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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.

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?

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: 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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NaNo Prep: How Do You Get in Touch with Your Muse?

Crystal ball with text: How Do You Get in Touch with Your Muse?

In my last post, I explained that I’m a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants) because that’s the best way—for me—to hear my subconscious ideas of what to write. But maybe one reason why some of us are plotters and some of us are pantsers is because we […]

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October 18, 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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Writing as Sculpture: Do You Build or Carve?

Michelangelo's David sculpture at night with text "Writing as Sculpture"

Writing is an art form, and yet I don’t usually think of myself as an artist. Maybe that’s because when I think of art, I think of visual arts (I draw stick figures) or musical arts (I don’t play an instrument or compose music). Logically, I know there are plenty of […]

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October 4, 2012

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What Should Newbie Writers Focus On?

Young woman holding a book, text: Advice for New Writers

A couple of months ago, a teenage writer left a comment on Roz Morris’s blog, asking how she could afford an editor. She* didn’t want to get a job, because that would take away from her writing time, and she didn’t want to go to college, because she didn’t want […]

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September 27, 2012

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Are Your Characters Based on Real People?

"Careful, or you'll end up in my novel" mug

One of the stereotypical author interview questions is “Are any of your characters based on real people?” And I’m always struck when an author answers “Yes.” Usually, they’ll even share that so-and-so was based on such-and-such person. Sometimes they’ve based a character on a friend or family member. Sometimes they’ve […]

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September 6, 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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