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Throwing off sparks

Maybe it’s all the excitement/stress/ nervousness surrounding the upcoming RWA conference—in less than two weeks!—but my creative brain has been AWOL for the last few, uh, months. Revisions, yes. Coming up with new ideas? Not so much. I was especially stymied by an idea for the follow-up to BLIND FURY. I wanted to have a

Trolling history

Current events not enough to inspire your next story? How about trolling history? For example, the History Channel website lists the following interesting events for March 1st. 1961: President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps 1932: The Lindbergh baby is kidnapped 1910: Trains are buried by an avalanche in Wellington, Washington 1692: The Salem Witch Hunt

Blank slate

I like to brainstorm on a whiteboard. In my dreams, it’s 6’x4’, rolling, and two-sided. In reality, it’s 16”x23” and lying unmounted on the carpet. There’s something about using a dry-erase board that taps into my creative side. I can use colors, make connections, write upside down if I want, and—probably most important—easily erase at

Chalk outline

In spite of my handy, dandy outline, I’m already revising part one of my current MS. Such a revision is exactly what I was hoping to avoid by having an outline, but in this case it had more to do with tweaking my hero, than with changing major story events. In light of this, you

Stop the movie

Many writers complain that they can no longer read for pleasure, that their writer brain won’t let them get into the story without analyzing for plot points, tension, and word choice. While I find myself occasionally noticing these things as I read—or stopping to wonder how the writer got me to read 30 pages without

Working with a map

Were you a fan of outlines in school? I know I wasn’t. Unfortunately, they’re a necessity in a writer’s life. If you don’t outline the book beforehand, you still have to do it later on some level in order to create a book blurb, pitch, synopsis, and query letter. If you’re a plotter or a

Get passionate

You thought this post was going to be about writing sex scenes didn’t you? 😉 Sorry, but I’m talking about passion in the larger sense as defined by the Mac dictionary: strong and barely controllable emotion. What are you passionate about? Global warming? U.S. involvement in the Middle East? Sea turtles? Education? Adoption? Animals? School