“Help!” she cried. What Every Writer Needs

To grow a good writing life, you need more than a pencil and notepad at the ready. You need a team of helpers, including these five advisors: 1.  An editor, who can help you turn awkward phrasings into elegant prose, delete the redundant and superfluous, flag errors, and tell you when something essential is missing, […]

How to Write a Winning Scene

What makes a great scene, anyway? A great scene is one that fully engages your reader by triggering a powerful emotional response. It doesn’t matter what the response is—fear, lust, envy, despair, pain, joy, shock, you name it—an emotionally engaged reader will continue to read. This is what you want. Now, how to get there?  […]

How to Experiment

Birdlife is abundant where I live, so I keep the feeder stocked.  It’s a busy place. Squirrels collect at the base of it to scavenge for fallen booty. Red ones and gray ones get on fine at the feast. My cat watches all this from the porch. Spread out in a patch of sun, he’s […]

Why you Need a Happy Ending

No one likes bad news. As a lawyer, I’ve delivered lots of it, and as best as I can tell, an undertaker at the door is more welcome. So, when it comes to your work—the one place you get to choose your stories, the one place your reader also gets to choose whether to go […]

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