Reading for Writing: It’s Not Copying

Years ago, when I was working on a mystery novel, I read one of Lawrence Block’s writing books. (I can’t remember which it was, and, honestly, the list of his books is TOO long to go through right now!) The most important takeaway from that book, for me, was his instruction to pick a few […]

Friday Five: Favorite Writing Books

I’ve written about some of these books here, but it felt like time to just toss up a list. As of today, and in no particular order, these are my top 5 books on the craft of writing. If you’ve got some other favorites, add them to the comments, where everybody can see! Donald Maass‘ […]

Form: Learning It

Years ago, I read a writing book by Lawrence Block. I’m pretty sure it was Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print. The advice I remember most from this book was that the best way to learn plot was to go out and plot a book. One you liked. By a good writer. At the […]

Somebody Else Says: Nathan Bransford (and Me) on Redeemability

Okay, I know it’s starting to feel like this is a bit of a cheating week for me. First, I the WONDERFUL and BRILLIANT Shrinking Violets guest post for me. (I know how much you all loved that, though, so no guilt here!). Then I resort to a visual image, no words, about my workday, […]

Book Review AND Contest: Writing the Breakout Novel

This week, I’ve been reading Donald Maass’ book Writing the Breakout Novel.  I just finished skimming through the last few chapters, which provide a sort of overview about some specific plot styles, theme, and a bit about publishing.  Since I’m getting ready to dig into plotting a first draft of my WIP, I was more interested […]

Somebody Else Says: Jane Lindskold

I was going to put up this great, maybe-even-profound blog about…blogging first thing this week. Then I read this post by Jane Lindskold at and thought it was a good one to share. We can all use more info about What Happens After the Book is Written. Hop over and have a read. Thanks […]

Les Edgerton’s Hooked

Back in October, I talked about The Writer’s Journey, by Christopher Vogler. In that post, I mentioned Les Edgerton’s book Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go. I said I’d talk more about Edgerton’s book in another post. So here we are. With November and NaNoWriMo ending, and […]

The Writer’s Journey: Start Here

Have you read this book?                You might not recognize the cover. I didn’t at first, because it doesn’t match my copy. Of course, mine is only the second edition. This one’s the THIRD edition. Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey is like the energizer bunny–it keeps getting printed and printed and printed… There are plenty […]