We all have them. Mine may be different than yours. They’re like whack-a-moles – you banish one, and two others pop up. You may think they don’t matter, but they do. They irritate the reader on a subconscious level. Use them enough, and they’ll remember they have to put the laundry in the dryer –…

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We all have them.  Things that make us crazy, whether we’re reading a novel for pleasure or critiquing a colleague’s work.  We’re readers first, and I believe these peeves are forged by what we’ve read – like Chinese water torture they fall, drop by drop, until you notice them and continuing until you can’t see…

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I have a theory: I believe writers are by nature, more observant and aware of what’s going on around them than ‘normal’ people. So changes and threats in their environment hit them harder. That’s not science, just a personal observation of mine,  but I believe if you poll your writer friends, they may be struggling.…

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I don’t think the hardest part of learning to write is the craft. It’s learning how you write a book. I believe your brain already knows how, but it’s not talking. So you dig, finding and discarding methods over your shoulder like a cheap clotheshorse at a Macy’s sale. Frustrating, isn’t it? And it seems…

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Reviews are one of the top three causes for visceral emotions in authors. Two-inches-off-the-floor elation to meltdowns, there’s nothing we look forward to with more hopeful trepidation. Many authors refuse to look at them. They say it’s death by a million cuts, and I get it. You spend six months to a year writing the…

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  I wrote a post a while ago, on why you should write Flash Fiction – you can read it HERE. I enjoy the heck out of it – it’s like cleansing my palette between projects…cleans out the old plots and leaves my mind clear for the next. Then Sherry Gross told me about NYC…

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I teach writing classes, and one of the things I see most often is awkward, stilted or boring dialogue. Why?  Because dialogue in writing is not like dialogue in real life. It’s real life on steroids.  It’s all the great stuff without all the, how-are-you’ s, um’s and awkwardness. It’s all the stuff you lie…

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  I’d planned to write about something craft-related this week, but reality slapped me instead. I got word today that a friend and fellow western author passed away, Kari Lynn Dell. If you’ve never read her books, check them out. They’re real rodeo romance. She knew, because she was she rode the rodeo road, when…

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I’ll admit, the idea for this blog was sparked by this one, by Donald Maass. It made me think, because I’m teaching my First Five Pages class at Lawson Writer’s Academy starting today (you can still sign up – HERE). We always focus on first lines, and though I’ll admit they are critical, experts say…

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