RSSCategory: How To and Tips

What a Week of Pro Tennis Taught Me About Writing

What a Week of Pro Tennis Taught Me About Writing

My son and I are tennis nuts. We spend days on end at the U.S. Open in New York each summer, and we travel to other major tournaments, both home and abroad, as often as we can. When a snowstorm back east a few months ago left us stranded in California – where we’d gone […]

June 19, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
Writing Under Multiple Pen Names

Writing Under Multiple Pen Names

When a dream comes true, and it’s even better than your original dream, you can be forgiven for thinking you’ve reached a pinnacle in your writing journey and you’re pinching yourself to wake up. You’re floating on air. It’s all too wonderful to be true. But there it is in black and white – you’ve […]

June 17, 2017 | By | Reply More
Past, Present, Never: Writing Time In Fiction

Past, Present, Never: Writing Time In Fiction

New authors are always advised to avoid complexity, to begin with a single narrator and a straightforward plot. I ignored that advice. In my first novel, there was a story in the present which related to events in the past, told in flashbacks. In my second I had three interconnected narratives. I think perhaps I […]

June 16, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
How to Write the Perfect Ending

How to Write the Perfect Ending

I’ve often felt that your first chapter is what sells your novel, but the ending is what sells you as an author. I’m not saying a rollicking start isn’t important—as are characters, voice, plot, and theme—but a great ending is what will leave your reader satisfied, enthusiastic, and wanting more. It’s certainly not easy. Endings […]

June 13, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
What’s Food Doing in Your Fiction?

What’s Food Doing in Your Fiction?

I’m mildly obsessed with writing about food, both in memoir and in mystery, so I paid attention when a blogger recently complained about the preponderance of food scenes in fiction, warning authors to give those scenes tension and to make them advance the plot. It’s not bad advice, although I think it more important that authors […]

June 13, 2017 | By | Reply More
What I’ve Learnt As A Writer

What I’ve Learnt As A Writer

I’ve just published my first novel—a romantic comedy called Mr. Right-Swipe (Grand Central Publishing). What I’ve learned in this process from new writer to published author probably isn’t all that groundbreaking; but I’ve been at this for a number of years—seven or eight of serious writing, to be exact—and I’ve come away with a lot […]

June 12, 2017 | By | Reply More
How To Deal With Non-Constructive Criticism

How To Deal With Non-Constructive Criticism

If you have been on the agent querying treadmill long enough to receive a request for a full manuscript, then you know the feeling: the simultaneous swell of pride and the utter fear of not measuring up. Your query letter worked, hooray! An actual expert from the publishing industry, with a slush pile as high […]

June 9, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
Unleash Your Creative Flair With Blue

Unleash Your Creative Flair With Blue

Each of us has seven selves: self-preservation, self-gratification, self-definition, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-reflection, and self-knowledge. Writers tend to focus on self-expression. Each self is associated with—and influenced by—a color. Every color has a different wavelength and individual properties, both positive and negative. Color is simply energy; energy made visible. As human beings, color is the only […]

June 4, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Negative Things Influence Your Writing…

How Negative Things Influence Your Writing…

Nobody likes negativity. It may seem like some thrive on causing misery to everyone, including themselves, but it’s just not true, take it from me. I don’t like being unhappy. I don’t like it when people I love die, when people hurt me, when people bitch behind my back and I get to hear about […]

May 30, 2017 | By | Reply More
Make Like a Nun and Get Your Writing Habit On

Make Like a Nun and Get Your Writing Habit On

What habit might that be, you ask?  Is it: The habit of sitting down to write at the same time in the same location each and every day even though Spring is here and your hands would rather be digging in the dirt than pounding on the keys? The habit of editing a draft over […]

May 18, 2017 | By | Reply More