character flaws

Michael Hauge’s Workshop: Are These Characters the Perfect Match?

Two matched puzzle pieces with text: Find the Perfect Match...for your Character

Last time I shared tips from Michael Hauge’s presentation at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference about how to make romance (or love interest) relationships feel deep and not superficial. Most of us have probably read books where, at the end of the story, we didn’t trust the couple to […]

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August 14, 2012

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Can We Have Too Much Voice?

Pile of doughnuts

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?  Sure.  We’ve all overindulged in our favorite foods before.  No matter how much we might like sweets or any other type of food, something can be too sweet, too rich, too whatever. In my last post about how to add […]

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February 21, 2012

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Pitch Prep: How to Write a Pitch

Baseball pitcher throwing a pitch

This week we’re preparing for the Pitch Your Shorts pitch session coming here January 10th.  Even if you’re not pitching this time, stick around.  Today we have The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing.  (Thursday’s post will cover story openings.) The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing Pitches fall into many categories, from loglines […]

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January 3, 2012

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How to Force a Story to Evolve: 6 Revision Tips

Collection of butterflies and chrysalises

*Quick Reminder: Don’t forget the Pitch Your Shorts pitch session coming January 10th.  Get your 10-60K stories ready.  More details to come.* I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, no matter what holidays you celebrate.  While I’m enjoying some time with my family, I’ll share this post originally written […]

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December 27, 2011

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Happy Blogiversary to Me: Contest Winners!

Runner crossing finish line

*whew*  I officially made it to the one-year mark for this blog.  I thought reaching this point would be a lot harder than it was. Life is often that way.  We put off something we dread, and then when we finally buckle down to do it, we wonder why we […]

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July 12, 2011

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The Green Lantern Movie: How *Not* to Write Characters

Hal Jordan with Green Lantern ring

Last time, I used the Green Lantern movie to illustrate how not to plot a story.  This time, we’re going to look at the Green Lantern characters. As noted before, Green Lantern felt superficial and formulaic.  Sure, it’d be easy to say that it was a comic book movie and therefore […]

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July 7, 2011

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How Vulnerable is Your Writing?

Woman with hand out, blocking face, like saying "Don't look at me."

A few weeks ago, we talked about about branding and blogging and how to create connections with others.  People who feel connected to us are more likely to be willing to give our book a try or to help us promote.  Connected readers might become our front lines in our […]

June 30, 2011

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What Makes a Character Unlikable?


Believe it or not, I sometimes actually follow my own advice.  *smile*  Recently, I helped score a few contest entries, just like I recommend in my post about why all writers should volunteer to judge contests. One of the entries was—I’m afraid there’s no nice way to say this—dreadful.  The […]

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June 21, 2011

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What’s in a Name?

Shadowy figure in a hallway

When we first get an idea for a story, the characters who will populate that story often start out shadowy and vague.  Either before the writing process (if we’re plotters) or during the writing process (if we’re pantsers), we have to develop those characters into something solid and colorful.  We […]

May 3, 2011

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Are Romance Heroes Good Role Models?

Couple holding hands

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, a recent USA Today article (5/14 ETA: article no longer in USA Today archives) gave the relationship advice that a man should: “look into her eyes, focus on what she says and really talk to her.”  Wow, earth-shattering ideas. Or not.  The suggestion to treat a woman like […]

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February 8, 2011

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