I’m over 30,000 words on this revision and still clicking along pretty good. I just have one question for my characters: Why were you so bland in that first draft?

Amazon’s 10th

Did you know that Amazon is ten years old now? Only ten? WOW! Seems like they’ve been around longer than that. Enter Sweepstakes To celebrate, they are holding ten sweepstakes. You can enter to win a dream kitchen, a trip to Yellowstone with a famous photograher to teach you photography, a trip to Disney World, […]


“There’s an old adage in writing: ‘Don’t tell, but show.’ . . .Writing is not psychology. We do not talk ‘about’ feelings. Instead the writer feels and through her words awakens those feelings in the reader. The writer takes the reader’s hand and guides him through the valley of sorrow and joy without ever having […]

Character prompts


Random Prompts for Character Development Last year, I bought Natalie Goldberg’s book, Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir. A friend saw Goldberg present at a bookstore about this book and was impressed, so I bit. Now, I’m not much into writing a memoir. My life has been pretty average. But I’ve […]

Writing Goals

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What are Your Writing Goals? What are you writing goals? Have they changed? I know that one of my early writing goals was to write a great read-aloud picture book. And a second goal was to write a middle grade fantasy. Those are still my goals. Yet, I’m working on a middle grade, character-driven (definitely […]

Characters: Real or not?

These characters in my mind are not real. They aren’t. When a character puts me under house arrest, I have to remember that I can escape. — Michael Cadnum, poet and novelist.

Character and Plot

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I’ve been working on my plot this week – which means I’ve been working on character. I’ve been struck again by how interwoven these two are. We artificially separate them out to talk about them, but in practice, you can’t work on plot without considering character. Conflict. For example, when I tried to decide on […]