Blinded with Science: 7 Solar Eclipse Questions that Deserve Answers

Blinded with Science:  7 Solar Eclipse Questions that Deserve Answers
Post written by Susan DeLay A total eclipse may be one of the perfect settings for a mystery novel. One minute, everyone is alive and happy, then the moon passes in front of the sun, plunging the scene into total darkness for about 7.5 minutes. When the sun comes back out, someone is…da-da-da-dum…DEAD! Just like... Read more »

To Tell a Good Story A Writer Must be an Eavesdropper and a Spy

To Tell a Good Story A Writer Must be an Eavesdropper and a Spy
Post Written by Laura  My husband tells me I would have made a good detective. Maybe even a spy. I think he’s right. Although I don’t relish busting up drug cartels, confronting serial killers, or exposing myself to the dangers of international intrigue. And I hate guns and violence. I would, however, love the behind the scenes... Read more »

Useless Characters? Leonardize Them!

Useless Characters? Leonardize Them!
Getting rid of characters is easy. You can severely wound them. Put them into a coma. Give them amnesia. Send them to Timbuktu. Or you can do as I do and “leonardize” them. In the first draft of my novel “Without a Sound,” I introduced a Gestapo agent named Leonard. I know writers tend to paint... Read more »
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The Mathematics of Words or Why I Don't Play Lumosity Anymore

The Mathematics of Words or Why I Don't Play Lumosity Anymore
Posted by Laura  When it comes to fiction writing, I am a slow writer. In order to get inside a story, I have to close the office door, put on soft music, and let my mind wander. I know of no other way to ease myself into the process. Shake the images out of my head.... Read more »

What Dick Van Dyke Taught Me About Writers Block

What Dick Van Dyke Taught Me About Writers Block
I had my first introduction to writers block when I watched The Dick Van Dyke show. Dick played television comedy writer Rob Petrie, but deep in his soul, he wanted to write the great American novel. (Don’t we all?) A Farewell to Writing In one of the episodes—A Farewell to Writing—he receives a copy of... Read more »

Writing Toward Otherness: Why I Love Colum McCann and Hate the Term Historical Fiction

Writing Toward Otherness: Why I Love Colum McCann and Hate the Term Historical Fiction
Posted by Laura    War and Peace is a novel. The Sun Also Rises, Ulysses, Gone With the Wind, and To Kill a Mockingbird are also novels. Simply, novels. Look them up and you’ll find that is how they are defined. As novels. Not as Young Adult, New Adult, literary fiction, or historical fiction but... Read more »
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The Internet, Shoes, and Other Obstacles on the Way to Enlightenment

My mind is like a tourist without an itinerary or a map, incapable of traveling from point A to point B without visiting several scenic outlooks on the way. This does make the trip longer, but it isn’t always a bad thing. Usually these stops of fancy are along the lines of the longest wiener... Read more »

Villains Don't Twirl Mustaches: 5 Stereotypes and How to Break Them

I was paying for a cup of coffee, and the person taking my order asked me how my book was coming. That’s when a perfect stranger behind me tossed out an unsolicited opinion. “You don’t look like a writer.” Now, when I say he’s a perfect stranger, I do not mean to imply he is... Read more »

What's Wrong with "Me"?

I am not a grammar Nazi. Honest. I don’t correct people’s grammar unless I am getting paid as an editor or yelling at the TV. But, like most writers, I do care about words and how they go together, and I respect their functions. And we all have our pet peeves, right? Mine looks like... Read more »
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Stilettos, Cigarettes, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy: 3 Ways to Liven Up Your Stories

Sometimes I get stuck when I’m writing. I overuse generic words. My dialog puts me to sleep. The plot gets lost under action that is as exciting as sitting on the front porch—facing the house. The writing is dry and lifeless and I lose interest. If I’m bored, readers will close the book, set it... Read more »