Twice a week, I’m going to post the very best content I’ve found online. On Monday, you’ll get my best writing finds for the last week.  On Friday, the stuff that amuses, confuses, or maddens me. Windows Open or Closed by Kimberly Krey: The value of having an open mind while doing writerly things. Twitter Tuesday #27–Team-Building by Kristen Lamb: One in a (very amusing and informative) series about what-not-to-do if you want anyone at all to like you online.  In this article, how to self-promote without being annoying or spammy. 10 Tips to Banish the Unpublished Writer Blues by Kathy Carmichael: Really smart adviceRead More →

Character Development Questions reprinted with permission by author Heather McCorkle (@HeatherMcCorkle on Twitter) As I started research for my next novel, a young adult historical fantasy, I realized I needed to get to know my new main character. One of my favorite ways to do this is to fill out one of those personal questionnaires about them. This is the one I’ve compiled:1) What is your full name? What name do you go by and why? 2) What do you look like? What are your best and worst features? 3) What is your birth date? Do you celebrate or avoid it and why? 4) How do you preferRead More →

A friend (an awesome friend who I love, fyi) bought this book, Revision & Self-Editing, for me after I featured it on Material Girl. I was correct in my assessment that it would be helpful.  It is, in fact, extremely informative.  James Scott Bell covers all the elements of writing: character, POV, scenes, plot & structure, etc.  Each chapter offers valuable exercises and techniques.  I couldn’t recommend this book more. (Thanks again, Jen!)Read More →

I bought this book when it first came out because I loved Stephen King and I’d always thought about writing in a wistful sort of way.    King packs in a lot of practical advice and truth about writing in this book.  For instance, if you don’t read, forget being a writer.  Which, yes, makes sense but even so.  I wonder how many people want to write a book, be a published author, who really don’t consider diving into a book one of the true pleasures in life? I do disagree with his assessment that if you have to plan, outline–whatever, that you’re not doing itRead More →