I guess every writer ever in the history of ever has been asked this question: where do you get your ideas from? And I’d say there are a dozen dozen (this sounds weird, I mean like 1212=8916100448256, okay?) answers for each individual writer. So I’m just going to talk about how I’ve been struck with inspiration. The biggest place ideas come from are my dreams. No, really. And then they grow and change and turn into something completely different, but they start in my sleep. And they’re not dreams, like how you’re still in grade school, and you just realized that you don’t have yourRead More →

POV (Point of View).For a long time, I thought this only meant two things.First, whether you’re using first or third.Second, headhopping is bad.I knew I used third unlimited (more than one character gets a POV) and I did my best not to headhop.At least consciously. Turns out, there’s a world more information about POV that I was in dire need of.Here’s what I’ve learned about POV from a couple of really great books (I’ll include two of my recommendations at the end of this post) and the wonderful critique group I joined.Boy, they keep me honest about POV.(For the sake of my sanity, I amRead 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 →

Today I’m linking to an article by Julie Leto about Layering When You Write. This article was a lifesaver for me when I first started writing.  This is how I write.  And I thought I was doing it wrong. See, I can whip out the dialogue.  And dialogue is crucial.  It keeps the pace, it raises tension, it adds emotion, it… well, dialogue can do anything.  It’s like the superhero of writing.  Then it starts getting harder.  I usually write in the action, trying to see the scene like watching a movie.  This works, but it leaves me with a bunch of dialogue, a bitRead More →

I suddenly hate that word, “telling,” like I hate running out of coffee. Apparently, telling instead of showing is an easy mistake, especially for beginning writers. Here’s a wonderful post from Flogging the Quill. How to Show, When to TellRead More →

I’m editing right now, as well as participating in a crit group.  I’m thinking this book would help catch a lot of those mistakes.  It’s on my wishlist, anyway.Read More →

This is a link to the critique group that I joined recently.  It’s already made a huge improvement in my writing because I see my weaknesses, and my strengths, much easier now.  Add to that, it’s a great group of people and it’s a lot of fun reading all the great stories from so many talented writers.  If you decide to join, say hi to me! Romance CrittersRead More →

Today’s Material Girl link won’t cost you a dime*. Enjoy it, that’s pretty rare. It’s called Lovely Charts (a hug for my friend Kris for thinking of me when she saw it). I tried it out, and it is lovely. It comes ready to build several different types of flow charts, including people. How’s that for connecting your characters? I happen to have drawn one of these before, using tables in Word–it’s not fun. Lovely Charts? Fun. *Update 6.29.2011: It’s no longer free.  Sorry! *Update 11.22.2016: Site is now defunct. Goodbye Lovely Charts.Read More →

I finished Ex and the Single Girl.  This isn’t a review in the strictest sense.  I’d never call someone out to condemn work they killed themselves to do.  I’m not downing people who do, reviewers are important to us as readers.  But as a writer, I’m going to respect the work whether I like the book or not. That out of the way, I loved this book.  When I enjoy a book, I make a point to note what I particularly enjoyed about it, because it gives me more range as a writer.  I loved the friendship between Portia and Ian as it developed.  ItRead More →

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard No kidding, the best advice I ever read.  For a while I’d be all… “Ugh, I have to write that scene,” and if you don’t want to write the scene, why the hell would anyone want to read the scene?  Sum it up and move on.  You don’t have to write a play by play of life for your characters–only the important parts. I realize there are times when self-doubt about the ability to really pull off an important scene slips in, but that’s the thing: you know it’s an important scene.  InRead More →