Tag: writing tips

Letting The Story Open The Door

Letting The Story Open The Door

I love short stories. Reading them, writing them, choosing them for Literary Orphans, the online literary magazine I have the privilege to spend time with. In many ways, although I’ve written two novels and am half-way through a third, I feel that short stories will always be my home, and first love. The submitted pieces […]

December 7, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Pieces Of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters

Pieces Of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters

“You should be glad you didn’t get your girls back yet,” a friend told me while we were in line at a coffee shop. “Your book will be that much better.” It was 1995, and I had just returned to Alaska from Greece after my first failed attempt to rescue my kidnapped daughters, taken by […]

September 20, 2016 | By | 5 Replies More
Learning as I Go

Learning as I Go

I can’t begin any discussion of what I’ve learned about writing while writing without a disclaimer: I’ve learned things that work for me. Aside from a few college-level writing courses, the books I’ve read on writing, and what I’ve picked up from other authors at workshops and conventions, I am completely self-taught. And I’m constantly […]

August 6, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Dialogue and Subtext: The Spoken and the Unspoken

Dialogue and Subtext: The Spoken and the Unspoken

Subtext is a key element in transforming blah serviceable dialogue into dazzling dialogue. Why? Because great, genuine sounding dialogue happens at two levels: what is spoken and what is unspoken. What is said and what is meant. Children, drunks, iconoclasts, and people with impaired social skills tend to say exactly what they mean all the […]

August 2, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Q&A with  Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader  at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Q&A with Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing is an award-winning independent press nestled on the Oregon coast in a tiny town called Deadwood. Nancy Cleary has spent over twenty-five years as a professional graphic designer and author branding expert. Wyatt-MacKenzie has published hundreds of products over the last 18 years with a special focus on mom writers. They traditionally publish […]

July 27, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
How To Build A Character

How To Build A Character

If you type ‘how to build a’ into Google, you’ll be given the options of shed, fence, house, website. (I don’t think it will be too long before ‘girl’ is added to the list due to Caitlin Moran cornering this part of the literary market.) All of these options give guidance on construction and the […]

July 20, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Second Person: Why I Used You In My Novel

Second Person: Why I Used You In My Novel

Second person address, “I-to-you,” is a fascinating and effective literary device, the most intimate point-of-view there is, but writers avoid it like a death knell. Most editors reject it. Not only that, it isn’t easy to pull off, especially in novel length stories. So why use it? Why have the narrator tell her story to […]

June 25, 2016 | By | 4 Replies More
On Openings

On Openings

After digging deep into the recesses of my mind and pouring out of ideas on a blank page or screen, what next? The gestation period is not completely over. I continue to create characters and plot as I write. That continual creative experience is vital to the way I work. For many writers, after this […]

June 13, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Talking Yourself Down and Talking Yourself Up  (aka: Fighting the Two-Headed Dragon of Insecurity)

Talking Yourself Down and Talking Yourself Up (aka: Fighting the Two-Headed Dragon of Insecurity)

Insecurity, covered with writhing, glinting scales, is a dragon – a truly frightening creature. But here’s the worst part: the dragon has two heads. The battle against the beast begins the moment you put your fingers to the keyboard with serious intent. Your intent is to be a writer. A writer in the wool-stocking, coffee-gesturing, […]

April 26, 2016 | By | 17 Replies More
Finding the Courage to Write About My Abusive Marriages

Finding the Courage to Write About My Abusive Marriages

When people think of courage, mountain peaks and raging rivers usually come to mind. But memoir writing can be one of the most courageous acts anyone ever does. I began to write my memoir after years of keeping silent about the abuse in my two marriages – except for writing in my journals. Compulsive journal […]

April 24, 2016 | By | 4 Replies More