Category Archives: Writing Tips

Tips for the writing process

What I learned about writing from reading all 19 Thomas Lynley mysteries in order

Every once in a while, I like to pick an established author who has written a respectable set of books and read their books in the order in which they were written. I first did this back in the mid-aughts … Continue reading

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This week’s Twitter crop of #writing angst

It took me a long time to come to terms with Twitter’s weird blend of watercooler/cocktail party/retail culture. But now I find it to be a fairly useful source of #writing tips and news. Here’s what I found most helpful … Continue reading

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What I learned reading 1-star reviews of Wuthering Heights on Amazon

Apparently, ripping off the iconic Penguin Classic covers and slapping them onto poorly produced versions of the original book using CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing service) is a thing. Caveat Emptor. Related Links:  Four things I learned reading 1-star reviews of Pride & Prejudice … Continue reading

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4 things I learned reading 1-star reviews of Pride & Prejudice (yes, they exist)

I wish I could claim this as my own idea, but in truth I first heard of this on Twitter, when @elizabethscraig (one of the most useful writing mentors I follow) pointed me to this article by Amber Skye Forbes at The … Continue reading

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5 Things I learned reading Nancy Lamb’s Crafting Stories for Children

The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children Nancy Lamb Writer’s Digest Books, 2001 Last year for NaNoWriMo, The (then) Seven-Year-Old convinced me to take a break from writing historical fiction she wasn’t allowed to read, and try my hand at … Continue reading

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At CWC2015, Ines Bellina said we should write 15 minutes every day. Here’s what happened when I tried it.

Simply showing up to write has long been my greatest challenge. Life keeps getting in the way. At the Chicago Writer’s Conference last September, Ines Bellina gave us her top tip for getting work done despite the distractions of daily … Continue reading

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Writing Tips from Muriel Spark

A Far Cry From Kensington By Muriel Spark Original Publication: Constable & Company, 1988 Reprint: Virago Modern Classics, 2013 For much of the year, I have been eagerly awaiting last April’s planned trip to London. We were going to stay at a fabulous hotel in Kensington. Daddyo, … Continue reading

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3 dialogue tips I picked up from reading Hottentot Venus

Hottentot Venus: A Novel  By Barbara Chase-Riboud Anchor, 2004 I picked this book up a very long time ago at a bookstore that is now defunct. Chase-Riboud’s novel tells the story of Saartjie Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who was exhibited as … Continue reading

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6 setting tricks I learned from reading Mr. Emerson’s Wife

Mr. Emerson’s Wife By Amy Belding Brown St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005 Recently, I picked up my copy of Mr. Emerson’s Wife, hoping for a relaxing companion on a lazy, snowy Sunday afternoon. Instead I found a master’s course in using setting … Continue reading

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Stuff I found helpful this week

10 bits of blizzard therapy from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter (WBUR’s CommonHealth Blog) From the post: But “The Long Winter” offers, I would argue, the best of all antidotes to feelings that this is a horrible, awful, nasty … Continue reading

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