Digging into History: A Writer’s Guide to the Perfect Hero

Humans LOVE a hero! Times change, but people don’t. Contrary to what some believe, we’re all born with a human nature that binds us together, forcing us to grow and learn. But along the way, academic progress notwithstanding, mankind has always enjoyed a vicarious thrill. Humans love to cheer champions who pull off glorious feats …

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Do I sketch out the plot of my novel before starting it or do I allow my characters to lead the way?

NO fooling. There are different ways to approach a story, but each carries its own consequences.

Check in with Florence Witkop, author of The Man from Yesterday, for some writerly wisdom that could save YOU some serious time. And, please, follow me if you’d like to continue this journey of learning, laughing, and generally having a BLAST. I know I am.

Write on!

There are two ways to write a story. Their proponents are called plotters and pantsers. Plotters sketch the plot before starting the story, pantsers just sit at their computer and start writing, letting the characters tell them what comes next.

Both are fine. Depends on which kind of person you are. And how you want to spend your writing time.

Plotters spend a lot of time discovering their characters and their story before they write so when they sit down at their computers, all they have to do is tell the story.

Pantsers don’t do that but they spend a whole lot more time writing. It’s estimated that a finished novel goes through 10 rewrites before being published. That figure would be less if pantsers weren’t included. But pantsers don’t…

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Slow and Steady: Writer’s Life Lessons from the Oldest Animal on Earth!

Which are YOU? Slow and steady wins the race. How often have you heard that tortoise and the hare reference? I’ve lived with it my whole life since I have a fascination with shelled babies. And yet a tendency to go wild-hare trips me up too often. (Remember, I’m the one who almost stomped her …

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Beta Readers, CPs and Self-Editing

Walk away, Renée–that Left Banke ’60’s classic–was a memorable song from my growing up. Why? I was almost named Renée–far more exotic than Ann, but there you go. My mom cooked plain food, too.

As fate would have it, though, I’m not able to walk away.

Good thing or else I’d be missing out! So here I am with another insightful Renée–aspiring author Renée Hurteau–whose on point advice for writers is absolutely golden.

Write on!

Out of Context

I open my file, glance with trepidation at the myriad red marks and comment bubbles throughout, and promptly close it again.  I just can’t.  Not right now.

Instead, I thought this might be a good time to share some of my thoughts on editing for any of my fellow writers that have found their way here.

Editing, a crucial element to any good story, is difficult.  In the beginning, when you first finish writing and hand it off eagerly to third parties for their feedback, it sometimes can seem like a personal affront when their constructive criticism comes back.  However, you shouldn’t take it as one!  Constructive criticism is vital to a story that people can immerse themselves in.  One misspelled word, one convoluted, hard to read sentence, is enough to jar them out of a state of suspended disbelief.  What about that small but glaring plot hole you missed?…

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Spring is coming: But GREAT READS are already here!

To everything, turn-turn-turn. There IS a season for all things. And spring flowers are just around the corner. I nearly stomped them this afternoon when tending those lovely details that keep us going—grocery shopping. Rocket shopping. Who has time? It’s a hassle, but people need to eat.  Getting bags into the house can be fun—sarcasm …

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Return of the VORTEX: Make all your characters work for you!

The Basics never change! Who? What? Where? When? Why? And how? The writer’s life, more than most, orbits these six mysteries. Chief among them is who. Characters are the backbone of storytelling. Somebody must want something, fight for something, and need it badly enough— no whims— for readers to engage. The reader himself is a …

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Celebration Exodus: Move it on out, girl!

OMG - maybe that was Bruce Willis manhandling boxes in my room? It came. The new chair! And a desk actually intended for an adult. Squeee. Check out the Grinch doing what grinches do—at least in my house. Mattresses aren't their only fetish. Apparently, there's something primal about schlepping two ton boxes and "building" desks. …

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