Announcing Behold the Dawn and Winning Wednesdays

I’m thrilled to officially announce the publication of my second novel, Behold the Dawn. As regular followers of my blog may be aware, this novel has been a grand adventure for me over the last several years. Tackling a historical subject as mammoth as the Third Crusade, which takes place at the end of the […]

Characters: Likability Is Overrated

Characters: Likability Is Overrated

Writers want readers to love their characters. We want them to connect with the men and women who inhabit our stories. We want them to empathize so strongly that they are moved to laughter and to tears right along with these imaginary people we’ve created. So, naturally, we want our characters to be as likable […]

Why Authors Should Be Using the BIG Words

I’m a vocabulary nut. I admit it. I love words. Little words, big words, unusual words, archaic words. In high school, I kept a piece of paper in the front of whatever book I was reading, so I could write down unfamiliar words and look them up the next day. Whenever I looked up a word, I underlined it, and […]

Choosing the Right POV

Choosing the Right POV

Narrative point of view (or POV, as it is popularly known in writer parlance) is one of those things that writers often tend to take for granted. We come up with a story idea, sit down to write, and spend maybe all of thirty seconds debating between a first- and third-person POV. But this snap, […]

The 5 Secrets of Grabbing Your Readers' Emotions

The 5 Secrets of Grabbing Your Readers’ Emotions

Want to know the secrets of grabbing your readers’ emotions? For starters, let’s pretend I’m your reader–‘cuz I’m a hard sell. I’m not a very emotional person. Even when I feel deeply about something, it takes a lot to move me to tears. I can count on my fingers the stories that have made me […]

Two Things Every Author Needs to Know About Using / Brand Names in Fiction

Two Things Every Author Needs to Know About Using Brand Names in Fiction

Consumerism in fiction has become increasingly prominent in recent years. Powerhouse companies have gone from mere advertisements—commercials during television shows, billboards outside ballparks, joint advertisements with blockbuster movies—to what many people consider a blatant overuse and occasionally even abuse of product placement in sports coliseums, movies, TV shows, and even books, such as Lauren Weisburger’s best-selling […]

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice: How to Use Both to Get the Most Out of Your Writing

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice: How to Use Both to Get the Most Out of Your Writing

Most of us learned about sentences in grammar school. Most of us also promptly forgot all about them after grammar school. This is why, I presume, the art of correctly using the active voice and the passive voice in our fiction is something almost all of us have to relearn at some point in our […]

15 Reasons Not to Become a Writer (Or “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ernest Hemingway”)

Today, I’m guest posting over at the The Master’s Artist with the tongue-in-cheek tutorial on why being a writer may not be the best life decision: “15 Reasons Not to Become a Writer (Or ‘Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ernest Hemingway’)”. Excerpt: I suppose it’s possible that a few starry-eyed folks out there […]

4 Unbeatable Ways to Fight Writer's Block

4 Unbeatable Ways to Fight Writer’s Block

Would it surprise you to hear I don’t believe in writer’s block? This infamous boogey man, rumored to lurk behind computer monitors and breathe down writers’ necks, hypnotizing us with the blinking cursor and laughing as we toss upon our sleepless beds—he’s just a ghost story as far as I’m concerned. An over-hyped ghost story […]

5 Ways to Capture Brilliant Ideas for Your Novel

5 Ways to Capture Brilliant Ideas for Your Novel

I think it’s safe to open this post with a broad, sweeping generalization: We write because of inspiration. Not only because without inspiration we wouldn’t have anything to write about, but also because inspiration is the writer’s version of runner’s high. It’s this top-of-the-world, explosion-of-joy experience that makes the personal sacrifices and hard work of […]