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Reflections on MLK Day

In a speech at Cornell College in October 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” I’m a medical drama junkie. I haven’t …

Podcasts 101

I’ll admit, deep in my jaded soul, to not being completely immune to the new year/new start thing. Fresh start, new possibilities, and all, right? In keeping with my half-baked New Year’s-ish goals, I’m been trying new things and reevaluating those that frustrated me in the past (Hello again, Scrivner). Like many of us, my …

Baby Steps to Giant Strides

This is it, y’all. The end of another year. It’s too soon for some, and not soon enough for others. To me, this year has felt very transformational. I’m in a completely different place today than I was on Dec. 31, 2016. And I mean that in so many ways. I’ve got a new day …

The Ones You Love to Hate

That’s right. This week I’m talking about ~those~ characters. The agents of chaos and change that cause so many problems for your Main Character. Those folk that leave destruction, heartache, and growth in their wake. Villains. What is it that makes a good villain? What combination of traits and personalities, thoughts and deeds swirl together …

Writers’ Toolbox: Prompt Writing to Get Your Story Started

“You have to start somewhere to get somewhere good.” I often hear people say they can’t imagine writing because they don’t know how to think up stories. When I started attending speculative fiction conventions again in 2012, I participated in Allen Wold’s introductory workshop, and it set me on fire. Figuratively. Allen’s approach is simple: …

The Answers Lie Within, part 2: Guided Inspiration

Last time it was my turn to share a post, I talked about how to use the story to help figure itself out, especially when dealing with elusive endings. This time, I want to focus on one tool that I find particularly useful for plot problems: Story Readings. I’ve been reading the Tarot for two …

Sidetracked

I’m going to own it. I got sidetracked. Squirrel!! This year’s been bad for my writing. My self-imposed deadline to finish the first draft of my novel by World Fantasy Con was shattered by my headlong plunge into the morass of local politics. My state had important elections, and I couldn’t just wait for someone …

Revision Time

Since I’m fresh off an intensive revise and rewrite stint, guess what this weeks post is all about? Yep. The Dreaded Revision Process. Writers seem to fall into two camps when it comes to revisions—those who can’t wait to dig in and smooth out issues, versus those who would rather have a root canal from …

A Little Wisdom from Doctor Cox

  If you want to improve as a writer, something very important to identify is your strengths and weaknesses. I know it seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many writers don’t do this. It’s important to be subjective in this. If you are reading this saying to yourself, “I’m great at everything,” then you’re …