How to spice up setting with an event (#IWSG blog hop)

In Jessica Strawser’s debut Almost Missed You, two characters have a life-changing date at Cincinnati’s Lumenocity, an orchestra-curated light-show. Anyone remember the scene when Harrison Ford’s Richard Kimble slips into Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade to evade pursuers? How much more exciting does Pride and Prejudice become once the Bennett sisters have a ball to look forward to? Some of these events are more integral to plot than others, but all of them make the stories they’re included in more interesting as a result. Click the title above to continue reading.

Don’t kill your darlings; shelve them (#IWSG Blog Hop)

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a new writer was how to be okay with killing my darlings. What I determined was that while some of my darlings warranted murder-by-delete-key, others deserved a less permanent fate. I developed a two-step process to be able to refer back to all the darlings I’ve killed along the way. Click the title above to continue reading.

Careful what you read while you write (#IWSG Blog Hop)

At the beginning of this year, I was ready to write the last 60,000 words of a novel. Me, my laptop, and my research were tucked away in a tropical paradise, but the words I was writing, they were reading like they’d been spewed out of a meat grinder. I decided to take the day off and finish the book I was reading instead. A few pages in, I realized I had no interest in finishing the book in question. The prose was uninspired, as was I. Click the title above to continue reading.

On balancing and weighting writing advice (#IWSG Blog Hop)

You’re stuck on a question about how to use a writing device, and off to the Internet/library/bookstore you go. Perhaps you stop after article number one, thinking certainly this must be the definitive answer, because this publishing professional has game to spare. She may well, but still your search should continue. Why? Click the title above to continue reading.

2 foreshadowing techniques to reduce new information overload #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Reading a book is like jumping on an exercise bike for the brain. The reason is because every sentence is a piece of information the reader needs to process. Some sentences are easier to absorb than others. For instance, a sentence that speaks about characters, themes, and plots the reader has already gotten to know doesn’t require as much processing as a sentence introducing new characters, sub-themes, or subplots. We want readers to keep pedaling and processing this new information, but as so often happens in books, there comes a point when the reader decides to take a break. Click the title above to continue reading.

Why your ego needs an author community (#IWSG Blog Hop)

Family and friends are great, but they don’t understand author milestones, nor do they understand what it takes to achieve them. And when we fall, they don’t have the first clue about how to help us up. This is why, authors, we need to stock our author communities. Because when it comes to being an author, family and friends a cheerleading section do not make. Click on the title above to continue reading.

15 tips for interviewing experts for your novel #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Interviewing has played a large role in my career as a journalist and marketer, and now, as an author. Sure, I still get all flustered when I’m reaching for a big interview, but for the most part, the fifteen tips and techniques below work for me. Click the title above to continue reading.