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?

Can I write a love story if I’ve never been in love?

Of course you can. If science fiction writers can write about worlds and times that don’t exist, then you can write about love. All it takes is a well-honed —- and well-trained —- imagination. Because describing something you don’t personally know without thinking through how you want to do it, is an exercise in futility …

Continue reading Can I write a love story if I’ve never been in love?

Is it possible to write a novel or short story that doesn’t perpetuate stereotypes?

 It’s not a matter of stereotypes. It’s a matter of whether the characters are described well or not so well. Good writing will turn them into archetypes and become the best and most representative of the group they belong to, whatever that group may be. Poor writing will make them stereotypes worthy of laughter and …

Continue reading Is it possible to write a novel or short story that doesn’t perpetuate stereotypes?

A black cat can rust. Really? Yes, really!

More about black cats: A black cat’s color is genetic. There are three variants of the black fur gene (solid black, cinnamon and brown. If a cat has a solid black hue that overwhelms other gene colors or stripes, heavy exposure to the sun can make the pigment in its fur break down to reveal …

Continue reading A black cat can rust. Really? Yes, really!

Black cat facts I bet you didn’t know.

  IN SOME CULTURES, BLACK CATS ARE GOOD LUCK. In Japan, if you are a single lady, owning a black cat is said to increase your number of suitors. If one crosses your path from left to right in Germany, good things will happen. So maybe having a black cat as a major character in …

Continue reading Black cat facts I bet you didn’t know.

Black Cats. Gotta love ’em.

There's a lot to love about these black, fur-balls as evidenced by holidays in their honor. What, you say? Holidays just for a specific color cat? Yep. The ASPCA celebrates Black Cat Appreciation Day annually on August 17. In England, October 27 is National Black Cat Day. I mention these because my latest clean small-town …

Continue reading Black Cats. Gotta love ’em.

As a writer, do you sometimes need reassurance that people care about your writing?

 The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Because: Writers, like all creative types, appreciate reassurance that what they are doing resonates with others. (Who doesn’t?” At the same time, most writers prefer doing their own thing regardless of whether other people like it or not. (Again, who doesn’t?) I suspect that the difference between the two …

Continue reading As a writer, do you sometimes need reassurance that people care about your writing?

While writing in third person, what are some of the ways you can refer to the main character other than their name or ‘he’ or ‘she?’

 One of the easiest ways accomplishes more than just indicating which character is speaking or doing something. It’s called a ‘dialogue tag’ and it simply means that you mix together the description of the scene with the actions/speeches of the character you wish to pinpoint. Describe where they are or what they are doing, whichever …

Continue reading While writing in third person, what are some of the ways you can refer to the main character other than their name or ‘he’ or ‘she?’

I’m trying to write a plot line for a book but I keep on overthinking it and eventually hating them. How do I see it through to the end?

 Plotting is a science and the more you do it the better your plots will be. So hang in there. But — there are ways to do it that make the whole thing easier. This is only one way but it’s the way I use: 1. Describe your main character in 2 to 4 sentences. …

Continue reading I’m trying to write a plot line for a book but I keep on overthinking it and eventually hating them. How do I see it through to the end?

Should I plan the novel or just start writing?

 Depends ——- There are two kinds of writers of novels: ‘Pantsers’ write by the seat of their pants. They just sit down and start writing. They normally end up doing a whole lot of revision and rewriting and, occasionally, even changing the thrust of the story, but they say this method allows their mind free …

Continue reading Should I plan the novel or just start writing?