Year-End Musings About Writing

As 2023 comes to a close, here are some things I’m thinking about when it comes to this writing life. Being published does not make you a writer. Writing makes you a writer. Publishing is no longer a “one size fits all.” With the flourishing of print on demand, the growth in audiobooks, reader’s comfort…

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The Joy of Promiscuity

Are you a monogamous writer? You get up every morning and all you can think about is the one novel, the one poem, the one essay you’re trying to write to the exclusion of all else. If a news item sparks a what if scenario, or a fascinating character comes to you in a dream, or you…

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Funny Business: Incorporating Humor Into Your Novel

Writing a novel is no laughing matter. Or is it? Incorporating humor into your writing can add depth, lighten the mood, and make your characters more relatable. But how do you add humor without turning your novel into a comedy? Here are six things to keep in mind so you can strike the right balance.…

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The Art of Misdirection: How To Keep Your Readers On Their Toes

As fiction writers, one of the most important tasks we have is to keep our readers wanting more. One way to do that is through the use of surprise. But what happens when the surprise becomes too predictable? We’ve all read novels where we could easily anticipate what was coming and found ourselves disappointed when…

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Seven Components of a Successful Novel Opening

Writing a compelling opening for your novel isn’t optional, it’s essential. That initial half-page of Chapter One is the first impression agents, publishers, and most important, readers get of your writing style and skill and often determines whether they’ll purchase your book or not. The good news is most people will give you a few…

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Stop Writing Nice Stories

You encounter your new next-door neighbor when you’re out walking the dog and they tell you how the movers still haven’t showed up, which meant they spent their first night in an unfamiliar house sleeping in their clothes on the floor, huddled together in their sleeping bags. Then the two of you talk about how…

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Three Ways Wordle is Like Writing

Have you caught the Wordle bug yet? Each morning The New York Times posts a new Wordle puzzle up on the internet and you have one day to solve it. The answer is a five-letter word and you get six tries. Each guess must be a valid five-letter word. After you type in your guess…

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The infamous work/life balance

We all know we need to calibrate our daily activities so we don’t allow work to overwhelm us and take over our world. At the same time, if all we’re doing is cooking exotic dishes and watching NetFlix instead of spending time doing stuff that pays the bills, sooner or later, we’ll get fired/lose that…

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Grab Back Control

There’s nothing worse than feeling as though your writing career is out of your control, that others are in charge of your fate. For many of us writing is our second career. In “real life” we’re lawyers, accountants, police officers, teachers, entrepreneurs, retailers, and scientists. For myself, I spent years as the CEO of a…

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How to Be a Top-Notch Podcast Guest

This month I hosted my 78th interview for Hear Us Roar where my guests are debut authors of women’s fiction, so it’s a perfect time to share some tips from the last 2+ years about using this medium as part of your book marketing package. As of February 2021, there are 1.75 million podcasts out…

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