up. Ideally, the early chapters go […]

Things keep falling down. . .and then the harvest comes.

In January, we had heavy winds for this area. They were impressive, but I think winds are much stronger in other, drier parts of the world. The trees here don’t seem to have deep roots, considering their size. It rains constantly. Trees don’t have to work for water, growing down deep to find it during […]

Join me over at SCBWI Germany + Austria: I’m blogging about doodling

Hanging out with all of the illustrators at the 2017 SCBWI Europolitan Conference in Belgium must have rubbed off on me. I created the doodle above on the train ride home. Just what I needed, a quick way to ‘revisit’ the conference in the months to come, without wading through pages of notes. Read the […]

Serious about Writing a Series?

I’m over at The Winged Pen today with a round-up of the best online mentors to help you plan a series of novels. Read the whole post here: Six Mentors to Help You Plan Your Novel Series.   ______________ If you’d like to stay in touch, sign up for my Reader’s List. Once a month, […]

Sometimes the only thing that helps stuck project

. . .is walking around it. Am I the only one who has to move to get my brain to work? I’m getting the big creative “guns” out today: Scissors, tape, markers in all colors. What do you all do when a project Just. Won’t. Budge? ______________ If you’d like to stay in touch, sign […]

Sketching, the “saggy middle” and The Winged Pen

Close-up of unusual spikes capped with orange balls.

Today, I’m over at The Winged Pen’s Master Your Craft blog post series. What–you ask–is Master Your Craft? Each Wednesday, the Winged Pen discusses prewriting and drafting a new book from the BIG IDEA to QUERYING. (Handy list of Master Your Craft topics so far.) My post is about that devious stretch of story landscape […]

Persistence and the artistic dream in SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE by Lauren Graham

Usually I write about middle grade, young adult books, or writing craft books here, but this story of a young woman pursuing the acting dream has lots of parallels with the writing life. A nice novel to cheer up overworked writers with a bit of unexpected creative philosophy built in. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a […]