Tag Archives: writing advice

Writing Challenge #7: Small Changes, Big Rewards

I usually write fiction double-spaced in Word with paragraph indents. When starting my new novel last fall, though, I opted to write single-spaced with no paragraph indents. Sure, it’s a very formal business-letter look. But each page appeared wildly different … Continue reading

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The Three-Fourths Theory of First Drafts

I call my work-in-progress my third novel, but really it’s number four. And in terms of books, it’s number five due to a nonfiction jazz band biography I wrote in 2000-01. But that’s another story. What those numbers mean is … Continue reading

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A Very Personal Take on Revising a Novel

Ever wonder about how other writers revise their novels? How they solve their biggest plot problems? How they chop and replant themes and characters while doing their best not to ruin the other 100,000 words? As the author of several novels … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #6: Pick a Prompt and Go for It!

When I interviewed novelist Yuvi Zalkow, I suggested everyone view his presentation, “I’m a failed writer.” If you missed it, today’s challenge is for you. Pop over to his site. Watch all 14 minutes of “I’m a failed writer #1: Revisions.” You’ll … Continue reading

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Continuity of Voice: Three Dynamic Examples

We all fall in love with books for different reasons. But without a strong, consistent voice, no matter how great the story, readers won’t connect at that love-level. As fiction writers, and especially as novelists, we need to establish our … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #5: The Parsnip

This is a giant parsnip. Sometimes writers get timid on the page. Unsure. We let our anxieties, or our fear about what people might think, get in the way of the work we’re trying to do. This can make certain … Continue reading

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Author Interview: Emerald Barnes Discusses Publishing an E-book, Marketing Strategies and Effective Writing Habits

Emerald Barnes is the author of the novella PIERCING THROUGH THE DARKNESS, an e-book for Amazon Kindle. She’s here today as part of my Seven Questions interview series, where I ask writers, artists and other creative professionals about their work, their … Continue reading

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Maybe I Need a Hug–or a Vacation

Time for a confession. My novel LOST NOTES has been frustrating me since I decided to examine my protagonist’s motivation. Instead of finding his, I lost mine. Then I walked away from the page. For more than a week, which … Continue reading

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The Plot’s Intact, But Where’s the Motivation?

As I’ve mentioned, I’m new to writing plot-first. One of the biggest risks, apparently, is feeling disconnected from my characters. I know how my protagonist Henri reacts to the world around him, but not why. He thinks he’s living on borrowed … Continue reading

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Author Interview: Yuvi Zalkow on Humor, Submissions and Multimedia Presentations that Illustrate the Writing Life

Note: In August 2012, Yuvi’s book, now titled A Brilliant Novel in the Works, was released by MP Publishing. Here’s a more recent interview with Yuvi.  Yuvi Zalkow draws people into his story worlds with witty lines, pitch-perfect dialogue and well-chosen details … Continue reading

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