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advice for writers

How Do You Stretch Yourself?

Woman doing yoga stretch

With any job or activity, if we want to get better, we have to stretch ourselves.  Athletes strive to move faster or stronger.  Musicians aim to complete a harder, more intricate piece of music.  And writers… How do writers stretch themselves? We can collect feedback on our writing from beta […]

September 13, 2011

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Have You Given Yourself Permission?

Green traffic signal light

I had a really bad day of writing on Tuesday.  My muse was off in his own little world.  I was frustrated about getting further behind on…well, everything.  And the words I did write felt like crap. (I know, I know.  It’s my own fault my muse was distracted, because in my […]

September 8, 2011

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What Can Writers Learn from Spam?

Collage of @ symbols and envelopes

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have seen me tweet quotes from spam comments posted to my blog.  If so, you might have noticed I get some very “interesting” comments. It’s gotten to the point that I look forward to reading spam comments.  Even more pathetically, I’m […]

September 6, 2011

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What’s the Hardest Scene You’ve Ever Written?

Long, tall stairs leading up into distance

(Note: I am not Tawna Fenske, so that title is not a euphemism for anything.  Sorry.  However, this post might include a reference to a shower scene of one woman with two guys.  Or not.) I mentioned last time that one day of the weekend was taken up by writing-related […]

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September 1, 2011

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Are All Distractions Bad?

Most writers have day jobs and families to take care of, so our writing time is precious.  Yet the hour we had set aside for writing instead often goes to…something else. I’m no exception.  I’ve spent too much “writing time” playing on Twitter or reading blog posts, etc. Sometimes I […]

August 30, 2011

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Do You Write for Yourself or Your Readers?

Empty seats in a stadium

Many writers, especially new ones, talk about how they write for themselves.  When we first start out, we might not know if we’ll even be able to finish the project, so it makes sense that we’re writing for ourselves. We want to get this story out of our head.  We want to […]

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August 25, 2011

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What Does Your Author Bio Say about You?

Hand offering a blank business card

I’ll be going on the road for some upcoming blog posts while I endure enjoy time with extended family.  Wish me luck. One of my guest blog hosts also asked me to provide my “author bio.”  Uh-oh.  I thought I wouldn’t need that until I was published. But if we […]

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August 16, 2011

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How Do You Deal with Difficult Characters?

Man's hands bound by a strap

(Side note:  Do you know how troublesome it is to find a picture of someone bound and/or gagged that doesn’t look…well, inappropriate for this blog?  *snicker*) Writers all know the type—the character who refuses to play by the rules, who doesn’t communicate with us, or who wants to be a […]

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August 11, 2011

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What Drives a Story: Plot or Characters?

Dog sled in the snow

Wish me luck.  I’m about to dive into one of the eternal debates among writers.  Which is “better”: a plot-driven story or a character-driven story? If you’re not familiar with the debate, let me explain why this question is so fraught with potential landmines.  A common snub against genre stories […]

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July 26, 2011

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What’s Your Blogging Style?

Mannequin heads with men's hair styles

Last week, Cheryl Reif asked the question on her blog:  Short or Long? Which Way to Post…  She wondered if people preferred reading blog posts that weighed in at the “recommended” 300 words, or if people enjoyed longer posts. Anyone who reads my blog knows I don’t follow the 300 […]

July 21, 2011

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