into the beginning....

The first thing she becomes aware of, aside from the pressure in her lungs and her belly, is the smell of burning oil, rank and smoky. She coughs, opens her eyes. She is in a dark, low-ceilinged room; the oil burns in an open lantern to her left. Only...

Word count not page count -- Writer Wednesday

  I want to mention a little detail that can send to signal as to whether a writer is a beginner or someone experienced in working with editors and publishers -- word count instead of page count.  It's such a simple difference but it can say a lot...

blurbs, blurbs and more blurbs

There is a time in the publication process when every writer I know groans and cusses a bit.  It's when the editor sends a note saying "hey, I need a long blurb, short blurb and a tagline for the novel."  When I'm on writing groups everyone says "you...

Tighten your writing by eliminating unneeded words

  Sometimes as writers it seems as if we're afraid the reader won't follow our story unless we state everything clearly and sometimes redundantly.  Right now one of the novels I'm editing is for a debut author. She has a great story and it's fun to...

Writer Wednesday - Character Flaws

  A discussion on character flaws came up on a writing group and one person's points made me wonder if all writers understand the concept of a character flaw.  Because at least one writer was looking at it the wrong way.  A character flaw is...

Kurt Vonnegut's Guide to Writing Fiction

In his book Bagombo Snuff Box, Kurt Vonnegut (hands down my favorite author) compiled a list of eight "rules" to follow when writing fiction. I wanted to share them as I have always found the list to serve as a helpful guide rail when writing -- plus,...

Editor Thursday - Set up or Story

  One of the big problems that can cause a work to be rejected by agent or publisher or passed over is too much set up and not enough story.  This is most likely to happen at the beginning of a novel, which is when a writer feels the need to...

what am i seeing

*"what am i seeing"*   what am i seeing there's a dying heart on the field it is not beating should i shock it, indeed   what am i seeing there's a left side brain on the tree  it is hanging should i bury it on the...