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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, andilit.com

10 Books for Back to School Moms and Dads

Far Out of the Ordinary

It’s Labor Day, and by tomorrow, the kids will be all back in school. That means more reading time for the kiddos, but more importantly, more time for reading for busy moms and dads!

Here are 10 books to read for those busy parents now that the kids are back in school!

That Feeling You Get When You Finish a Writing Project

Finish writing project

I just finished a very important writing project, a proposal for a new book project I’m ghostwriting. It was a tough project, one that took a month longer than expected, and included a journey around the world, dozens of hours of research, a few exhausting back-and-forths with my client, and over 10,000 words of writing.

Yesterday, I read through my finished proposal and then sent it off to my agent.

Man, it feels so good.

Want to Write Better Dialogue? Break the Rules

write dialogue

Want to write good dialogue? Then you’ve got to break the rules.

When you and I talk, we sometimes break the rules of grammar. (I know, it’s a shock, but it’s true.) To write good dialogue, it’s not so much that we are breaking the rules, per se, it’s just that there are rules for dialogue that trump grammatical dogma.

Writing Prompt: Ocean View

Capitola by Don DeBold

The beach has always made a compelling backdrop for stories of mystery and romance. Envision yourself with ocean views for the weekend and craft your practice from the inspiration found in a seaside town such as this!

Finagle’s Law: A Writer’s Guide

Finagle's Law

Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes that bad day stretches into a bad week, or a bad month, if you’re really struggling. Usually, that’s not fun for any parties involved. However, if you’re an external observer, and the action is taking place in a book or movie, disaster can be the whole reason you’re paying any attention. If disaster is inevitable, it’s because of a concept called Finagle’s Law.

The First 90 Days to Your Writing Success

suits

Recently I started a new (day) job. I was really excited, so in anticipation of the new position, I read The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. The book basically outlines a set of strategies to ensure the reader is on the track to success from day one.

I read it, and I realized—despite its corporate/management focus, some of these tips are applicable to writing projects as well!

10 Painless Steps to Writing a Blog Post that Connects with Your Readers

writing a blog

Yes, we’d all like more traffic, more comments, more readers on our blogs. But if you’re writing a blog, there’s one thing you want even more than readers. You might not admit that you want this. You might not even realize it! But it’s that emptiness you feel every time you’re disappointed after checking your blog stats. What is it?

Three Guidelines for Writing Villains

snape-severus-snape-32293226-420-348

Most writers (and readers) have learned by now that a good villain involves more depth than just a bad guy running around, trying to take over the world. But how do you do that?

This Writing Exercise Will Get You Unstuck Every Time

Writing Exercise

Sometimes, I just stare at the screen, wanting to write but having no idea what to say. Has that ever happen to you?

What Stieg Larsson Got Wrong, A Writer Talks

Steig Larsson author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

A couple of years ago, I read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. You know, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Well, truthfully, I didn’t exactly read the trilogy. I read the first two books and ditched the third after about fifty pages. In this post, let’s talk about what that third book got so wrong.