Be Well, Write Well: Interview with Carol Van Den Hende

Welcome back to our “Be Well, Write Well” interview series! This month, I interviewed Carol Van Den Hende, whom I met at the Writer’s Digest Conference in 2014. At the 2017 conference, she gave a brilliant talk on marketing for writers that had all of us participants eagerly calling out the names of global brand… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Tips For Building Tension Into Your Scenes

One of the key elements to be mindful of when crafting a scene is tension. Think of the scene like a stew. Your characters, plotlines, and conflict make up the “meat and potatoes”, but tension is that little extra spice that brings your scene to life. It’s the line that runs directly from your story… Read more »

How to Make the Most of a Critique

When it comes to receiving critique, I’ve found that the more you put into the process, the more you get out of it. Here are some tips to help you make the most of a critique before, during and after the process. Before You Submit: Proofread and eliminate typos. If your submission is as tight… Read more »

How to Use Small Forms as Steps to a Novel

November is a difficult month for me. My struggle has nothing to do with visiting relatives, cleaning sprees or the holidays, though. It’s the whole novel writing thing. NaNoWriMo.  (If somehow you’ve missed what NaNoWriMo is, listen to this podcast, Episode 169: Boost Your Creative Mojo with Grant Faulkner.) Beginning each October, the NaNo fever… Read more »

Who Am I?: Identity as a Theme in YA Literature

“Who am I?” “Where do I fit in?” “Will other people accept me?” If these questions sound familiar, it might be because they’re part of being a teenager. Even adults can remember how challenging this period in our lives was, between school, friendships, dating, family, the pressures of responsibility, and an increasing craving for respect… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Eye Care Tips for Writers

Thanks to those two magnificent orbs nestled under your brow, you’re able to read this sentence. Our eyes are astonishingly complex wonders that allow us to imbibe and navigate the myriad shapes and colors of our world. For the committed reader and writer, it’s easy to take the marvelous pair for granted over the days… Read more »

Five Nursery Rhyme Origins to Spark Your Next Story

The true stories behind nursery rhymes are often historical, political, or just downright dark. With a little research, any of these delightful ditties can lead you to a compelling story idea. I’ll delve into five particularly juicy rhymes here and give you some resources at the end to further your research. 1) Ring Around the… Read more »

E-books versus Print:  Which do we Retain Better?

E-book sales skyrocketed in 2007 when Amazon unveiled the Kindle. Some said the demise of paper books was imminent. After a few years, however, e-book sales declined as the novelty wore off and consumers discovered e-books weren’t always cheaper than print books. It wasn’t until May of 2017 that e-books once again saw a small… Read more »