We writers regularly give ourselves gifts – whether we’re initially conscious of them or not – in the form of buried treasure. As we write, we leave ourselves breadcrumbs, just like in the fairy tale. But unlike in the fairy tale, there are no birds to eat them. And our... read more
This is the sequel to English Settings I: Britishisms and English Settings II: British Slang. I’ll start where I started twice before: So you’re an American novelist and you’ve chosen to set your story in England. That’s great. But now here’s your problem: English. Namely, American English. It’s one thing... read more
This is a sequel to English Settings I: Britishisms. I’ll start where I started before: So you’re an American novelist and you’ve chosen to set your story in England. That’s great. But now here’s your problem: English. In my earlier blog I said that British slang was a category unto... read more
So you’re an American novelist and you’ve decided to set your story in England. That’s great. But now here’s your problem: English. If your story is set in France it’s perfectly legit for your characters not to speak French if they happen to be, say, American. If your setting is... read more
As all writers know at this point, the great changes in the publishing industry in the past 10 – 15 years have made it possible for authors, like artists in the music world, to become their own producers.
Note: For more on this topic, see my previous blog post on Plot and Character Development where I state: “For me plot and character develop together, just as bone and muscle emerge together in the developing fetus.” To illustrate the points in this blog’s title I’ll use The Alpha’s Edge,... read more
Last week I was on the phone with an editor discussing my short story The Alpha’s Edge. She told me that when she hears a novelist say, “I want to write a short story” – mostly for the purpose of getting more material out into the marketplace quickly – she... read more
Beloved children’s book author Roald Dahl offers a checklist of qualities anyone wanting to make a living out of writing fiction must have. It’s found in a short piece called Lucky Break appearing at the end of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.
Tips for tapping into creativity: Take a new way to work. Wear your watch on your other wrist. Go crazy and part your hair on the other side for a change. There are few thoroughfares I like less than I-95, especially the stretch between North Carolina and Orlando, Florida. I’ve... read more
Rule #1. Don’t give characters names that begin with the same initial. If you have two characters Richard and Robert, it’s going to be difficult for your readers to tell them apart when reading at normal speed. It will not help to change their names to, say, Rick and Roberto.... read more