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character who understands

Critiquing to Improve a Manuscript

While teaching and critiquing novels at conferences around the country, I’ve learned a number of common problem with new writers. By improving each of the areas below, pre-published authors or authors planning to self-publish will have more polished, professional-looking manuscripts to present to a reader or to an agent or editor. The most common manuscript […]


The Cutting Floor: Wind in the Wires Outtakes by Janet Chester Bly

Today’s guest blogger is Janet Chester Blywho is the widow of award-winning western author Stephen Bly. She will share her experience with cutting scenes from her lastest novel, Wind In The Wires, to make the story better. Cutting scenes is not easly. Writers get attached to their favorite scenes or creative ideas and want them to remain in […]

Six Steps To Improve Your Novel

Everyone wants to write a novel that grabs an agent or editor, but most of all, we want our work to grab readers. Here are six ways you can improve your novel. 1. Positive is nice but often boring. Authors create good-looking heros and heroines. They create sunshine for picnics, avoid character’s bad habits and […]

Writer’s Block: What Do You Do?

A short time ago I was asked how I handle writers’ block. I’ve been blessed with never having the true writers’ block when I couldn’t write anything at all. But most writers have times when they get to a spot in their fiction and are unsure how to proceed. I’ve experience these moments more than […]


Subtext: What Lies Beneath the Surface? from My Guest, Renee Ryan

Today I’d like you to meet my guest blogger, novelist Renee Ryan who writes romance for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Historical. She has graciously agreed to share her thoughts on one of the subtlest of techniques, Subtext. It is a technique that can make or break your novel.  I’m sure you will learn from her excellent post […]

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13 Tips for Indie Ebook Success in Fiction

Today  Martha Jewett & Evan Marshall are my guest bloggers who will share their expertise in Indie publishing (self-publishing). They will provide expert tips on preparing a manuscript for Indie publication. Learn more about them at the end of the article. If you’re a thorough and ambitious would-be indie ebook fiction author, you’re drowning in a […]

More Rules of Writing Fiction From The Best

Stephen King has written many novels, but one of his popular books is called, Stephen King On Writing and offers twenty solid rules for writing. I loved the book capturing Kings’ unique wit and candor and his rules are great. If these twenty rules intrigue you and you want to learn more, re-read or purchase […]

Rules for Writing Fiction From The Best

After Elmore Lenoard died, one of my writer friends sent out a list of his Rules of Writing. This gave me the idea to look and find what other famous authors were guided by writing rules. I found this fun, interesting and worth sharing with other Writers Elmore Leonard started out writing westerns, then turned […]


Where’s the Ringadingding In Your Novel?

  Have you ever thought your fiction scene was excellent on the first read through, and later when you come back to it, you’re disappointed. All that seemed to glow and glitter is dull and dim. This isn’t a problem only for new authors. Most novelist at one time or another while editing, jerk back […]

Danger: Over-editing

One of the plights of a novelist or writer is wanting to perfect your work so completely that you can’‘t move forward. I’ve known numerous authors who’ve never completed a novel because they continue to rework the first three chapters until they literally take the life from it. There can be too much of a […]