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doing research

Write What You Know?

Everyone has heard the phrase “write what you know,” and yet writing takes research whether contemporary or historical no matter how much you know. Keeping your story accurate is important to give readers a sense of truth when they read your work. One significant error can cause readers to distrust everything you say. It is easy […]

Box with question mark

Is it Reflecton, Interior Monologue or Introspection?

I’ve been teaching fiction for years and during the Q and A time, I have received many interesting questions. The interior monolgue or internal speech, stream of consciousness and even introspection often causes confusion. Exactly what is it and what does it do? First let’s look at this question: Difference between Introspection and Internal Monologue […]


Not All Conflicts Sustain An Entire Novel

Since I’ve taught writing fiction for years and wrote the Writers Digest book, Writing The Christian Romance, I have received questions from writers about many elements and techniques of writing that they struggle with. Below is one of the questions and my response. Question:  This question is about conflict. I’m reading books, trying to figure […]

Which Professions Have the Most Psychopaths? The Fewest?

If you’re a fiction writer, especially one who writes thrillers or suspense, this is information that will help you create characters that add reality to your story. As you read this information, picture characters in your previous fiction and ask yourself how you might have improved characterization or pat yourself on the back that you […]


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 […]

Storytelling in Action

Suspense, mysteries, and westerns are not the only genres that need action. Keeping your story filled with action-packed verbs helps the plot to move forward and creates a “page-turner.” Passive voice is only one kind of inactive writing. Selecting inexplicit verbs and “deadwood” sentence structure also keeps you from creating a moving, active plot. Passive […]


Don’t Make Their Lives Easy – by Gail Gaymer Martin

Too often authors make situations too easy for characters. They like the people they create, and just as they want happiness and success for their real life friends, they want the same for their characters. But a novel with easy to resolved problems is really a “why bother” story. Real life piles problems on people […]

The Word of Mouth Phenomenon

What most inspires you to see a movie? Is it a review? A trailer? You read the book? A friend made recommended it? Perhaps you use a combination of these, but a trailer often skews the actual quality of the movie. The laughs you have in a comedy trailer might be the only laughs in […]

Uses of Introspection

Years ago, I had a Q & A blog for Writers, and when I read these a month or so ago, I found some questions that are still pertinent today. So this post will take a look at Introspection and answer this readers question: Is interior monologue direct thought or is it reflection? Is there a […]


Symbolism by guest Stephanie Prichard

One of my favorite options of this blog is inviting guest bloggers to share their ideas on using the various elements or techniques in the craft of writing fiction. Today my guest is Stephanie Prichard who has  co-author a faith-filled novel with her husband Don. Not only does she share ideas on using symbolism to enhance the meanings within your novel, but also is […]