Six Ways to Create Romantic Tension

I’s fair to say, without tension, there is no romance. There is tension in love. The very word attraction in physics is a force drawing objects together. A force. An interest. Evoking desire. To be attracted to someone implies a longing or a needing to be around that person. This means whenever they are not… Read more »

Six Writing Books Librarians Recommend

In my neck of the woods, it’s fall–time for flannel shirts, warm apple cider and reading up on my craft. Yes, that’s right, I’ll be reading rather than writing more. I prefer to throw myself into a more grueling writing schedule during January when there’s six inches of snow on the ground and a wind… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Tips for Processing a Negative Critique

The most hurtful critique I ever received came from a well-meaning uncle who, after reading my first published novel, spent an hour on the phone picking it apart. The first thing I did after hanging up was to yell a few choice words I can’t repeat here. Unfortunately, as soon as I finished yelling I… Read more »

Tips and Techniques for Training Your Writing Brain

Writing is fraught. You worry about your imagination. You worry about your writing ability. You descend into navel gazing. “Is my writing engaging enough? Are my ideas interesting enough to hold a reader’s interest? Does my idea have enough substance to be a poem, short story, novel?” It all starts to spin out of control…. Read more »

Three Major Roles of Minor Characters

Every character in a story is important, even minor ones. Actually, especially minor ones. When written well, they advance plot and/or develop a major character. If they’re not, well…we’ll get to that later. But first, I’d like to discuss three simple ways minor characters make a story. Pay close attention, and you might learn the… Read more »

A Deep Dive Into the Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is everywhere in writing craft circles. Steven Pressfield and his editor Shawn Coyne use it. Donald Maass refers to it. It’s mentioned in the Writing Excuses and The Writing Files podcasts. DIY MFA instigator Gabriela Pereira talks about it and some of the character archetypes derived from it in her book and… Read more »