Prompt: The Name Game

To wrap up our week-long series about naming characters we’re going to play a game.  In the picture below there are two lists of names.  Select one name from each list (or even pick two names from the same list.)  You can pick names that you think go well together, or if you’d rather leave… Read more »

3 Steps to Naming Your Characters

Naming characters is one of those things that baffled me for a long time.  How would I ever find the right name for my characters?  Names like Humbert Humbert, Holden Caulfield, Hannibal Lecter, Mary Poppins or even Wilbur (Charlotte’s noble pig friend), names where immediately the character would come to mind.  Names like that always… Read more »

Writing for Teens: Interview with Elana Johnson

We end our week-long celebration of Teen Literature with an interview today with the charming Elana Johnson.  I began following Elana’s blog when I first started exploring the blogsphere for fellow writers.  Immediately it became one of my go-to writing blogs because of her honest, no-nonsense advice and her generosity to other writers.  She’s one… Read more »

Reading Teen Lit

Of all the books I read in a given year, I’d estimate 90% of it is young adult literature (YA). This hasn’t always been the case. In fact, I only started reading it a few years ago, when I was well past my teen years. The truth is, YA wasn’t very popular when I was… Read more »

Find Your Talisman

Each book has a central idea or theme that carries the story. The idea may be something abstract like love, faith, freedom, truth or adventure. As you work, the idea will develop its own story. longing for a mother discovering “truth” about oneself searching for home finding a religion In a way the whole story… Read more »

Writing YA: Capturing the Teen Voice

Today we have a double-guest post by Taryn Albright and Kate Coursey, freelance editors at Teen Eyes.  This editing service looks at manuscripts through the eyes of teens (both Taryn and Kate are under 20) and helps writers nail that ever-elusive “teen voice.” When I met Taryn and Kate at BookExpo, I knew I had… Read more »

Plot vs. Character: Leaving Room for Magic

Writing fiction is alchemy. We can have all the ingredients for a great story and still miss that wow factor that makes it all come together, makes our work transform from words on a page to a living, breathing entity with the possibility to burrow into someone else’s consciousness. And we all know plenty of… Read more »

You ARE Creative

Have you ever had this experience?  You come up with an idea for a book or story.  You write a few chapters, get some feedback, maybe write another chapter or two.  Then your entire world comes crashing down.  You discover that someone else has written a book that’s similar to what you have.  It’s not… Read more »

What’s Your Creative Process?

Every writer’s process is different. Some spend ages perfecting each word or sentence in their heads, then sit down and hammer out a draft in no time. Others slap their words down on the page, then reshape those words draft after draft until they look like art rather than a jumbled mess. Some write by… Read more »