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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Avoid Rejections by Making Sure Your MS is Agent Worthy

So, you’ve written a novel. Let’s admit it. Writing a book is hard. How many people have told you they’ve been thinking of writing a book too. And they say it like they mean it. But they don’t. And writing may be hard, but editing is downright painful; and knowing when you “finished” is nearly …
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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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It’s Rough Out There!

Stories need to be shared. I came to storytelling late in life. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve always been a storyteller. Not in a bad way, I’m not a particularly good liar, but I liked to make up stories to my children at bedtime rather than read to them. I was always popular at …
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