How would your writing change if you wrote the concept for a character and their role in a story and then randomly assigned their gender (assuming your writing doesn’t involve the ‘traditional’ gendered roles like women nurture and men protect)?

The answer to this question is totally personal because my writing, like the writing of every author, is personal. It wouldn’t make any difference in my character as long as I hadn’t already begun writing because, once I had the gender assigned, I’d proceed with the subconscious awareness of the character’s gender and that would …

Continue reading How would your writing change if you wrote the concept for a character and their role in a story and then randomly assigned their gender (assuming your writing doesn’t involve the ‘traditional’ gendered roles like women nurture and men protect)?

The Christmas House

When I hear the word 'parchment' I think of those very official scrolls containing royal pronouncements. You know, the kind that start with “Hear ye, hear ye” followed by all kinds of important announcements like:  “The prince is throwing a ball!”  So this seems like the time to announce that soon my next book will be …

Continue reading The Christmas House

What is some advice that you can give regarding plot development in writing?

1. Plot is story. So start with that. What story do you want to tell? Write it down in a sentence or two on a slip of paper. 2. All good stories have beginnings, middles and endings. Write down the beginning and the ending on separate slips of paper. Again, a sentence or two will …

Continue reading What is some advice that you can give regarding plot development in writing?

In fiction, how do you fairly and without bias write a compelling character you deeply dislike?

It’s easier than you might think. You write fairly and without bias because you are so totally determined to not be unfair that in most cases you’ll go the other way and make that character better than he/she really is. And you make that character compelling because to you, he/she is already compelling, in your …

Continue reading In fiction, how do you fairly and without bias write a compelling character you deeply dislike?

Do you practice daily writing exercises to keep your writing flow active?

Personally, no I don’t. I never have, figuring that my time is valuable (to me, anyway) and that I’d rather spend it doing something than practicing doing something. So I write and that in itself is an exercise in how to write. Sometimes what I write is deleted and that’s okay because few things in …

Continue reading Do you practice daily writing exercises to keep your writing flow active?

I think I’ve almost finished writing a good novel, but I’ve lost focus and interest in finishing it — how can I best regain it?

The answer to this particular question is easy. I suspect I’m not the only writer out there who has learned the answer through experience. The answer is: Forget about it. Put is aside. Find a nice shelf and put the manuscript on it and cover it with a pile of other, more interesting, things until …

Continue reading I think I’ve almost finished writing a good novel, but I’ve lost focus and interest in finishing it — how can I best regain it?

Do MFA programs make you a better writer?

Maybe. Maybe not. And before I go on, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have a love-hate relationship with advanced degrees. I've loved some of my advanced classes and hated others. And I remember one time when the instructor went around the first day of class asking us what we …

Continue reading Do MFA programs make you a better writer?

Is it true that there’s little to no money in writing fiction?

Sadly, that’s true. I read somewhere that the average fiction author earns $5,000 a year from his/her writing. However, the e-market is changing everything, including the potential for making as much money as you are willing to work for. And I do mean work. Two kinds of work are involved and each is equally important …

Continue reading Is it true that there’s little to no money in writing fiction?