Houseplant Writing

January 2 was supposed to be my big return day from taking December off from writing. But it wasn't. January 1 was my first day at the gym after graduating from physical therapy for knee surgery, and (as my family and friends won't be shocked to hear) I overdid it. That plus a big office … Continue reading Houseplant Writing

NaNoWriMo Project

I'm doing my very first ever NaNoWriMo! I've always wanted to participate, and never managed a clear enough schedule to do so. This year, I've got a project in the hands of beta readers and cleared the deck for November. I'm excited to announce my NaNo project, with the working title "Inheritance:" When professional psychic … Continue reading NaNoWriMo Project

3 Writing Lessons from Dungeons and Dragons

Tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) have a lot to teach you about writing. You create characters and tell a collaborative story in real time, so of course it's good practice for your novel! Taking away the setting elements (fantasy, sci-fi, horror), you find lessons that apply to any writer in any genre. Here are the first … Continue reading 3 Writing Lessons from Dungeons and Dragons

Writing Polish: The Bulldozer Sentence

Literature trained a lot of us to drone on a bit. William Faulkner's Absalom! Absalom! has a single sentence that clocks in at 1,288 words.  Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables offers up an 832 word gem.  Modern writing, especially genre writing, are more about the sharp. One of my biggest revision tasks revolves around bulldozer sentences. These come … Continue reading Writing Polish: The Bulldozer Sentence

“Ejaculated Slughorn” – Dialogue Tags and Action Beats

Among the well-meaning advice I thoroughly disagree with, new writers are often told to never use a dialogue tag other than "said" and "asked." The most quoted example used to support this comes from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series: "Snape!" ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating. Technically, yes, ejaculated is a synonym for … Continue reading “Ejaculated Slughorn” – Dialogue Tags and Action Beats