Point of View: Did You Choose the Right One?

There's a great SNL skit from a few years ago where Tina Fey plays a rather trashy woman speaking into the camera to someone she knows: "I saw you on House Hunters. You picked the wrong house, bitch!" Without the vitriol, I find myself thinking that sometimes while reading a novel about the author's choice of point …

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Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

So the retreat to the Mojave Desert paid off, and I've now officially completed the first draft of my novel-in-progress. I started outlining the story this summer, and it has evolved significantly from first doodles to 110,000-word draft. As a published author and professional writer, I know the most important step is yet to come: …

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Giving Yourself Permission to Write

Many of my Twitter peeps are deep into #NaNoWriMo right now, this masochistic movement every November where writers produce a full first draft of a novel in 30 days. I'm exhausted just writing that sentence. While I've been an on-and-off creative writer for nearly three decades now, I've never participated in NaNoWriMo. Part of it …

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Am I The Only Writer Who Struggles With Sex Scenes?

Let me open with two confessions: 1) When I reach a sex scene in a novel I'm reading, I usually skip past it. 2) When writing fiction myself, I usually find some way to avoid writing a sex scene, even though such a scene can often be important to the plot. There. I said it. …

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What is Your Writing Process? Writing in Order

Many fiction authors seem to have a preference in writing a novel; they either must write the book in order from beginning to end, or they must follow their muse where it leads them, writing ahead as needed. It appears there is consensus among novelists for a beginning-to-end approach, however. That would be consistent with …

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What is Your Writing Process? First Drafts

A non-writer may ask you, "How is your book coming?" A fellow writer may ask you, "What draft are you on?" To the first question I usually reply, "It's going well, thanks," and then quickly change the subject. To the second, my typical response is, "It depends." Many creative writers plow through their WIP in …

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What Genre is Your Novel?Are You Sure?

NOTE: An update on this piece can be found at its conclusion. I'm hardly the first to go on this rant, but there appears to be no rhyme nor reason to fiction genre classifications. Things were so much more straightforward when I was writing my travel memoir. It fell under "biographies and memoirs," and the …

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