Writing Historical Romance

Historical romance is one of my favorite genres to read. I love to be drawn back to an earlier time through description, language, and events that make me feel like I’m right there with the character. If it’s done well, it’s a learning experience about that time, and a romance that introduces a new emotional experience with totally different rules, mostly taboos. Continue reading “Writing Historical Romance”

Querying an Agent

get-attachment-1.aspxAll the hard work authors put into their novels will be for naught (except, of course, for the joy the experience brought the author) if they cannot interest a publisher in it. And in this day and age, few publishers will so much as glance at an un-agented submission. The query letter is the primary vehicle for attracting an agent, so it’s important to spend time with it, to put your work forward in the best light you can. Continue reading “Querying an Agent”

New Beginnings

The first chapter of any novel is perhaps the most important. After all, if an agent, editor, or reader isn’t hooked in that chapter, they’re unlikely to read on. But it’s easy to get stuck on this chapter, especially if your goal is to make it perfect before you continue on. One thing I’ve learned for myself is to just get the chapter down then keep writing, because no matter what I write, I’ll completely revise it, if not totally rewrite it, once I’ve finished the first draft. Continue reading “New Beginnings”

How Writers Write

Ceil Boyles
Ceil Boyles

I always find it interesting to talk with other writers about their processes. Of course, some are strict outliners while others, like me, write mainly by the seat of their pants, letting the story unfold as they go along. Of course, even us pantsers do a lot of planning, thinking out plots, scenes, and characters in the early stages of a new project. I find that I need to get a pretty good handle on my characters very early in the process because they actually help me tell the story and make it unique. Continue reading “How Writers Write”

Adding Depth to your Writing

img_0082There’s a great article by Michael Kurland in the April issue of THE WRITER magazine.  It’s titled “Marley was dead: to begin with.” Mr. Kurland talks about breathing life into your character while adding depth to her surrounding.  Often, new writers tend to use too many unnecessary and uninformative words. Continue reading “Adding Depth to your Writing”

Metaphors–Like Frosting on Your Story

Hmm…metaphor or simile?

So what exactly is a metaphor?  The dictionary defines it as a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.  So what is a simile?  It’s defined as a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds.  Sound similar?  They are, but while similes are always metaphors, metaphors are not always similes. Continue reading “Metaphors–Like Frosting on Your Story”

2013 Writing Resolutions

ceil-boyles.jpgMy friend, outstanding author, and fellow critique group member Julie Ann Peters recently blogged about writing resolutions (www.thewildwriters.com).  Each year at our January meeting, we all submit our resolutions (pertaining to writing) for the coming year, so I better get busy as I’m hosting this meeting in just over a week. Continue reading “2013 Writing Resolutions”

Good Stories Have Layers

Like onions and ogres, good stories have layers.  Often we think of these as storylines.  While there is generally an overarching theme, like love conquers all or persistence pays off, and a main storyline central to the theme, there can be (and generally should be) additional storylines which heighten the tension and add depth to the novel. Continue reading “Good Stories Have Layers”


I think she sees us!

If you’re like me, you’re drawn to humor.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”  In fact, studies have demonstrated health benefits related to laughter, such as lowering certain stress  hormones, lowering blood pressure, and improving alertness, creativity and memory, among others. Continue reading “WRITING HUMOR”