Participating in a critique group can be one of the best things you can do to help move forward in your writing skills. A crit group will help you to find flaws or weaknesses in your writing, will encourage you when you’re struggling, will teach you to sharpen your eye to find habitual mistakes you make, and will be an important part of your writing community. Critique groups come in all shapes and sizes. There are both online and in-person groups, and large groups and small
It's that time of year, after the holidays and before spring blooms burst around us, that reading a good book is particularly satisfying. Who am I kidding? Anytime you read a good book, you're satisfied. It's been a while since I mentioned some of the good books I've read recently. Here they are in no particular order. Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer Do you like historical novels? Me too! But, keep a box of tissues on hand while you're reading this one. Decades of L
Are you a weary writer in need of some advice? Writers and would-be writers are always looking for wisdom from those who’ve gone before us. I’ve assembled some thoughtful comments for you to mull over. Enjoy! Question: When is the best time to begin a writing career? Answer: "Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way." ~Dr. Seuss Question: From where does our writing ability come? Is it inborn? Learned?
Answer: As Mother Teresa said, "We are all pencils
Writers tend to grind away, pursuing their passion, but occasionally the well of our creativity becomes parched. We may come to a point of creative fatigue. Don’t fear—it’s not permanent. Sometimes we just need to recognize the need to disengage from the grind and embrace the necessity to refresh our creative souls. When you feel discouraged and wrung out, there are methods you can use to refresh your creative spirit. According to Dictionary.com, creativity is the ability to
I'm delighted to host my friend, author Jen Turano. If you haven't read any of Jen's books, you're really missing out. Her latest release in the Apart from the Crowd series is Caught by Surprise. Caught by Surprise Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.
When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the t
Have you experienced a moment when when reality crystalizes and you finally KNOW a deep, personal truth? I’ve been thinking about defining moments lately. As an author, they populate my books. As a human being, they have shaped my character and my choices. Merriam-Webster says a defining moment is the time that shows very clearly what something is really about I’ve often heard good fiction characterized as real life without the boring parts. That’s true, and both fiction and
I recently read a story that left me wholly unsatisfied. The author skimped on writing in the sensory details. I felt disoriented while reading and found myself eager to be finished.
When I read fiction, I need to feel as if I'm dropped into the scene and can live the character's journey. Readers who can vicariously experience the character's life in novels are transported to a different reality and live the experience. They are touched at a visceral level and changed by th
Do you appreciate admirable character traits? Excuse me while I get a little introspective. I've been counting my blessings lately, and ALL of them are people, not things. No surprise there. I have amazing family and friends. What I truly value about those who are a close to me are the attributes of their characters. As I thought about my loved ones and friends, I compiled a list of what I admire most about them. Yes, this is what's needed in excess in our world (and in the b
I have good news and bad news for you today. The good news is that no one, no other writer, speaker, or thinker can steal your voice. And your voice is what publishers will buy. Your voice is the only product readers can’t get anywhere else. The bad news is that no one can teach you how to create your voice. But, I have more good news—with practice, you can discover and develop your voice. Writers must develop their voice to hone their skill and perfect their craft. Your voic
I bought some peaches the other day. Not headline-making news, but consider this, I knew that I had peaches at home in my fridge. The reason for my impulse purchase was because the clerk at the store stopped me to tell me how delicious the peaches were. She said that she really looks forward to eating one when they’re this fresh and ripe. She made those peaches sound like the most delicious fruit on earth. I bought them because she hand sold them to me. Having someone talk up