There’s No “I” in “Team,” But a Team Does Have a Lot of Eyes

I’m wondering how many of you out there are writers. And of you, how many have some form of filter before you submit your work to an agent or traditional publisher, or before you self-publish. When I first started writing, I read the advice in books that said “join a critique group” or “get betaContinue reading “There’s No “I” in “Team,” But a Team Does Have a Lot of Eyes”

Why Small Gestures Mean So Much

Those of you who read my blog regularly might remember my Thanksgiving entry: “Why I’m Thankful for the White Tornado.” It was a post about my grandmother. Well, yesterday was her 95th birthday, and instead of posting something about it here, I chose to post on Facebook. Not on my author page, but on myContinue reading “Why Small Gestures Mean So Much”

How Everyday Life Becomes Fodder for Writing

Today’s blog post almost didn’t happen. I just ran out of time. I always reserve my weekends for spending time with my family. But Sundays always play out pretty much the same way: get up, go to Mass, (if it’s football season, watch the Steelers), prepare my blog, make sure laundry is done, make sureContinue reading “How Everyday Life Becomes Fodder for Writing”

What Inspires You?

I had planned on spending today’s post talking about contract terms. I recently signed a contract and thought it might be nice to go over some of the terminology that writers might find confusing. But earlier this week my parents-in-law were visiting, so I couldn’t write ahead of schedule, and the day I set actuallyContinue reading “What Inspires You?”

How Dr. Seuss Can Improve Your Writing

When I was a kid, I loved Dr. Seuss. I liked everything he wrote, but my favorite was Fox in Socks. I’ve always been a sucker for tongue twisters, and that fox really had a few zingers. There are still a couple I stumble over. When I became a parent, I read his collection toContinue reading “How Dr. Seuss Can Improve Your Writing”

Five Suggestions for the Non-NanNoWriMo Writer

It’s that time of year again. Writers everywhere are hoarding Halloween chocolate and stockpiling caffeinated drinks (Diet Pepsi and Gevalia coffee in this house) because November, despite having only thirty days and requiring a full week of preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Actually, it’s probably just Writing Month, asContinue reading “Five Suggestions for the Non-NanNoWriMo Writer”

Five Ways to Avoid Ruining Your Scene Descriptions

When you write, you’ve got main characters, secondary characters, minor characters and villains. Many people contend that the setting can become a character in its own right, and in certain situations, a well-written setting can take on a life of its own. But there are mistakes to avoid with settings so they aren’t handled poorly.Continue reading “Five Ways to Avoid Ruining Your Scene Descriptions”

Five Ways to Write a Successful Hero

My in-laws are here this week. In fact, they came a day early. I was woefully unprepared. There was no food in the house. I was in the middle of cleaning. Their bed sheets weren’t even on the bed yet. I was wearing my housecleaning clothes: sweat shorts and a ripped and stained oversized T-shirtContinue reading “Five Ways to Write a Successful Hero”

How to Build a Better Story

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Shakespeare wrote that in As You like It. If that’s truly the case, then stories themselves are houses. Let me explain. Consider the framework for a simple A-frame house. It’s got four walls and a pitched roof. The structure of the story,Continue reading “How to Build a Better Story”

Five Ways to Write a Successful Heroine

I’d like to spend some time over the next few weeks working on elements of a novel. Today I thought we’d talk about the leading lady, or the heroine, primarily because I was sick this past week and spent more time reading than writing. The novels I read I won’t name, but they all hadContinue reading “Five Ways to Write a Successful Heroine”