Luck of the Writer

In These Happy Golden Years, the eighth Little House book, Ma Ingalls tells Laura that people make their own luck. This is illustrated in the story when Laura is kind to a girl in her class who, like Laura, wants to be a teacher. They both take the test, but only Laura passes. Because she and the girl… Read more »

Flaws, Emotional Trauma & the Character’s Wound

Characters are all about self-discovery, finding meaning, and achieving goals. They’re usually seeking to improve themselves in some way—at work, in personal relationships, spiritually, or through self-growth. But time and again, their flaws sabotage them, blocking them from gaining what they want both on a conscious and subconscious level. It’s ironic, really; who they are… Read more »

A Challenging Setting

Establishing the setting is one of the toughest elements of storytelling for me. I have always struggled with it. Painting that picture, or turning what I see in my head into words, has taken me a lot of time, study, and practice. So when I had the idea to write a story where two people… Read more »

On Demand

Charged with writing an article on the topic of “inspiration on demand,” I considered the usual suspects—those tips and tricks that help spur my own creativity. I thought of all the wonderful sources for inspiration—such as this website’s Writer Igniter page or the Prompt-a-Palooza writing prompts I offer on my own blog each Monday. I… Read more »

Ask Becca: Three Ways to Kick Some Life into Your Characters

“I LOVE plotting, but I’m drowning in binders and color-coordinated sticky notes! How can I make my characters feel authentic when I’m telling them what to do?” -Missing My Pants As I said in my last column, I’m an incurable plotter. I love spreadsheets, index cards, and workbooks. In fact, a lot of the time… Read more »

The Amateur’s Guide to a Professional Book Package: Part Four

Thanks for sticking with me! We’ve already talked about creating a professional book package for fantasy and romance books, but we’re not done yet. Continuing on our genre cover journey, let’s dive right in: Science Fiction This genre includes several subsets for the purposes of cover design: “hard” and “soft” science, space opera, steampunk and dystopian. In… Read more »

DIY MFA Will Be at WANACon

I am so excited to share that I’ll be representing DIY MFA at a fabulous online conference later this month. WANACon is an awesome conference and–get this–you can attend in your jammies! Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that when you can hear from top industry experts and connect with other likeminded writers all… Read more »