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Writing

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

The author before and after learning how to use a semicolon I get approached from time to time by aspiring new writers, asking for advice on how to get started. The longer I’ve been doing this, the harder it gets to answer them. At this point I’ve been in the …

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How To Write Bad Characters 

image by neskita_flickr How many ways are there for your characters to fall short of the compelling, three-dimensional ideal? A nearly infinite variety. Flat. Two-dimensional. Thin. Stereotype. Underdeveloped. Implausible. Placeholder. Caricature. Insufficiently complex. Not fully fledged. Mere outlines. Sketches. Functions, not people. Poorly thought out. For our purposes today, let’s …

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The Return of the Ripper

Longtime WU contributor Anna Elliott has written a new book —The Return of the Ripper: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery — with her father! How cool is that? Anna’s first series, the Twilight of Avalon trilogy, is a retelling of the Trystan & Isolde legend. She wrote The Pride & …

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Dialogue Separated by a Common Language

Picture by Flickr user Ron Mader George Bernard Shaw once wrote: England and America are two countries separated by the same language. But it’s not only England and America – there are numerous English-speaking countries separated by the same language. In fact, there are different parts of English-speaking countries likewise …

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On Writing a Novel that People Call Political

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash I’ve been getting some interesting questions while on book tour. 1 – Do you plan on all on your novels being so political? And 2 – How come your novel doesn’t get more political? The funny thing is, these questions actually don’t contradict one …

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Keeping Your Hustle Joyful

Adrian Anghel, Flickr Creative Commons I recently read a quote on writing I absolutely loved. It’s from Joe Beernink, who said, “Don’t write to become famous or to make a lot of money. Write because you love it. Write because not writing for more than a few days feels like …

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Black, White, Gray, Rainbow: What is Heroism Now?

In fairy tales, characters are extreme.  Heroes are very, very good.  Villains are very, very bad.  This suits the sensibilities of the audience for fairy tales: children.  Black and white works for them.  It’s simple.  As adults, we know that people aren’t so simple. That is not to say that …

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13 Ways to Promote Before Publication

A number of months back, I wrote an article on how to promo preorder books for Bookbub. The original piece was pared back a little, but today’s post is the whole enchilada. Enjoy! For a traditionally published author, a hefty number of preorders can increase a print run and create …

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Poetry Workshop for Kids & Adults

The hands have it: giving the poetry workshop Recently I’ve had quite a bit of success with having poetry published for kids, in both magazines and book-based anthologies, with the most recent being the inclusion of no less than seven of my poems in the gorgeous anthology, A Boat of …

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Writing Through Pain

Me, too. Pain – plus lack of a usable brain. One day at a time. One thing it has helped me learn is that, when the time comes and I’m relatively functional, that is not a good time to go read the comics, or clean the bathroom, or call a …

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