Strong Beginnings with HelenKay Dimon

I wish I was a close friend of HelenKay Dimon. I love her writing, I love listening to her speak, but her sense of humor is delightful. I can’t get enough. And she’s a published author who enjoys helping new authors. I want to be her when I grow up. Continue reading “Strong Beginnings with HelenKay Dimon”

How Much Description is Needed?

Writers know that adjectives and adverbs make for weak writing. How do you say The store sold the best watches without describing why these watches are so great? And what else is the store selling? Where is this store and why is it important to our main character? Okay, fasten your seat belts, there’s a lot to learn here. Continue reading “How Much Description is Needed?”

Trope Versus Cliche

I like to tell writers about Romance Writers of America, which isn’t just for romance writers. You can learn a lot about the craft and make connections with agents, publishers, and other writers. Like Nora Roberts and Damon Suede. In a similar vein, I recommend Scribophile, an online community for writers. Almost the opposite of RWA, Scrib looks down its collective nose at Romance and some other genres. But there are a scattering of romance centered groups on there. Including my own Writers Who Love Romance. Continue reading “Trope Versus Cliche”

Who’s Your Poodle?

I have a dog, a bunch of birds, and a couple feral cats. I walk with another dog owner. I meet with bird lovers every month. My Goddaughter has a sweet cat. I check out cat pictures on the internet. And I have friends who have horses, goats, aquarium fish, tortoises, snakes, and lizards. I know very few people who do not have pets of some kind. So if all my characters do not have pets, they seem less human, somehow. I mean, how many times have you seen something mentioned in the last two years about the only president to not have a dog? Continue reading “Who’s Your Poodle?”

More from Jeff Lyons

Have you ever been at a restaurant with a huge menu, and think that there are too many good choices. All your favorites are available but you only have room for one dish. If the waiter came over and said, “Just look at page 3,” your options would be reduced and improved because of those items on the page, only one or two would appeal to you. Continue reading “More from Jeff Lyons”

The Swamp of Inspiration

I happened to be swimming alone the other day. Actually, there were other people in the pool, but none of them were my close friends so I kept doing my “laps” and thinking about all kinds of stuff. One lady said something about a woman who kicked her husband out for reasons. My mind jumped into story mode. What if a man found out his wife had kicked him out due to gossip going around town? He goes to work in the morning, and a coworker gives him condolences. Continue reading “The Swamp of Inspiration”

More from the Crime Scene

When Geoff Symon spoke to my RWA group last month, I learned a new word: curtilage. No, it’s not a description of an impolite person or a part of the body. It’s the land that surrounds your home. All the way to the curb, which means the police can’t go on your driveway to look into your car. Farmland, if marked off, includes buildings, barns, silos, and garage. A homeless person has no curtilage but police can’t search their cart without permission. A tent on public property is also not private. Continue reading “More from the Crime Scene”