Harry Potter

What Do You Want in a Bookstore?

Aisle between bookshelves leading to large window with text: Imagine Your Ideal Bookstore...

Many authors dream of working with books beyond just writing them and become editors, agents, librarians, or booksellers. In fact, Angela Quarles, my writing bestie, is opening a bookstore! And she’s looking for suggestions to make her genre- and writer-friendly shop among the best.

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August 2, 2018

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What Are Your Writing Strengths?

Man hanging upside down while bouldering with text: Do You Know Your Strengths?

In situations where we want to improve—such as writing—we focus our time on analyzing our weaknesses, and that’s necessary to identify how we can reach the next level of expertise. But at the same time, if we fail to recognize our strengths, we might suffer in several ways.

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September 5, 2017

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Story Immersion: What Pulls You In?

Woman's legs sticking above water surface mid-dive with text: Becoming Immersed in a Story

When I first joined Goodreads, their account form asked me: “What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read?” My answer to that question helped me realize that I love becoming immersed in a story, the sense that we’re not just reading words on a page. But what creates story immersion?

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March 2, 2017

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Rediscovering Our Love of Reading

Woman reading on a beach with text: The Importance of Reading for Pleasure

Too many kids who were voracious readers earlier in their life learn to hate reading during their teenage years. According to a post on Writer Unboxed, one third of high school graduates won’t read another book—for the rest of their lives. For too many, reading becomes a means to an end. Absorbing knowledge. Period. And reading for pleasure now seems like a faraway dream.

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April 10, 2014

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The Hard Work of Writing: Do You Embrace It?

Woman hugging a tree bigger than she can get her arms around

When you first started writing, did you realize how much work it would take? Or were you like most of us, thinking that you’d written your share of emails, essays, or Christmas letters and that writing a whole story wouldn’t be—couldn’t be—that much harder? But at some point—maybe it’s when […]

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July 3, 2012

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3 Tips for Writing Heavy Emotional Scenes

Girl sobbing with text "The Emotions Are Too Much!"

Yesterday, I tweeted a link to a great post by Sally Apokedak about not cheating the reader by skipping emotional scenes. Some writers struggle with heavy scenes. They’re uncomfortable with “invading” the privacy of their characters. They worry about creating laughably cheesy scenes. Or they think a scene that’s essential […]

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June 26, 2012

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How to Keep Readers on Your Side

Blurred photograph of person punching toward viewer, only fist is in focus

We’re all being told that we need to have a platform, that we need to grow our platform, and that we need to use our platform.  Gah!  Does anyone else want to throttle the word “platform” after hearing it for the fifty-bajillionth time? The word diminishes the meaning of what […]

December 8, 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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Harry Potter and Beyond: What Inspires You to Write?

Harry Potter books box set

Today’s post is part of the #PotterChat blog hop, a collection of fantastic blogs, Twitter chats, and prizes.  Check out Susan Sipal’s post at Harry Potter for Writers for all the details. For those who didn’t win a prize in my Milestone Blogiversary Contest, you might want to complete the scavenger […]

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July 19, 2011

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