Posts for Writing Tips Category

Yosemite Writing Retreats

Appearances, Writing Tips - February 20, 2017

I'm embarking on a new venture to combine the beautiful place in which I live with my writing workshops.  It's the Yosemite Writing Retreat, all-inclusive writing workshop weekends for both new and established writers. If you or someone you know is an aspiring author, this is a great way to…

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Hey, Author! Your age is showing.

Writing Tips - May 20, 2016

If an author is trained in the craft of fiction writing, their story will be written the voice of the protagonist--or the current POV character. Mastering POV and voice means that the author, herself, should remain invisible. But what often happens is that the writer makes minute voice mistakes based…

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Why Your Hero has to “Pet the Puppy”

Writing Tips - March 24, 2016

In my writing workshop, I teach a class on creating dynamic characters. The first thing I teach about the the protagonist is that he/she has to "pet the puppy" in the first scene. Don't giggle, it's not obscene. It means that your hero has to do something to prove to…

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Candy Hearts for Writers

Humor, Writing Tips - February 8, 2016


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Diversity in Casting Your Characters

Writing Tips - February 5, 2016

Face it, unless you're an author-of-color, you probably don't give much thought about the ethnicity of your characters unless it's an integral part of your plot. But like Hollywood, you have to change your thinking. James Patterson was one of the first best-selling white authors to write a black protagonist.…

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Tips and Tricks for your Final Edit

Writing Tips - January 30, 2016

Okay, so you have three weeks before you have to turn in your novel to the publisher (or upload it, if you're self-publishing). It's tough to read the entire manuscript one more time, since you've been working on it for the last X months. Perhaps years! So here are some…

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As If!

Writing Tips - January 15, 2016

No, we're not talking about Valley Girl vernacular. Many writers get this wrong, including me, so I wanted to post it so we could all remember this simple rule. A conditional in literature and computer programming means using the word "IF." As we're writing prose, many times we'll use a…

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A Dark Age for Artists

Thoughts, Writing Tips - December 30, 2015

You may think the digital age has created a renaissance for art. In some ways, it has. Artists can share their work with so many more people. We now have the ability to publish in so many more media and reach more fans. But it's also a dark age for…

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Writing in Order

Writing Tips - December 15, 2015

I recently read a short story that began: I looked out my apartment window through the Venetian blinds down at a street full of shadows. Do you see what's wrong with this sentence? It's a common mistake that many rookie writers make: it's written out of order. You don't look…

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Creating Worlds

Writing Tips - October 20, 2015

Here is a great video by author Kate Messner on building fictional worlds:

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