Tough Times

Through my local chapter of Romance Writers of America, I had the opportunity to listen to Georgie Lee, an author of many books and in general a wonderful person. Her topic was If Life Sucks But You Still Have a Deadline. I am not going to recreate her talk here because I hope all of you will look for opportunities to listen to Georgie yourself. It’s worth the time and effort to find her and listen. (Although her web page hasn’t updated her workshop schedule since 2018, a note to her will probably give you current information)

062120 georgie

Continue reading “Tough Times”

Hooks and Plots, Part One

Hooks are set-ups, sometimes only a sentence, that grabs readers and keeps them reading. A good writer has hooks in the first few lines of the story, at the end of every chapter, and at key scenes. Plots are vague outline that your characters might follow or might not. When people say a book is either character driven or plot driven, they haven’t met my characters. Continue reading “Hooks and Plots, Part One”

Killing Off Your Darlings

This advice comes from a very famous writer. Actually, it has been attributed to almost a dozen V.F.A.s but in actuality the first usage was from Arthur Quiller – Couch in a compilation of his Cambridge Lectures. What it boils down to is if you are too pleased by a turn of phrase in your writing, you are better off without it. Honestly. Continue reading “Killing Off Your Darlings”

Character Development

My characters, Adam and Valerie, have been in my life for a long time now. You would think I should know everything about them. I thought I did. Then judges in a contest I entered suggested I work to make them more layered. This isn’t the first time I have been told this. But I see that when the excitement of the plot gets going, I forget to make Valerie self conscious about her weight, or pinpoint Adam’s need to clear his name. Like when you ride in a car going 80mph, it’s hard to pick up details at the side of the highway, or that’s what they tell me. Ahem. But going 15mph, all the details are clearly visible. My task now is to keep the speed up but keep the details in mind. Continue reading “Character Development”

You Can Teach a Workshop Online

Many Romance Writers of America chapters offer online writing workshops for members and nonmembers. They cover a wide variety of topics like: 50 Ways to Leave Your Muse (Joy E. Held), Building Your Street Team (Penny Sansevieri), and Creating Compelling Characters (Ally Broadfield). My chapter offers all of these classes and more plus occasionally How to Teach a Workshop. The RWR magazine that is included in National membership is urging people to teach. Continue reading “You Can Teach a Workshop Online”

Keep on Decluttering and Uncluttering

Monday — The first photo of my “desk” is before any uncluttering started. I am using this blog today for accountability. As each section is cleaned, I will post a picture until I move on to the floor, walls, and ceiling. I’ve finished the 7th First Draft of Crazy for Trying and have moved on to finish my Regency Trilogy at last. Meanwhile, I am stuck at home with no groups to go to and so it should not be difficult to clean all the things. Continue reading “Keep on Decluttering and Uncluttering”

Adjust Sprint Time to Suit You

When I was a young and inexperienced writer, in January, and before the world went daft, I would always try to sprint for an hour. I’ve talked about sprinting enough that I hope I don’t have to explain it again. But I will. In case you are a new fan, and by the way, thank you to everyone who has decided to follow my blog. So nice to know I am not talking to myself all the time. Continue reading “Adjust Sprint Time to Suit You”

Writers Need Books to Read

Many well known and well-paid authors tell beginner writers to read whenever you can’t write. The reason is, reading will expose you to more ideas, more styles of writing, and a lot of great fiction. Even non-fiction can be useful and if it fits into the research you need to do for your novel, that’s a win-win. Continue reading “Writers Need Books to Read”

Body Language or How to Give Your Story Subtext

What is Subtext? It says here that it’s an implied, underlying message not stated in the text but clearly there. Remember the first Men in Black movie, when Agent J went to the morgue, and he thought Laurel was going on to him? She tried to give him a subtle message that something was wrong, but his ego got in the way. We learned that Laurel is pretty smart and J has some growing up to do. Subtext. Continue reading “Body Language or How to Give Your Story Subtext”

New Year, New Words

Starting with this first Thursday in January 2020, I am going to gather tips from the far reaches of the Intertubes that will help any writer to be more productive. We are so easily distracted and when we come down to a deadline, we almost never use our time wisely. So let’s get looking and see what treasures await the pure of heart, the strong of spirit, and the rest of us jokers. Continue reading “New Year, New Words”