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

Read That Contract!

Lately I’ve been seeing posts asking questions about when a particular publisher (one I’m associated with) will be paying royalties, how much needs to be earned to cover the advance (including confusion on what exactly they received as an advance), and what rights were retained. I just recently signed a … Continue reading

Does it ever get easier?

Does it ever get easier? I can’t speak for all writers, only for myself, but the answer to that question is “No.” I’ve had 27 books published (a small number compared to many writers), but I still have to submit query letters and synopses, and I still have to wait… … Continue reading

Follow the Money

Yesterday I attended a local writers’ meeting where one of the members mentioned her experience with an agency that had sounded promising until she received an e-mail mentioning that they wanted her to pay X number of dollars and they would help her get her ms into publishable form. Now, … Continue reading

The Long and Short of it.

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Mark Twain (and Zuri Soule) I’d like to start by thanking everyone who commented or sent e-mails regarding Zuri’s health. The pills and a change in diet (fresh liver to increase his red-blood count) have helped. We have no idea how long … Continue reading

Verisimilitude

Lately I’ve had the opportunity to read and comment on some stories written by new writers. What I’ve noticed is these writers are so eager to get their stories written, they end up TELLING the story rather than drawing the reader into the story. Often what we tell these writers … Continue reading