Discovering your most productive time of day is just smart. Timing and environment can have a profound impact both on how quickly we write and on the quality of what we produce. But I suggest you can become more productive as a writer by paying attention to the length and frequency of your writing sessions.
How many times do you find yourself in a waiting room, on a bus, sitting outside a restaurant waiting for the rest of your party . . . and to pass the time, you pull out your phone. You might be thinking it's the perfect opportunity to catch up on social media or to shoot off some … Continue reading Mindful Details: Paying Attention to the World Around You
I did it! I finished my draft! And now . . . ohhh boy, is it a mess. I’m not talking about awkward sentences and sparse details—though there’s certainly plenty of that. I’m talking about huge plot and character shifts part way through, characters I introduced, then ghosted on, a beloved pet dog that appears … Continue reading Puzzling Out Your Revisions
Whenever people find out that I’m a slush pile reader, they usually have one of two reactions. The first is “I would love to get paid to read books all day” while sighing wistfully. What those people really mean is “I would love to get paid to read good books all day,” which would be … Continue reading Being Slush Pile Reader & A Writer
I picked up a book the other day that sounded like it might be a really fun read and just the kind of thing I was looking for. But after struggling through the first chapters over a couple of days (which is unusually slow for me), I finally put the book down in puzzlement. Why … Continue reading Writing Whiny Characters
“It doesn't really matter who said it, it's so obviously true. Before you can write anything, you have to notice something.” -- JOHN IRVING “Write from what you know into what you don’t know.” -- GRACE PALEY As a person who has taught more university writing courses than I care to mention, I regularly hear some version … Continue reading Imagination vs Observation
Trigger warning: This post mentions potential trigger topics. I love writing happily-ever-afters (HEAs) for my characters, but in order for them to get there, they have to go through quite a lot. The following quote from one of my favorite reviews summarizes this nicely: My stories always include hard and stormy issues (This post explains why it helps to … Continue reading On Writing About Sensitive (Trigger) Topics