How to Write an Ending that Fits Your Story

Personally, I like fitting endings even more than happy ones. Sure, it's nice to know that the characters you've read about succeed. When you've invested time and emotional energy, you enjoy it when they make it out of their troubles and gain the victory they've sought for so long, but I don't like false endings. … Continue reading How to Write an Ending that Fits Your Story

The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

As I writer, I'm always curious about how other writers write. And much of what I've read on this subject is daunting: write every day, write even when you don't feel like it, write first thing in the morning when your energies are at their peak, etc. Hemingway was a great proponent of early morning … Continue reading The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

Works that Last: The Importance of Originality

Since the "madness" of A-Z starts tomorrow and I haven't written a word, I thought I'd continue the Flashback Friday series today and give you a post from June 2014. ūüôā In the¬†George R. R. Martin interview with Rolling Stone writer Mikal Gilmore, Martin said that ‚ÄúBoth as a writer and as a reader I … Continue reading Works that Last: The Importance of Originality

Emma and the Importance of Being Yourself…Even in the Face of Advice

As part of the ongoing Flashback Friday series, here is a post based an original from June 2014 As I read through¬†Emma¬†for what is probably the fourth or fifth time, I‚Äôm struck by how much the story revolves around the giving and taking of advice. Each character responds to advice differently, depending on how firmly … Continue reading Emma and the Importance of Being Yourself…Even in the Face of Advice

Fictional Families: Mothers and Daughters

We've been exploring positive literary families, covering Fathers and Sons and Fathers and Daughters, and today, I wanted to start looking at the Mothering side of the equation. We've all read lots and lots of bad mothers, step-mothers, and dead mothers; most fairy tales have at least of these as the villain or story device … Continue reading Fictional Families: Mothers and Daughters

Describing Memorable Characters: Elizabeth Bennet

Whenever you write a character into existence, there is an expectation that you must describe them. You've made them, so you have to tell other people what they're like, elaborating on the height, weight, eye color, hair color, skin color, general features, behaviors, and facial features...or so some readers would have you believe. Yet, if … Continue reading Describing Memorable Characters: Elizabeth Bennet

And Always Let Your Passion Be Your Guide #amwriting

I'm not talking about following your passions in each and every life decisions. If you follow your feelings in what you do each day, your life will turn into a mess and you'll never get any work done. But, in writing, following your passion can help you discover what you really like writing about.¬†Because just … Continue reading And Always Let Your Passion Be Your Guide #amwriting

Crafting a Compelling Climax #atozchallenge #amwriting

Climaxes can be the most memorable part of a novel. It's the moments when your characters' futures are decided. Everything has been brought together for a final struggle and...personally, my writing usually stalls right about then. And I think it's partly because of the nature of a climax. Just before the climax, you get to … Continue reading Crafting a Compelling Climax #atozchallenge #amwriting

The Best and Worst in Love Triangles

Love triangles are tremendously common, especially in YA fiction these days; one handsome guy is apparently not enough anymore. And I'm not against them on principle. There have been many great love triangles in literature over the centuries: Marianne, Willoughby, and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility; Romeo, Juliet, and Paris from Romeo and Juliet;¬†even … Continue reading The Best and Worst in Love Triangles

Your Novel’s “Big Question”

I think the biggest thing that makes readers keep reading is.... Mystery. No, it doesn't mean you have to write a "who-done-it," but the best novels start out with a "Big Question" that the rest of the novel must answer. Here are a few examples: Pride and Prejudice: Can¬†Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters make "good … Continue reading Your Novel’s “Big Question”