What’s in a Name?

posted in: Writing Craft | 1

How do you decide on a name for the fictional characters you write about? I thought about my own process of choosing names – it varies, and it’s complicated. I might search for a name by thumbing through an old phone book (a good reason to keep the one they throw at the end of the driveway) to find interesting combinations. I don’t use one complete directory listing (first and last name) in case that character gets into trouble and … Read More »

When you’re stuck, write.

posted in: Writing Life | 1

Every writer hits a brick wall now and then. You can’t move forward and there’s no going back. You can sit there, wailing at the ceiling, tearing at your hair, and gnashing your teeth, but chances are it’s not going to get you moving anytime soon. What do I do when it happens to me? I write. Wait. Didn’t I just say I was writing and got stuck? And then I said the solution was to write? Right! Here’s how … Read More »

The Once-Maligned Character Template

posted in: Writing Craft | 0

In my college Creative Writing class, we were given a template to complete before we started writing our stories. It was basically a fact sheet – things I needed to know about my character before I wrote my first word. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever.             I wanted to write my story – I wanted to get on with it! Why did I need to know (and remember) mundane stuff like hair color, favorite foods, best … Read More »

The Waiting Game

posted in: Writing Life | 0

So, one manuscript is done (are they ever, really?) and is navigating its way through the netherworld of publication or rejection. Each click of the “send” button brings with it a wave of hope, excitement, and terror. And so it begins – the waiting game, that is. What’s a writer to do? I gifted myself a well-deserved break from my computer. I binge-watched Outlander, grabbed my pruners and ventured into the yard that had transformed to a jungle in my … Read More »

Unlocking the Secrets of a Series

The middle-grade mystery that began its life as a tiny glimmer of an idea is finally done (I’m pretty sure). You know how it goes – just one more tweak here, change a word there. But at this point, I’m hitting the ‘save’ button one last time and calling it done. Now, what do I do with those great scenes that didn’t make the cut and the ideas that are still swirling around in my head? I’m considering a series … Read More »

Changing Hats

posted in: Writing Life | 3

It was bound to happen, sooner or later. That time when the writer hat(s) comes off, and is replaced by marketing headgear of some sort. I wore lots of fun, functional hats while writing in the world of Maggie and crew:  bobble hat, baseball cap, hoodie (is that considered a hat?), crash helmet, and a deerstalker, to name a few. They were useful, fun, and I could switch them up as often as I wanted, or needed to. Now, it’s … Read More »

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