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The Good Read (or, What Makes a Book Good)

By on Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 | 0 comments

I came across the beginning of this spectacular book review by Susanna Sonnenberg of the San Francisco Chronicle. In it she defines what makes a book a good read. Before you read it, I want you to substitute your name for the author, Karen Thompson Walker, and the title of your book instead of hers, which is [...]

The RIGHT Kind of Conflict–from James Frey

By on Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 | 0 comments

I'm on vacation reading James Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel as I stare at the Atlantic Ocean. Life is always better when you can stare at an ocean all day!Conflict, conflict, conflict. That's the ticket to success. We need it in every scene, the kind that impedes our character's goals.Frey talks about [...]

Pearls from Cathy Maxwell

By on Thursday, May 17, 2012 | 0 comments

Avon Historical and New York Times Bestselling author Cathy Maxwell stopped at the Parma Snow branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library the other night for a chat. She's been writing for over twenty years and has a new release just out, Lyon's Bride (see gorgeous cover below).The beauty of hearing an expert speak is that it [...]

An Entry That Sparkles

By on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 | 0 comments

Recently, I've judged a few contests and I've finaled in a few.  And I have until Sunday to revise an entry any way I want before I turn it in again for the final judging.All this leads me to think and think hard--what exactly makes a great entry?As I ran down the list of this [...]

Emotion Belongs Somewhere Else Besides in Your Manuscript: An Exercise

By on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011 | 3 comments

Take a look at the following words:doomedshatteredunforgettablecoldlydevastatingattractionferociousoverwhelming pleasureperilmistrust desireincipient hopepainfulnewWhat do you notice about there words?  Most are adjectives.  Some are nouns.  One is an adverb.Okay, go deeper--what do you feel about these words?  Does reading down the list make your heart beat a little faster?  Does it cause you to imagine something, well--exciting?  Does [...]

Want to write for Mills and Boon? Read This!

By on Friday, Nov 4, 2011 | 0 comments

A few weeks ago I told you the Mills and Boon first chapter competition topped out at 1090 entries.  Well, today they announced the winner, Natalie Charles, for her story The Seven Day Target.  Check out her story here For the rest of us who didn't final:  the Mills and Boon editors selected 20 random first [...]