The Magic Pencil

When I was young, I’d look at a pencil and think it was magical. I imagined all the words the pencil could write, all the stories it could create. Then I thought of all the magic pencils out in the world and all the books they had written. I wanted …

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What’s on Your Self-Editing List?

I’m over at The Blood-Red Pencil Blog discussing what’s on my Fiction Search and Destroy List. Humans, by nature, gravitate toward patterns, so when we write we often make the same mistakes. Of course, these errors are only mistakes if we don’t correct them in the final draft. My Fiction …

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5 Things to Inspire Creativity

There are so many things that inspire me. Some inspire me to work harder, others to play more, and some to be a better person. Inspiration comes in so many forms. Here are five things that inspire me and that can inspire you too: 1. Looking at Photographs — Whenever …

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4 Things Every Writer Needs

Every writer has his or her own needs. It could be a quiet place to write or music to inspire the words. It could be a pen and paper or a computer, or even a tape recorder. It could be a jar of M & M’s or a jug of …

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7 Favorite Books on Writing

Most authors have a list of  their favorite books about the writing process that they’d recommend to others.  Here’s my top seven: 1. Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass — via hands-on exercises and examples from successful novels, this workbook teaches authors how to “develop and strengthen aspects …

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Writing, Reading, and Funny Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Some good writing and reading links I discovered this week. And a funny post on Thanksgiving Travel Tips that you won’t want to miss: Lisa Cron shows us 9 Ways to Undermine Your Characters Best Laid Plans Diane Roback at Publishers Weekly compiles Inside Stories About Memorable Books Smithsonian Magazine shows us …

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What to Do When You’re Stuck (Or How Scorpion Deception Almost Didn’t Get Created)

Guest Blogger: Andrew Kaplan You know you’re in trouble when you’ve got a contract to write the next book in a popular series (OK, not top of the NY TIMES bestseller list popular, but Bookscan and Amazon top 20 popular), a looming deadline, and you don’t have an idea in …

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Point of View is Not Always a Good Compass For the Truth

Guest Blogger: Anne Greenwood Brown I love writing in the first person point of view. Somehow, telling the story how one character perceives it helps me channel that character’s emotions and capture a unique voice. I think first person works particularly well with YA fiction, where the reader wants to …

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Tomorrow Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Guest Blogger: Jenny Milchman As I write this, a journey of thirteen years is going to come to an end, and another trip is about to start. It took me eleven years to find a publisher for my debut novel, and twenty-one months after that to ready the book for …

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