Do you have a lake story? Please share it with us! If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve contributed. As always, there are a few “rules”: ▪…

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I will say very quickly, before any of my readers totally freak out, this is not a new cover for one of my books. Not even a recent cover. But my last post led to a discussion on book covers and author input, so I thought I’d use this truly scary example as a jumping…

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During my twenty-eight years of writing, I’ve heard plenty of advice from other authors. One tidbit stands out: tighten the relationship between characters. I know exactly where (in Albert Zuckerman’s Writing the Blockbuster Novel) and when (1995, as I wrote Reflection) I read this suggestion. It’s stayed with me all these years and I draw…

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I belong to Novelists, Inc, and we’ve been having an interesting discussion on our email loop recently.  A member asked about the pros and cons of addressing controversial topics in our fiction. As you can imagine, the comments of the authors have varied just as much as their opinions on the topics themselves. I am…

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 I’ve been thinking lately about something Alex Sokoloff says in her screenwriting tips for novelists workshops (and in her blog). She talks about how characters in both books and movies) often start out wanting something that they never get, but end up getting what they need instead. If you think about your favorite movies or…

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When I work on a manuscript, I take shortcuts. For example, one of my characters in my work-in-progress is named Rebecca, so I have my Word software set so that when I type “reb”, it actually types Rebecca. The same with my character Dorothea. I type “doro” and Word types Dorothea. (On a side note: my…

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The contest continues! Win a vacation on Topsail Island and help me celebrate my 20 years as an author by clicking here to learn more. You may enter once a day.  Yes, it’s that time of year when I start to lose my marbles. It always happens around now, three months before deadline. Deadlines are always challenging,…

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Actually, it’s five o’clock here and I’m quitting for the day. I worked on my Alphasmart at Starbucks today and haven’t transferred the file to my desktop yet, so I’m not sure how many pages I wrote today, but it’s just plain going to be enough. I’m a teeny tiny bit burned out! The week…

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