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Writing Your Story

Tips and advice about writing processes and improving how we write. Sample topics: fast drafting, brainstorming techniques, getting in touch with our muse, writing difficult scenes, writing resources and tools, making writing a priority, etc.

Does Fast Drafting Create Editing Nightmares?

Metal letters jumbled together with text: Does Fast Drafting Create Editing Nightmares?

Last week, we discussed how we can plan our story and avoid writing a “hot mess.” With NaNoWriMo almost upon us, now is the time to think about basic planning for plot and character arcs so we end up with a coherent story. But what about the writing quality itself? NaNo […]

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October 17, 2013

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Writing Rule #1: There Is No “One Right Way”

Sunset silhouette of a direction sign with text: Looking for Writing Success? "One Right Way" Doesn't Exist

Every once in a while, I come across a blog post or a workshop description that makes me want to warn newbie writers away. The problem usually lies with the author/presenter’s insistence that their way is the best way, or in some cases, the only way. The truth is that we all have […]

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August 29, 2013

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5 Tips for Getting Unstuck in Our Story

Brick wall with text: Facing a Wall? 5 Tips for Getting Unstuck

A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in my latest work-in-progress (WIP). One scene wasn’t progressing because I couldn’t figure out why my character was doing what he was doing. I just knew that he was doing it, even though he knew the action was a Bad Idea (TM). Why, […]

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August 27, 2013

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Stuck in Your Book? Try a Brainstorming Warm-up

Car stuck in the mud with text: Stuck in Your Story?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started drafting a new story. The first week, my word counts were rather lame, but this past week has been going much better. Each day finds me getting into my writing groove more easily. I joked to my family that I’d […]

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June 25, 2013

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MS Word Templates & Styles — Guest: Jordan McCollum

Jordan McCollum's author photo

Whether we’re a fan of Microsoft or not, most of us will have to deal with MS Word at some point in our manuscript’s life. Even if we use a program like Scrivener (for Windows and Mac) to draft, many editors prefer to work in MS Word for its Track […]

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June 6, 2013

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NaNo Wrap-up, Part 2: Can Slow Writers Win Too?

Giant tortoise with text: Can "Slow" Writers Win Too?

Whether we officially “won” NaNoWriMo or not, most of us who participated probably racked up higher than normal daily word counts. And building on my previous NaNo wrap-up post, that success can carry over into other areas of our writing life. Author Roni Loren and I have talked several times about our “slow” writing […]

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December 6, 2012

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Writing Research: A Pain or a Gain?

Microscope with text: Research: Pain or Gain?

Readers often think that fiction writers just make stuff up. And that’s quite true—when it comes to most stories and characters. However, the supporting details of settings, props, jobs, and plot events are another matter. Whatever genre we write, we usually have to do some research in the course of […]

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November 27, 2012

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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 Prep: What Writing Tools Do You Use?

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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: Using Music to Get into a Writing Mood

Headphones with text: Using Music to Get into a Writing Mood

Last time, we shared suggestions on how to kick our muse into gear. One of my favorite techniques is using music. With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—challenge yourself to write 50K words during November) fast approaching, now is the perfect time to revisit all the ways music can help our writing. […]

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October 23, 2012

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