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Great Creative Writers Are Serious About Their Writing. Are You?

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“14 Prompts does what most writing books don’t—gives you practical advice while also inspiring you to want to take it.” Andrea Cumbo,

How to Emotionally Move your Readers

Reading by Rachel Sian

When a book moves you emotionally, you can’t help but tell others about it! But how exactly does a writer move his or her readers to take action in the form or reading, buying, sharing?

Literary Foils: Definition and Examples

Han Solo vs Luke Skywalker

Since my last post, I’ve almost finished Tomcat In Love, and it has been somewhat of an exercise in frustration. This isn’t due to the book itself; it’s more due to the fact that the narrator is one of the most profoundly annoying protagonists I’ve ever encountered in fiction. He is a narcissist with a complete lack of self-awareness (at least until the last forty pages), and an unrepentant womanizer. Early on in the novel, we’re introduced to a woman who immediately provides a voice of reason, and helps serve as a reader surrogate. Everything that Thomas believes himself to be, Donna firmly states this is not the case, and her protests to his behavior make his ridiculous narcissism stand out even more boldly. She is a perfect foil to Thomas’s insanity.

Three Tactics to Stop Letting Inspiration Rule You

3 Tactics to Stop Letting Inspiration Rule You

At the opening of Odyssey, Homer appealed to his muse for the inspiration to tell his story. Shakespeare did the same thing in a number of his plays. Let’s face it, when it comes to art, inspiration is the queen on high.

5 Reasons Reporters Make Good Writers… Most of the Time ­

Reporters make good writers

Leads, nut grafs, and the infamous six W’s—who/what/when/where/why and how—set the everyday newsflash apart from creative work. Or do they?

Let’s look at a comparison…

Want to Learn to Write? Study Painting.

Claude Monet Rouen Cathedral

In just a week we will be saying goodbye to Paris and go to Florence and finally Rome and arrive back in the States May 1.

One of my Paris adventures was to paint a “masterpiece” and then try to sell it on the street. While I’m nowhere near talented enough to paint an actual masterpiece, I reached out to local artist Pauline Fraisse who agreed to help me with my painting, and over a few days in the Luxembourg Gardens and the Marais, I managed to paint something that wasn’t terrible.

What I found fascinating about working with Pauline was how many parallels her painting process had with writing. As she taught me to be a better painter, I found I was learning to be a better writer as well.

Why Is Writing So Frustrating?

photo credit: shorts and longs via photopin cc

I love writing. Isn’t it obvious? I mean, I spend my days and nights clacking away, ignoring the world, crafting my latest tome. And yet, every once in a while, the doubt creeps in like a slithering python, ready to chomp down on my creativity.

Why is that? Why can writing be so durned frustrating?

What is Developmental Editing and Why Should You Use It?

Have you ever built a house? Written a paper for debate club (or any class for that matter)? Prepared a presentation for a client or conference? Whatever the project, in order to transmit your ideas in a coherent and engaging manner, you need structure, you need emotional appeal, and you need a sense of narrative (yes, even houses tell stories!).

Welcome to the world of the Developmental Editor.

Circumlocution: Definition and Literary Uses

Right now, I’m reading Tim O’Brien’s Tomcat In Love, which, in a nutshell, is about a middle-aged linguistics professor in Minnesota who is trying to win his ex-wife back by sabotaging her new marriage. He’s also quite possibly a crazy person…

Your Character’s Flaw is His Greatest Strength


Last weekend I attended the Washington Romance Writers  annual retreat and, in addition to having a fulfilling and inspiring experience, I actually learned a thing or two.  One of my favorite presenters was Romantic Suspense author Robin Perini, who gave incredible talks on a variety topics.  Today, I’m going to share some of what I learned from her about character.

How to Write the Dreaded Query Letter

query letter

You’ve finished that manuscript, the one that’s going to change the world. Now what?

Well, if you’re looking at going down the traditional publishing route, it’s time to submit your work to potential agents. However, you don’t get to send your entire book. No, you only have one page to draw them in—the dreaded query letter.