Writing Lessons from Les Mis: Plotting and Subplotting

Having just finished a read-through of Les Misérables, I've been struck by the writing. It's a long book at well over 600,000 words, so I definitely wouldn't recommend writing a modern novel of that length, but it's a classic nevertheless. It's been made into dozens of movie versions, beginning in 1897 and continuing onward, with the most … Continue reading Writing Lessons from Les Mis: Plotting and Subplotting

Romance: Two Best-Selling Plot Types

I've been thinking about the romance genre lately, trying to explain what it is that "happens" in a romance story. Obviously, it's about a couple finding each other (or realizing that they already know each other) and reaching their happily-ever-after moment (whether it does or doesn't last is another matter entirely, but unless you write … Continue reading Romance: Two Best-Selling Plot Types

How Life Intersects with Writing

This is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog-hop, designed to help encourage authors and foster discussions about writing topics across the internet and the world. This month's question is "How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?" Most of the time, life affects my writing by … Continue reading How Life Intersects with Writing

Writing Pitfalls: Doubt and Discouragement

This is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog-hop, designed to help encourage authors and foster discussions about writing topics across the internet and the world. This month's question is "What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?" At first, I wasn't sure which pitfall to talk about—the challenge … Continue reading Writing Pitfalls: Doubt and Discouragement

Ultimate Writing Goals and How They Can Change

This is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog-hop, designed to help encourage authors and foster discussions about writing topics across the internet and the world (I missed the memo about it needing to be posted yesterday, apparently). This month's question is "What's are your ultimate writing goals and how have they changed over … Continue reading Ultimate Writing Goals and How They Can Change

How to Pick a Character’s Name

This is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog-hop, designed to help encourage authors and foster discussions about writing topics across the internet and the world. This month's question is "What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names" For me, it's definitely coming up with a book title. Because … Continue reading How to Pick a Character’s Name

Character Actions: Should There Be a Reason Why?

Characters do all kinds of things in fiction. Their actions make up the stories we write, and if they did nothing...it'd be pretty boring. But how much motivation should there be in what they do? Do you, as the author, need to always know why they're doing it, or can they just "do something for … Continue reading Character Actions: Should There Be a Reason Why?

The Differences between Copyediting and Book Coaching

Recently, I've been refining my editing process, discovering just what my word processing software can do (and that, yes, it can convert and make things Microsoft Word can still use, despite being made on a Mac). Gone are the days when "editing" meant printing out documents and marking them up with all sorts of little … Continue reading The Differences between Copyediting and Book Coaching

What Reader Experience is Right for Your Novel?

Today, I want to talk about reader experience. Not something that gets discussed much among writers, as I generally see it crop up in literary criticism under "reader response," but thinking about how a reader is going to likely navigate your story makes a world of difference to you, as an author. I know, you … Continue reading What Reader Experience is Right for Your Novel?

Why Writers Need Critical Readers

All writers need readers--otherwise, there would be no point in getting things published--but writers who strive to write well need more. Just any reader won't do. We need readers who get invested in our characters, who are willing to point out faults, who take the time to notice when we spell things wrong or use … Continue reading Why Writers Need Critical Readers