Stepping Away From the Monitor

posted in: Writing Life | 1

It’s bound to happen, sooner or later. You’re working away, making good progress, then you skid to a halt. Your fingers pause above the keys as you will them to continue, but nothing happens. The harder you try, the worse it becomes. Don’t despair – there are a couple of things worth trying before the hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing begins. Get up and leave. I know, it sounds crazy, right? I’ve tried this and it works! I mentally “bookmark” where I … Read More »

Who Has the Crystal Ball?

I’m a writer. I write about a lot of things, but my primary genre’ is middle-grade. I recently finished the first novel in what will be a series of three. It’s been proofed, edited, and it’s all shined up and ready to go. So how do I know if the time is right, if the current publishing trends are in my favor? As part of my process, I religiously search the sites listed in my Guide to Literary Agents. They … Read More »

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

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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 »

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