Category Archives: Writing Tips

In Defense of Prejudice

And what’s this got to do with writing anyway?

One of my writing colleagues recently published an article about prejudice against beauty. What? Who doesn’t like beauty? We all enjoy seeing beautiful things, places, faces. But what we don’t usually consider is how that pretty face makes us feel. Envious? Intimidated? Intrigued? Superior? Before that gorgeous gal utters a single word, have we judged her based on appearance? Continue reading



Filed under beauty, humor, Julie Brown, Musings, prejudice, Writing Tips

Aroint Thee, Unholy Adverb! Hie Thee Hence! Fie! Fie!

ShaltNot-ShaltTooA few years ago, there suddenly appeared, as if from Heaven, a new rule for writers, no doubt engraved somewhere in marble or ivory: THOU SHALT NOT USE ADVERBS. (For those who are unclear as to what an adverb is, the rule has a variant: GET RID OF ALL LY WORDS. [1])  The source of this rule is unknown to me at this time, but one authority blames it on Continue reading


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A Quote From Gregory Benford


“Mostly I daydream. I use that well-known effect, whereby when you get in your car at the end of the workday, unless you stay alert, your hind-brain will drive you home. I do a lot of plot juggling then. Basic ideas often come as I wake up. I lie around, faking sleep, and drift through cobwebbed corridors, poking at heaps of junk that might yield some old iron pot or oily rag. Useful, all. Why not have X do Y to Z? a voice asks, and so I do just that, next time I’m punishing the keys.”–Gregory Benford

Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Quote of the Week: Character Descriptions

Spotted by James Flaherty:

“His brow was dark and thick; his jaw was sturdy and resolute.  It was a face, thought Ogilvy, that had been built to take a punch.”  –from The English Spy, by Daniel Silva


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Ask a Storyteller: Writer’s Block Part 2


Today, the 8 Great Storytellers address the last question about Writer’s Block:

D: How do you get in the mood to write?

 What’s all this nonsense about “mood?”  If you sit around and wait for the inspiration muse to flutter by, you may write, but you’re not a writer.  Writers, like ditch diggers. get down and slog Continue reading

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GUEST POST by author Lisa Becker: Fall in Love With Your Words

Click-cover-photo-e1395345677556It was 1994, and I was a graduate student studying public relations at Boston University. I was asked to interview Charles Rosen, a producer for the original “Beverly Hills 90210,” for an article in the alumni magazine. The magazine editors, knowing I was from LA, figured he and I would have a lot in common. And considering they used to film some of the “90210” scenes down the street from my childhood home, I thought Mr. Rosen and I would hit it off.

Little did I know at the time, that one piece of advice from Mr. Rosen during our interview would serve me well throughout my career. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Rayne Hall on Publishing

RayneHall - Fantasy Horror Author - Portrait by Fawnheart


by Rayne Hall

1. In the past, most authors worked for editors. Today, most editors work for authors.

2. Most books went from author to agent to publisher to distributor to bookseller to reader. Now, more and more go from Continue reading


Filed under Guest Posts, Marketing, Writing Tips

3 Ways to Win against Writer’s Block

Nothing freaks writers out more than the inability to write. It can happen at any point in a project but most often strikes mid-stream. You are stopped cold, confronted by a startling realization that your story has lost direction and is sinking into an abyss of confusion.frustrated-writer

There are countless reasons why writers stumble, lose focus, and end up suffering the paralyzing effects of writer’s block. A few quick fixes: Continue reading


Filed under Julie Brown, Musings, Writing Tips

Ask a Storyteller: Writer’s Block Part 1

Today, the 8 Great Storytellers address questions about Writer’s Block:block-576508_640

A: Are there times when you get writer’s block?

Yes. –James Flaherty

I’ve experienced writer’s block–not often though. –Mary Jo Hazard

Not for many years. A blank page is like a fog bank where characters and their secrets are hiding; I just need to blow away the mist. –Jeff Guenther

B: What is the best way to get past writer’s block? Continue reading

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Guest Post: Rayne Hall on Creating Suspense

RayneHall - Fantasy Horror Author - Portrait by FawnheartWRITING CRAFT: WHAT LURKS BEHIND THAT DOOR?

by Rayne Hall

Suspense is a feeling – the feeling of excitement, of tension, of fear, the feeling of needing to know what happens next. As writers, we aim to create suspense, because our readers love it.

Here’s a quick trick for increasing the suspense: Continue reading


Filed under Excerpts, Guest Posts, Writing Tips