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’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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Think back. Waaaay back, to when you first decided you wanted to write. You sat down, maybe at a computer, maybe with a pen and napkin, or even (in my case) on the back of a motorcycle, and wove a story in your head. Remember how excited you were? Everything seemed possible. You had the…

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POV is like Algebra. You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t, people can explain it ten different ways, and you just feel dumber with every one. Hey, I understand. I didn’t get it either, back when rocks were new. And what’s frustrating is, I’ve never found a way to explain it…

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I consider myself a pretty fair writer. But I can face it–I’m never going to be as good with description as Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing), or Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides), or even Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath). If you are, you have my great respect. Have you ever opened a book, and the…

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  Never heard of it? Here’s what it is: So it isn’t just for women – it can be written by men (and it is!) and can even have a male protagonist. I was lucky enough to have my WF mentioned in the BookTrib post today. There are some wonderful books here! And it has…

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I’m a tight writer (I’m cheap too, but in this case, I mean no spare words), so short-short fiction has always fascinated me. But deadlines for novel-length fiction means experimenting with short has remained on  a way-back burner. But I just turned in a book, and social isolation has me casting around for something to…

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Autumn always makes me thankful. Maybe it’s because of Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because of a memory of a remote cabin in the middle exploding fall colors. Maybe it’s the  reminder that I have more to be thankful for than most. I’m thankful for books. Because one saved my life. When people ask me why I began writing,…

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