The Pros and Cons of Joining a Writing Organization

The most important thing you can do as a writer is to write, and I always try to create more time behind the keyboard. As I cull through my commitments and consider the tradeoffs, I wonder if writers organizations are a distraction or a necessity? What are writers organizations? Writers organizations are membership groups whose… Read more »

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 »