10 Reasons for Gratitude

At this time of year, we give thanks for many things, including these: 10. Computers, the machines you hate to love, for how much easier they make the task of writing. 9. Contracts, with big fat royalty clauses. 8. A backlist that keeps on living and bringing in royalty checks. 7. Friends who critique our […]

Write Through the Holidays

How do you, as a writer, go through the holidays? Thanksgiving on Thursday is a major holiday for our family. For me, I don’t get to actually write. This week, all three of my daughters are coming home and we’ll have 16 for Thanksgiving dinner. Or more. The number seems to go up daily. So, […]


choosing a title for your novel

I’ve been playing with titles of a book this week and trying to find something that works. Of course, titles are marketing tools, designed to catch an audience’s imagination, and get them to pick up the book, and look inside. First, I thought carefully about the audience. Who would be reading this book and why? […]

Shrunken Manuscript

As part of my Novel Revision retreat, I ask writers to shrink their manuscripts. Several people asked if I would post clear instructions on how to do the Shrunken Manuscript. This uncommon revision technique — and so many other revision techniques — are included in my book, Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise. So, here […]

Resources for scenes

There are two great resources for scenes: Bickham, Jack M. Scene and Structure. Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest Books, 1999 A very structured approach to plotting that is interesting to read once, but not necessarily to practice because it is SO structured. However, he has a fascinating “Scenic Master Plot” in the appendix that helped me understand […]

Scene Box Text

In the Hawaii workshops, we spent a lot of time talking about scenes. First what is a scene? Well, writers kinda stumble around on definitions like this. We sorta know what it is when we see it. But how do we put it into words? (An aside: I find it frustrating that we don’t have […]