Plot-Driven vs. Character-Driven

Warning: This post may be a bit rambly and confusing. It’s one of those where I’m going to be thinking as I type, trying to figure out a few things. I can’t tell you yet whether the post will end with a conclusion or a questions. Or a dozen questions. Oh, well. Feel free to […]

Writing Lessons from Tiffany Aching

Okay, Tiffany Aching isn’t Steven Tyler. But if we’re learning anything from Jo Knowles’ “unintentional blog series” about Tyler, it’s that writing advice comes where you find it. And, probably, most people would agree that Terry Pratchett would be right up there with authors we could all learn from. BTW, if you didn’t know who […]

Houston, We Have a Problem.

I’m baaack! I had a wonderful time at the 2011 Pennwriters Conference, and I’m going to do a more complete post about it later this week. This morning, I’m going to talk about one of the revelations I had at one particular workshop, and what I’m going to do about it. First, a quick reminder […]

Cause: The All-Important WHY

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know I’m a plotter. I had to “pants” for a while on the first draft of this WIP, and it was not a happy place for me. Effective, yes, but not happy. So, of course, I’m in love with being back to plotting as […]

Today, Character Definitely Comes Before Plot

When I finished the first draft of my WIP and after I did the happy dance, I decided I was going to do some major plotting before I started on Draft 2. I had spent enough time with that exploratory first draft and now I wanted structure. Big time. So I opened Scrivener and I […]

Me to MC: Let’s Decorate

It’s been too long since I worked on my novel. In terms of actual writing–August was great & productive, with getting the synopsis written & filling in some gaps in the middle. And I’ve been doing some more reading–trying to connect with Ida B. Wells and get close to what it is about her that […]

What Does Your Hero Carry With Her?

In case you aren’t YET a fan of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, and you aren’t aware that the newest book, Changes, has been on bookstore shelves for a while, I’m here to let you know about it. I’ll also mention that I haven’t read it yet. It’s just come out in hardback and, while sometimes […]

Amping Up Character Tension

This summer I will turn forty-mumble-mumble years old. At this time in my life (says the old, wise one), I have built up a community (or a tribe, as my friend Terri Thayer calls it) of friends with whom I am comfortable and happy, and who help me keep my life interesting and my brain […]

Characters: Getting to Know Your Hero

My son’s 7th grade English class just read The Outsiders. In the back of the book were some questions S.E. Hinton had written answers to. My son doesn’t remember the specific question, but in one answer Hinton said, basically, that she knew everything about her characters before she started writing the story. Then yesterday, I went […]

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 […]