Walking the Tightrope: Embodying yesteryear, while embracing today’s reader

When you write historical fiction, you face great scrutiny. The tiniest mistake, or an over abundance of details, and you will generate comments. Angry heated comments. In a sense, you are always walking a tightrope between crafting authentic sounding prose and creating intelligible prose. One wrong foot and everything comes crashing down. If you want …
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Outlining – Method 1: Basic Story Beats

Just as there are many ways to write a novel, there are many ways to outline a novel. You can use all the methods, one of the methods, or none of the methods. The choice is yours! Go nuts with the freedom! Myself, I use all of the outlining methods I will explain in the …
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A Stellar Opening Sentence

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a very sad fairy princess.   I’ve accepted the painful truth. I’ve pretty much ruined reading for most of my gal pals. Eventually they bounce back, but each of them has admitted that after listening to me ramble on about the elements of great …
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You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy: How to use literature to build your fiction vocabulary

The ability to mass produce books gave birth to the popular novel, the Bronte Sisters, George Sand and perhaps one of the best-loved novelists of all time, Jane Austen. Since Austen’s first book was released over two centuries ago, people have studied her work. We love her books because they’re packed with social humor and …
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5 Reasons to Outline Your Novel

There are writers who come up with an idea and just start writing and see where the story takes them. There are writers who mull over a story in their minds for months or years before they start writing. There are writers who write short stories and use those to create a novel. Then there …
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What Doth it Profit Thee? Building Historical Vocabulary

If you’re like me, you spend the whole day talking. Sometimes, when the Fates smile, I’m talking with my keyboard, and what I have to say requires access to a time traveler, for I am a historical writer. All fiction has a unique set of challenges, but I find the creation of believable period language …
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A Novel is a Hamburger (aka The Difference Between TV Scripts and Novels)

When I left TV to write a novel, I really believed I’d be done in a year. Why not? I already knew how to put together a story. Yet as an episodic freelance screenwriter, I’d only been working with the “meat” of a story, not the whole hamburger. That’s right, I’m going all food analogy …
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