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The Point of a Scene: Thinking in Concepts

Pencil connected to a light bulb with text: How Detailed Do Our Ideas Need to Be?

A couple of months ago, I read a blog post that forever changed how I approached drafting scenes. That probably sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. We’ve often talked about the differences between plotters and pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants), and how as a die-hard-and-happy-about-it pantser, […]

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November 20, 2012

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NaNo Check-In: Lessons from the Halfway Point

Image of Jami Gold's "My Month" NaNo calendar

Today, November 15th, marks the halfway point for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November). That means all NaNo participants should reach 25,000 words on their NaNo project by midnight tonight. Yikes! That sounds like a big number—and it is—but I passed that milestone on November 11th. […]

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November 15, 2012

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NaNo Prep: What Writing Tools Do You Use?

NaNo Participant badge

Today is my last “NaNo Prep” post, as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November) starts on Thursday. But stay tuned because I’m planning a big post on Thursday with a gift for all romance writers. I’m excited about NaNo because this is the first year […]

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October 30, 2012

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NaNo Prep: Should Pantsers Be Plotters?

Two kids with ice cream, one looking envious, with text: Do All Pantsers Have "Plotting Envy"?

My friend Roni Loren has often mentioned that she has “plotting envy.” Like many pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants), she wonders if her writing method is the best she could do. Pantsing can feel a little like magic—we trust our subconscious to come up with […]

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October 16, 2012

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From Newbie to Published: 12 Tips — Guest: Tiffany Allee

Picture of Tiffany Allee

While I’m at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference this week, I’ve invited two authors who have recently debuted to share their insights. Today, I’m excited to introduce Tiffany Allee. Tiffany and I actually know each other in real life, as we belong to the same RWA chapter and I mooch […]

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July 24, 2012

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Can You “Fast Draft”?

Draft stamp

Several writers I know have recently tried the “Fast Draft” method.  What is the Fast Draft method?  Fast drafting entails getting the framework of our stories down as fast as possible—without worrying what that draft looks like. Author Candace Havens says it’s possible to complete a first draft in two weeks. […]

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November 8, 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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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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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part One

Tree growing from book

Every story begins with an idea.  Sometimes this idea comes to authors out of the blue.  Sometimes a dream provides the spark.  Sometimes “people watching” or an overheard conversation will trigger the thought.  But no matter where it comes from, the idea kicks off everything else, like a seed from which […]

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January 18, 2011

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