advice for writers

Balancing Conflict in Romance Stories

January 22, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One of my commenters asked a great question last week that gets to the heart of the balancing game we have to play when writing romance. The characters have to be perfect enough for each other to make a believable couple, but there also has to be enough conflict between them to sustain a story.

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What Milestones Do You Watch for?

January 20, 2015 News
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As we go through life, we often struggle to recognize our progress. That’s especially the case when life feels like a giant treadmill that goes nowhere and accomplishes nothing. Milestones are one way for us to mark our progress, and they’re also great for reminding us to stop and celebrate the little (or sometimes, not so little) things.

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How to Use Needs and Goals to Appeal to Readers

January 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When we first start learning about writing, we’re often faced with a whole new language. Words like “beats,” “tension,” and “conflict” take on new meaning within the writing world. Such it is with the words “needs” and “goals.” Once we enter the writing world, those words become infused with extra meanings related to plots and character arcs.

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How Do You Handle Negativity from Others?

January 13, 2015 Writing Stuff
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At some point, we’re likely to run into negativity in our writing-lives. Feedback might be filled with cruel “give up” put-downs. We might be attacked by internet trolls. Reviews might rip apart us, personally, instead of focusing on our book. So the question then becomes, what are we willing to do to avoid it?

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Branding 101: What’s Your Story?

January 8, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We often see inspirational quotes about how we’re the only one who can write our story. But sometimes we might look at that quote and think we’re not anyone special, so our story wouldn’t be anything special either. Let’s talk about how to get over the doubt and discover why might someone care about our stories.

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How Do You Stay Organized?

January 6, 2015 Over-Achieving Perfectionist
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With a new year, we often want to start on the right foot. We don’t want to repeat last year’s mistakes. (Let’s make new ones instead, right? *smile*) So to get and stay organized, I’d love to find a time management approach that helped me track everything.

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Happy New Year! How Can We Create More Success?

January 1, 2015 Random Musings
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Happy New Year! To concentrate on good things for the new year, let’s talk about what things worked for us and what we want to continue in the new year. We need to recognize those successes to give ourselves credit, to ensure we don’t let our good habits fade by the wayside, and so we know how to push our successes through into the new year.

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Wrapping Up the Year: What Didn’t Work?

December 30, 2014 Over-Achieving Perfectionist
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I want us all to have an even better year in 2015, so we might need to work on our weaknesses or identify what didn’t work for us this past year. What decisions, processes, or priorities held us back? The better we understand ourselves, the more likely we are to know how to succeed in the future.

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What Creates a Story’s Theme?

December 18, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many stories that stick with us over time resonate with some aspect of our life, belief, or worldview. Often, the theme of the story creates that resonance. If we understand what creates a story’s theme, we might be able to improve the resonance of our stories.

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What Makes a Story’s Black Moment a Black Moment?

December 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The Black Moment is usually one of the most emotional sections of the story, so it can be difficult to pull together. If we read stories (or watch movies), we’ve seen this beat play out endless times, so we probably understand the plot point more than we may think. But let’s take a closer look and see if we can learn something new.

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