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What’s Your Fatal Flaw?

Sculpture of Achilles dying with text: What's Your Achilles Heel?

When we write, we try to give our characters both strengths and flaws. Giving our characters a mixture makes them seem more real, more three-dimensional. Of course, the fact that characters seem more real when they have both strengths and flaws reflects that we are also a mixture of strengths and flaws, and sometimes our flaws hold us back.

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May 13, 2014

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How to Raise the Stakes in Our Story

Stairs going up with text: Raising the Stakes in Our Story

“Raise the stakes throughout your story.” Advice like this is often given as though we all know what the phrase means. And on some level, we do know what it means: make the situation “worse.” But there are many ways to make a situation worse. As Serena Yung asked in a […]

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May 6, 2014

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Should We Learn to Write Series?

Connected chain links with text: Should We Write Series?

Many books recently on the bestseller lists have been part of series. From the Divergent series to the new cliffhanger and serial books, series are a popular trend. But what if we don’t naturally write series? Will we be left behind? The “lessons learned” section in my post about Beverly […]

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April 22, 2014

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Finding Balance: Play Hooky

Woman lying down in a meadow with text: Is It Time to Play Hooky?

When we were school-age, many of us recognized the need to blow off classes and responsibilities once in a while to play hooky. The exhilaration of “getting away with something” can recharge our burned-out batteries just as much as the trip to the shopping mall or whatever we did with […]

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March 13, 2014

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Taking Risks: You Have to Play the Game to Win

Cover slide of presentation: "Get the Most Out of a Writing Conference"

Last night, WANA International‘s online writing conference hosted Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA for a free workshop offered as part of the run up to next weekend’s WANACon (February 21 and 22, 2014). Gabriela presented at last fall’s WANACon, and her popular sessions earned her a return invitation with two […]

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February 13, 2014

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Know Your Goals: Artist-Author or Professional-Author?

Red pencil with text: Artist? Or Professional?

The headline of this post isn’t a trick question. There isn’t only “one right answer.” As writers, we’re allowed to have different goals. Some might dream of money, others of making a difference in readers’ lives, or some a combination of both. Too often in the discussions about “how to […]

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January 23, 2014

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Tell Me When: Real-Life Stalking Isn’t Sexy

Dark tunnel with figure at the end with text: Stalking: Real Life vs. Fiction

I’m going to tell you a story in today’s post, but I first want to provide some context, as the topic is out of the norm for me. This post is part of Stina Lindenblatt’s Tell Me When blog hop. Her debut releases January 20th from Carina Press, and as Stina mentions […]

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January 14, 2014

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Ebooks: What We Buy vs. What We Read

Pile of books with text: What We Buy vs. What We Read

Between the rise of self-publishing and the agency pricing settlement, the industry is struggling with how to price ebooks. Before the settlement, many self-published authors enjoyed the attention they received at the low end of the pricing scale. On the other hand, many traditionally published authors bemoaned the high prices […]

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January 7, 2014

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Handling Readers: Expectations and Disappointments

Angry bear with text: When Readers Get Angry

Most of us suffer from self-doubt in some way. Those of us doing NaNoWriMo might have reached a point in our story where events aren’t playing out as cool as they seemed in our head. Or maybe NaNo’s going great, but we’re not sure we can keep up the quality. […]

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November 12, 2013

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Being a Writer: Commitment vs. Self-Doubt

Close up of a chain with text: Is Self-Doubt Holding You Back?

I thought about titling this post “How Committed Are You?” But with writers, that phrase could be taken many ways. Some of us wonder if we should be committed. *smile* We writers balance on many thin lines. We have to be willing to listen to criticism if we want to improve, […]

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October 1, 2013

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