Business Cards

I need new business cards. If you’re a writer, whether you’re published or not, business cards are important. Even before you’ve sold a book, you need to be carrying your cards with you. If you attend a writers’ meeting or conference, a business card is a must. You simply never … Continue reading

Head-Hopping

This month (all 8 days of it) I started transcribing my last Harlequin Temptation —STORYBOOK HERO—so I can put it out as an e-book. That book was published in 1989, before I started writing for Bantam’s Loveswept line, before my editor there chastised me about “head-hopping.” For anyone not familiar … Continue reading

Accuracy

Santa is busy checking his list, making sure he has everything right. He certainly doesn’t want to give the wrong gift to a child. What Santa is doing is similar to what a writer must do before considering a manuscript ready for publication. (It’s what I’m doing with my work … Continue reading

Letter from Richard Russo

Below you’ll find  a letter I received today from the Authors Guild. It included a request to share the letter with other writer friends. I decided to do so through my blog. I am a member of the Authors Guild. I’m not saying all writers need to join the Authors’ Guild … Continue reading

Agents: Do we need them?

Nowadays many writers are rethinking the need for an agent. With the rise in e-book sales, the ease of self-publishing (without paying big bucks), and the lack of marketing on the part of traditional publishers, many writers wonder what an agent can do for them. Why bother trying to sell … Continue reading

Count Your Blessings

I’m basically an optimist. I think that helps in the writing profession. Writers get so much criticism, most of us would probably quit if we weren’t optimists. We start with the notion that the stories running around in our heads are ones others would enjoy reading (or hearing). Optimism takes … Continue reading

Book Titles

I recently received an email from the editor of my first two “Crow” books. I’d told him I had the rough draft finished on the third book in that series, tentatively titled A Murder of Crows. He wasn’t happy with the title. “Have you looked on Amazon,” he emailed. “Have … Continue reading

Self-doubt

I’ve been depressed this week. I think it’s mainly due to the weather: too many cold, cloudy days. It’s time for me to head south. But more than the weather, I’ve been plagued by self-doubt and disappointment. A couple weeks ago I read a book that has been a finalist … Continue reading

When Do You Write?

“When do you write?” I think all writers have been asked this question. I’m not quite sure why. Is the person asking looking for ideas as to when s/he can find time to write? Are they asking so they can mentally have an excuse as to why they don’t have … Continue reading

Does a Vacation Lead to a Novel?

Several people have suggested that my recent trip to Ireland will lead to a new novel. Well, if you love novels set in Ireland, I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. I’ve discovered taking a cruise or a trip and then trying to write a story set either on a … Continue reading

Ireland, here I come!

Next week I’ll be in Ireland. I’ll be on a honeymoon. No, not mine but my son’s and his new wife’s. Her folks will also be along, as well as one of her aunts. Most people are taken aback when I tell them this, but evidently Family-moons and Buddy-moons (where the … Continue reading

Plan Ahead

Some people have photographic memories. I envy those people. (Though it does seem that remembering EVERYTHING might not always be a benefit.) I tell people I have a memory like a sieve. If I write something down, I’m better, but even then it’s usually the general information I remember rather … Continue reading

CONTINUITY EDITORS

Writers need editors, people who read a manuscript looking for errors. For some the editor works for a publishing house, for others it may be someone they hire, or it could be another writer, a critique group/partner, or simply someone strong in spelling and grammar. We writers need these “other … Continue reading

Keep Moving–Keep it Short

Lately I’ve been getting the same message—KEEP MOVING. Yesterday I read an article in the RWA (Romance Writers’ of America) magazine that suggested we writers need to take breaks (about every half hour) to keep from getting back pain (or keep it from getting worse). Then today, on the NBC … Continue reading

Spewer or Write-itor?

I’m a Gemini. Not that I whole heartedly believe in astrology, but the twins description certainly fits me. I’m right brain and left brain: I majored in art, minored in math. I’m a panser (write by the seat of my pants) and a plotter. And this week I learned I’m … Continue reading

Writing Rules

“There are three rules for writing a novel, unfortunately no one knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham. That might be so, but more than once I’ve heard a writing instructors say, or a writer say, “Never…” and then go on to give a rule. Although I’m very conscious of rules, and … Continue reading

When to Tell/When to Show

When is it better to tell what’s happening, and when is it better to show? I’ve blogged about show and tell before, but it’s a topic that keeps popping up, and I’d like to approach it from a different perspective than I did before. Writers are always being told to … Continue reading

Writer’s Block

I’ve often heard that surgeons don’t have surgeon’s block, so writers shouldn’t have writer’s block. I think I’ve even quoted that. But now that I’m suffering (that’s probably not the right word to use since what I’m going through doesn’t really equal suffering) from writer’s block, I’m rethinking the analogy. … Continue reading

Why’d He Do That?

We often hear that it’s bad to use backstory. It doesn’t hook the reader. Stops the forward movement of the story. Readers skip it; editors reject it. But wait! Don’t you want to let the reader know what happened in your character’s past that’s causing him/her to act this way? … Continue reading

Writing Can be Dangerous for Your Health

Over the years I’ve learned that sitting at a typewriter/computer isn’t one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have, but it does have drawbacks. My first introduction to this fact came while using a Royal portable typewriter, back in the ‘80s. I actually pounded my right thumb nail … Continue reading