What Psychology and Neuroscience Contribute to your Stories

Psychology is classified as a social science. It attempts to apply scientific methodology to a chaotic system (the human mind) which we still don’t fully understand. It can’t be mathematically defined, though statistics can point out correlations. There are so many variables involved (genetics, biology, environment, experience) that it’s difficult to rule out other causes… Read more »

The Supply and Demand of the Writing Life

There’s a common theory (presented here by my time-management guru, Laura Vanderkam) that suggests that book-lovers either fall into the “supply” or “demand” category of readers. A supply-side reader builds reading into her life and has habits and schedules that support reading. For example, a supply-side reader will always keep a book next to her… Read more »

How to Take Agency Back from Writer’s Block

I’ve been writing my whole life. Writing is such a part of my life that it didn’t occur to me until I was in my early teens that other people didn’t write as much as I did. Despite this lifelong journey as a writer, I still have times when I encounter what is commonly referred… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Truths About Receiving Writing Critiques

As writers, we’re told to develop thick skins. The world of writing is full of both wanted and unwanted feedback and criticism. But it is difficult to not let criticism seep into our very beings. Because fiction writers are emotionally attuned, critiques can cut deeply. And sometimes, writers tie their self-worth to the feedback they… Read more »

How to Decide if Your Book is YA or Adult

Say you have a novel that stars a main character between the ages of 17 and 19, right on the cusp of adulthood. How do you pitch or market it, as Young Adult or Adult? The distinction matters, impacting where your book gets shelved and who picks it up. Readers of each category have certain… Read more »

Turning Daily News Into Story Fodder

At the end of last year, I took an enormous risk along with the support of my wonderful husband and community: I quit my job in communications to write fiction full time, for one year. In the nearly six months since, I have regretted not one ounce of that decision. It has been the greatest… Read more »

Creating Authentic Details: Character Names

None of us get to choose our own names—well, except for those rare few who, as adults, opt for a legal change of moniker. But now you’re a writer and what your characters will be called is entirely in your hands. Happy day! You finally get to use all your favorite names for your favorite… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Hacks to Help You Write More This Summer

It’s that time of year again: the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the pool is beckoning, and you are…stuck inside, trying to make progress on your latest draft. Sigh. We all know that writing is notoriously difficult during summer—which is partly why we tend to concentrate our creative efforts during fall and winter… Read more »