For Writers

For Writers

For Writers

  • Everything I Learned About Romance

    The Five Ws
    Who, What, When, Where, Why? Every journalist and journalism student has those five questions burned into their brains. A reporter tries to answer the five Ws within the first paragraph or two.
    For example, a good lead might be: A young Kansas (WHERE) girl named Dorothy (WHO) is missing (WHAT) after a tornado swept through her family’s farm (WHY) last night. (WHEN) Also missing is the girl’s pet dog, Toto.
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  • Chick Lit

    Why is She Laughing?
    When I gave a workshop on women’s humor recently at the Surrey International Writers Festival I was asked to post my book list of chick lit titles.
    I’m a romance author, so when I talk about Chick Lit, I’m speaking as a fan and not as any kind of expert. However, I believe when anything makes as big a splash in women’s fiction as chick lit has, it behooves all of us who write women’s fiction and romance to sit up and pay attention.
    I did.
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  • Finding Time to Write

    I’ve been really looking at my days lately, trying to work out where my time goes and how to get everything done. I’ve read umpteen books with titles such as: Time Management for the Stressed, Housework in Ten Minutes a Day or Less, Organize Your Life Right Now…you know the ones. Some smarmy expert makes it sound so easy and next thing you know you’re filling out charts and planning next month’s meals and losing even more writing time.
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  • Why Good Dialogue is like Champagne

    Why Good Dialogue is like Champagne

    I was thinking about how often we refer to good dialogue as ‘sparkling’. For some reason, thirst perhaps, the word sparkling immediately made me think about my favorite beverage — champagne.
    Then, probably to keep my mind off drinking in the afternoon, I began to think about how much in common champagne has with good dialogue, and with good writing in general.
    Here’s what I came up with.
    Champagne takes a long time to create.
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  • Pitch Perfect

    Few things strike terror into the hearts of conference goers more than the dreaded editor or agent appointment, and yet few opportunities at a writing conference are more valuable. Here, then, are a few tips to make the experience less terrifying and more valuable.
    1. SIGN UP.   Just do it. Yes, I know, those people are from New York. They have breakfast with Dan Brown and lunch with Nora Roberts. They have the power to reject your book.
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  • You’ll Never Get a Job as a Writer…

    Have you ever noticed how a theme will suddenly develop around you? Serendipitous events occur, snatches of speech overheard begin to form a pattern, and you think, I need to pay attention to this.
    Recently, I was at dinner with some dear friends. She is an English major, as am I, and she told me that she’s counseling her daughters away from anything so frivolous as an English degree.
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  • The Coffee Shop Writer, or Brewing Up Inspiration

    The Coffee Shop Writer, or Brewing Up Inspiration

    What is it about coffee shops that kick start a writer’s muse? I first tried hauling my laptop to my local java hut after reading Natalie Goldberg’s books. Natalie, author of Writing  Down the Bones and Wild Mind, suggests writing in coffee shops and I was at the point where if someone had advised painting my face blue and chanting to the moon in order to get some writing done, I’d have tried that too.
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