Would you like to beta-read an urban fantasy novel?

UPDATE (August 17, 2019): I'm so grateful for the individuals who reached out and agreed to be beta readers. I'm good for now, so anyone finding this post is off the hook. Can't wait to get feedback! -------------- It's a big ask, hoping someone takes the time to read a novel you're writing, with nothing …

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My Subconscious: This Creative Writer’s Best Friend

I've written before about how our subconscious minds play a critical role in our creative process. That breakthrough insight you received recently in the shower? That was your subconscious, taking advantage of the fact that you were free from distraction (including our everpresent smartphones). For the past quarter-century or so, I've proactively asked my subconscious …

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Three Fundamentals to a Successful Writing Career

What makes one a successful writer? I was forced to contemplate that question yesterday morning while having brunch with friends from out of town. One of their daughters is a freshman at a prestigious liberal-arts college. She has no idea what she wishes to major in, but knows she loves to write. So she asked …

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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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