Losing Perspective

I stand by the window this morning, coffee in hand, watching the clouds scud over the mountains. I can barely see them because it's still mostly dark, but there's a pale light on the horizon to the east. That sliver of brilliant color turns the clouds from invisible dark-on-dark to charcoal on near black burgandy.... Continue Reading →

Preparing for Publication

The key to turning out good stuff is rewriting.  The key to grinding it out is consistency. – Forrest McDonald Let's just assume you have a killer idea for a story or article. You have great, multi-faceted characters against a dramatic backdrop. You KNOW it's going to sell. What now? How do you get the... Continue Reading →

Tip #13

When people come see you at a show, reading, signing, whatever, give them something to take home. I use bookmarks. Who doesn't need more of those? I'm always losing mine. And they're pretty, too. Most people have gotten so used to logos on their clothes, or on nearly everything they own. They won't throw them... Continue Reading →

Tip #12

When your body doesn't feel good, your brain doesn't either. It can get distracted. Depressed. Dull. Eat well. Exercise. Keep your story-making machine well maintained.

Tip #11

From the moment you first set out to write a story for publication, you become a public figure, a celebrity. People applaud you, fawn over you, tell you how wonderfully clever you are. Most people can see themselves writing a book someday. They relate to you. They want to be you. But that will end... Continue Reading →

Tip #10

Publishing is a business. They want to make money. No-brainer, right? Yet, I hear lots of people say they can't get a publisher. Or they write better than so-and-so, but can't get a representative. My first advice is to look at your manuscript. Is it grammatically correct? Does it have lots of spelling mistakes? Do... Continue Reading →

Tip #9

Writers often get bogged down in the middle of their work because they keep going back and editing the beginning. Yes, sometimes changes need to be made as we discover different than what we'd originally planned, but editing - honest to goodness editing - should wait until after the first draft is completed. Why? Writing... Continue Reading →

Tip #8

People who have broken legs use crutches. Writers who have broken sentences use crutch words. A crutch word is an empty word with no purpose. It's just a filler. Dandelion fluff. If you remove it from your sentence, you won't even notice. No one likes to hear someone fill their speech with these. No one will... Continue Reading →

Tip #7

This one is titled "Authenticity". I can't tell you how many times I've read someone's manuscript, only to find the wrong words or misunderstandings about a piece of information that's easily found. I spent hours and days and weeks researching, not only the location, but also the time period, the political climate, the people in... Continue Reading →

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