The Bigger Story

Who wouldn’t want to write a bigger story? To grip readers across the spectrum and draw them into a wider universe, to ring all the bells. There are many paths to the writer’s holy grail. Bigger stories can be created or found. Ideally, both. Writing guru Donald Maass uses the metaphor of a canvas. Like… Read more »

The Biggest Misconceptions About the Publishing Industry

Whether you’re an author, a publishing pro, or just someone who hangs out on Twitter, you’ve probably heard — and likely internalized — certain stereotypes and misconceptions about the publishing industry. Some are easily disproved blanket statements, like “you can only succeed as a traditionally published author” and “no one actually reads self-published books.” Others… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways Writing a Novel Is Like Running a Marathon

Writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint. They’re both ambitious undertakings that require consistent, focused effort over a longer period of time. They both require a special kind of dedication and optimism. And neither once comes without its setbacks. But that’s why we take on these challenges: to prove ourselves. To accomplish something…. Read more »

4th Person Perspective: The We Without an I

The notion that we had an undiscovered perspective filled us with indescribable joy. For so long we’d lived with only three.  Admittedly, our beloved 2nd Person had been chased away by middle school teachers and college composition courses, but we consoled ourselves with 1st and 3rd, made the most of them, and enjoyed our perspective… Read more »

The Importance of Authenticity

The impetus for this article arose from two decidedly different sources. Late last year, an Amazon reviewer of one of my own books posted, “Alfred has sunk too low. Fidelity and loyalty are paramount in my world.” Then, a couple of weeks later, a member of the DIY MFA family posted a question on Word… Read more »

Sync Your Creative Process With Birdsong

I listen to birdsong first thing in the morning while the coffee is brewing. Stepping out on the front porch to listen, I laugh out loud at the insistent squeak of the pileated woodpecker as he makes his loopy flight to the palm tree. I smile at the cheerful songs of the curve-billed thrasher and… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Things That Saved My Novel From Oblivion

I was finally on my way!  I had started my Young Adult (YA) Fantasy novel over 20 years earlier, building the world, the characters, and the story in fits and starts on vacations or in between life’s daily demands, mostly surrendering to my reality.  Then in July of 2019, I retired and I promised myself… Read more »