Category: For Writers

4 Ways to Use Setting As A Writing Tool

Setting is one of my favorite things to write in a novel. It’s like being a set designer for a movie or play, and it can add so much to your character and the tone of the story. Here are a few tips on how to use setting well in your own stories. Choose Locations…
Read more

5 Tips to Create Worlds Readers Want To Live In

Did you ever finish a book and just want to dive back in, so you can stay in that world longer? Yeah, me too. A good book creates characters and a world that readers want to spend time in and return to again and again. There are so many fun parts of making up stories,…
Read more

Memorable Stories Need Memorable Characters

I’ve got characters on the brain. I’m preparing to teach my Throw More Stones: How to Build Character Through Conflict workshop for the Writers League of Texas next month, and it’s a subject I love to talk about. But developing characters was not always easy for me. The first novels I wrote had my characters…
Read more

What To Do With Your Shiny New Story Idea

You’ve got an idea for a story. Yes! Congratulations? Now the fun begins. Ideas come in lots of different ways: just a title, an unusual character, a situation, or maybe even an entire story plops right in your lap (although this last one has never happened to me). When you get your idea, you might…
Read more

THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is a Winner!

Something AMAZING has happened. THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the Texas/Oklahoma region! It’s always excited to know that your work is appreciated by readers, but this award in particular means so much to me for many reasons. Firstly, SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Awards are the only peer-voted…
Read more

How to Get a Mentor

Publishing a book can seem daunting. There are so many steps to take and so many different paths. It’s not surprising that one of the questions I’m most asked is how to get a mentor. There are 3 main types of mentorship: Paid mentorships Contest mentorships Organic mentorships I have experience with all types, so…
Read more

How I Learned to Love (and Learn From) My Kids’ Favorite Books – Guest Post

I’m excited to have a guest post from author Michael Noll today. I love talking about craft, learning about craft, and, especially, books on the craft of writing, so I’ve been looking forward to checking out Michael’s book THE WRITER’S FIELD GUIDE TO THE CRAFT OF FICTION, which comes out on Tuesday, Feb. 27. How…
Read more

Lessons From C.S. Lewis and Tolkien’s Hobbit

I’ll never forget reading about how J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis sat around in a pub in England having heated discussions about the way books should be written. Oh how I wanted to be a fly on that wall! I can just imagine them, sitting in a dark corner, pints on the table in front…
Read more

Make writing worth your time, says Jennifer Nielsen

“Writing is such a diverse field with so many options and possibilities, it’s easy to choose the route with the immediate payoff, or the one that best strokes your ego, but if they don’t get you closer to what you want most, then it’s not worth your time.” — author Jennifer Nielsen I love this quote…
Read more

Self-Publishing Pros and Cons with Dotti Enderle

The changing publishing industry is offering new opportunities to writers, but is self-publishing for you? My friend and great writer Dotti Enderle (aka Dax Varley) has been published traditionally and self-published. Her most recent release, SEVERED (A TALE OF SLEEPY HOLLOW), is a young adult novel that’s gives its own version of the Icabod/Katrina story.…
Read more