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Friday, July 21, 2017

The Power of the Pen

by Jennifer Delamere, @jendelamere

Got a tough scene to write? One that has you stumped? Step away from the computer! Enjoy the de-stressing freedom of writing with pen and paper.

That’s advice I picked up some years ago from another author. She told me whenever she was stuck, she would take pen and paper, sit in an easy chair, and just begin to jot down notes or ideas.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


by +AneMulligan @AneMulligan

Have y’all see the Jeep Compass commercial about recalculating? The voiceover says things like “Go straight to a steady job.” The girl looks up at the building and turns. The voiceover says, “Recalculating.” Another voiceover announces, “Stay single till you’re thirty-four.” Then we see a male hand holding out an engagement ring, and the voice over exclaims, “Recalculating.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beyond the Craft Building Blocks: Why Does It Matter?

by Rachel Hauck, @RachelHauck 

During an edit with my former fab editor, Ami McConnell Abston, I developed a small “rule” for my characters: Everyone must have a problem.

Not so much walk on/walk off characters but those who interacted with the protagonist on a consistent bases.


The teen girl who worked in the vintage shop.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Bit of Advice On Taking Advice

by James L. Rubart, @jameslrubart

In ninth grade, I wanted to be a rock star. (Yeah, me and every other kid who had a modicum of talent on the guitar, bass or drums.)

That meant buying an electric guitar. I’d played an acoustic for a few years, but I needed something I could plug into an amp that would go to eleven. More than that, I needed a guitar that I could play lead guitar on. I wanted to play those screaming solos that would make girls like me and guys want to be me.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why I Like Using Real Settings

by Pamela Meyers, @pamelameyers

Years ago when I wrote a cozy mystery, I wanted to set the story in my Lake Geneva, Wisconsin hometown, but the police chief in my story was a bungler. If I did that, I ran the risk of causing people to think the real police chief was a inept. I did the only thing I could and made up a small village on a small lake about ten minutes east of my hometown and had my characters drive into Lake Geneva for lunch and shopping.

I admit that having created the small village where my story and its sequel took place I had free reign to design the setting to fit the storyline. I also didn’t have to run the risk of someone saying I got a detail all wrong.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

When the Boat “Planes”

by Marcia Lee Laycock, @MarciaLaycock

When I was about nine years old my father taught me how to run the small motor on our ten-foot boat. I was thrilled that my father trusted me enough to let me take it out all by myself.

I was cautious at first, only going out on the lake when the wind was down, and only opening the engine’s throttle half way. I would chug around our small bay and come back to the dock, feeling very mature. Then one day my dad went with me. We ploughed along the shore for a while. Then Dad turned to me and made a hand motion indicating I was to open the throttle more. I moved it a couple of notches. He signalled for more. I took a deep breath and opened it up, all the way.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hot Headed Heroes

by Michelle Griep, @MichelleGriep

Rage. Everyone blows a gasket now and then . . . or at least feels like it. But anger can be constructive, especially to a writer. It helps create real characters because characters need to feel and express anger as well as real people. Everyone expects the villain to grump and growl and stomp around, but heroes must roar now and then as well.