Category Archives: Writing How-To Books

How-to books on writing

Starting a New Project

While I wait for my critique partner’s edits on Ride to the Altar, I’m brain-storming other ideas, conducting research for a western romance, and reading the how-to best seller, Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need. … Continue reading

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Character Emotions

During my revisions yesterday, I reached a critical scene, one that should’ve popped and sizzled and made my hair stand on end. It didn’t. Don’t you hate it when that happens? I wrote notes all over the page, scratched out … Continue reading

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Authors Emote!

You’re likely getting a tad tired of me writing about Donald Maass and his Writing 21st Century Fiction, but it’s the writer’s guide I’m studying right now, so . . . well, deal with it. Besides, if you read it yourself, … Continue reading

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Revisions: Transforming Sand into Castles

For authors, this is one of the most encouraging quotes around, along with all the ones that remind us our first draft is supposed to be imperfect. Rough. Bird-cage worthy. As professional authors know, you can’t edit a blank page. … Continue reading

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Writer’s Block Busting

What stage are you in with your writing—getting the first draft written, or revising the mess you made of your first draft? Either way, there may come a time when you’re stumped and unable to go forward. Best thing to … Continue reading

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2 Tips for Genre Mash-ups

I’m starting the new year with two truths about my writing: (1) I finished the first draft Ride to the Altar in late December 2017, and (2) it’s a mess. A colossal mess. One of the reasons it’s so messy is that … Continue reading

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Reader Manipulation, a Lesson from Steven James

Loved this post from a few years back, and decided it needed to resurface . . . Reader manipulation is a writer’s tool for the experienced author, and Steven James illustrates just how experienced he is in his recent release, … Continue reading

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Websites for Writers

I have to admit right off the bat—I prefer books. I like having all the information I need between the covers of something I can hold in my hands and refer to frequently. I’m learning to appreciate blogs as long … Continue reading

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Using Kenny Rogers to Illustrate Donald Maass

Kenny Rogers is a few years younger in this picture, but this one is my favorite of him. He’s a cross-over artist who, in his prime, sang both ballads and love songs. One song, “The Gambler,” even became a movie … Continue reading

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Studying Under Maass (Part 4)

I tell ya, I’m getting my mileage out of the notes I took at the ACFW Conference in Nashville last month. Under Donald Maass’s direction in the class (which he based on his December 2016 release), I wrote all the … Continue reading

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