Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How good is your grammar?

I confess to being OCD when it comes to grammar. I tend to ignore the apostrophes on name rocks outside people's homes: e.g., The Smith's, because I bristle when I see such glaring errors set in stone. No! No! No! It should read The Smiths. No apostrophe is used to make a noun, even a proper noun, plural. An apostrophe is used for a contraction, e.g., can't for cannot and to show possession, e.g., The Smiths' dog ate my homework. A sign outside a town's civic center especially has me bristling: Mayors Office.  How many mayors does the town have? It should read Mayor's Office.

How good is your grammar? Take this simple quiz and find out: Have You Got a Grasp of Grammar?  (Which should correctly read "Do You Have a Grasp of Grammar?")

The questions address some of the most common errors I see and hear. I especially like the explanation of the why the correct answers are correct.

Happy quiz-taking!

And . . .

Keep writing,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Do take the time and read Kristen Lamb's excellent blog on "What Ebenezer Scrooge Can Teach Us About Great Writing." 

All I can say is, "Wow!"

Keep writing,

Friday, December 6, 2013

The E-Factor

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. So when NBC aired a live stage production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic last night, I tuned in.

And tuned out 30 bored minutes later.

It wasn't that this was the stage version, not the movie version, and the stage version came before the movie version.

It wasn't that events and songs were out of the order I was familiar with, and the script didn't exactly follow what I practically know by heart. (The movie came out in 1965, when I was in high school, and I watched it on TV every year when it was aired, and then bought my own.)

That this wasn't The Sound of Music I know and love wasn't what made me tune out.

What made me change the station was that I wasn't, and was unable to become, emotionally involved. And being emotionally involved in the story is what makes it, for me, a good story. I tend to watch over and over and over the movies that make me cry (good tears) at the end. And I cry at the end every time.

I couldn't get emotionally involved because the characters, the actors, weren't emotionally involved. They were, well, acting, and it showed. They didn't seem, to me, to be investing their emotions, their very hearts and souls, into the roles they played. And so what resulted was a performance. A lackluster performance.

I call it "The E-Factor."

The E-Factor ("emotion factor") is important for our writing, too. Readers won't become emotionally involved in your story if you, as the author, weren't emotionally involved in it when you wrote it. Without the investment of your emotions, your story - plot, characters, dialogue - will fall flat. And even if you finish the manuscript and it gets published, readers will stop turning pages.

When I wrote Before I Die and The Heart Remembers, I invested so much emotion, I was exhausted at the end of a particularly emotional scene. I cried and laughed with my characters. I cared about them. A lot. So much that even now, years after I typed "The End," I still feel the emotion I experienced when I first wrote them. And I will not give up in my quest to have them published.

The E-Factor, or should I say the lack of it, was the problem with my current work-in-progress. For the longest time, I couldn't get a feel for Melody, the main character. Oh, I knew the facts about her, but I couldn't get into her heart and mind and soul. As a character, she fell flat. I didn't care about her, and I didn't want to write about her.

But I'd already invested 23,191 words when I began this year's NaNoWriMo. So I plunged forward, following the advice of many a writer: Just write. Write even when you don't feel like writing and the words won't come.

Somewhere along the way, Melody found her tune and came to life. I got so into the writing that when I wrote the scenes where she was extremely ill with the flu, I almost felt sick myself. For days.

I'm all better now.

If you're struggling with the E-Factor, don't despair. Keep writing. Keep probing. Keep plumbing the depths of your characters to find the spark that drives them, the spark that will make you care, and the spark that will make the reader care.

Keep writing,

Saturday, November 30, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 30 (and final day)


  • 50, 485 words written in November
  • 69,896 total words written
  •  20,104 words to write to finish first draft

When I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2013, I hoped I could finish. There were times along the way that I doubted it. I was discouraged and the words wouldn't come. I had days on which I didn't write at all. I wanted to toss the whole thing. Forget I ever even thought I could be a fiction writer.

It's true.

About reporting for work even when you don't feel like working.

About writing even when you don't feel like writing.

In his NaNo pep talk on Nov. 26, Ralph Peters spoke to where I was when he wrote:

"But if you need inspiration, try perspiration. If you’re meant to write, you’ll write. Sure, we’re all stymied from time to time, struggling over how best to shape a character or how to bring a crucial scene to life. But the best way to confront such problems is to sit down and start typing. Things happen when you make them happen. . . . 

"Better to type up slop, throw it away, and start again the next morning, than to duck your daily battle with the keyboard. . . .

"Writing is wretched, discouraging, physically unhealthy, infinitely frustrating work. And when it all comes together it’s utterly glorious.

"In these last days of NaNoWriMo, get to work "

I did. And it did (came together).

At this point, the plot is cooking pretty good. Boiling, in fact. My husband advises me to "finish it. You're on a roll."

And so I will.

See you on the other side of "The End."

Keep writing,


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 20

Ten days left in National Novel Writing Month.

Ten days to reach 50,000 words.

As you can see from progress meter above, I'm running a bit behind. 21,781 words to go. 10 days. I could let myself feel overwhelmed, pressured. I spent a couple of NaNo days plotting. I'd come to a place where I couldn't go forward unless I had some idea of which way that forward was supposed to go.

Ten days. 21,781 words. Gulp.

I can do this.

I can write 2,200 words a day.

Even on Sunday.

Even on Thanksgiving Day.

Ten days. 21,781 words.

The mountain doesn't look so big when you climb it one step at a time.

Keep writing,


PS. Rachel Hauck posted an EXCELLENT blog today on Novel Rocket: "5 Novel Crunches For Tightening Your Middle." It's exactly what I need at this point. Check it out (click on the title)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 13

Pushing through NaNoWriMo, I'm learning that the more I write, the more I write.

Yes, I've wrestled with words, with the "What comes next?" I've struggled with characters and scenes better suited for Act 3 than Act 2. I've let the internal editor out to help me with some problems - not with mechanics, such as grammar, spelling, punctuation - but with those characters and scenes that niggled at me after I shut the computer down for the day.

The mind never shuts down, even when you're sleeping. So while doing laundry, preparing supper, cleaning the kitchen, running the vacuum, "redding up" (western Pennsylvania speak for "straightening up" the house), and doing the countless daily tasks that must be done, NaNo or no NaNo, the muse was mulling, analyzing, asking questions and searching for the answers.

"Follow your gut" - I kept telling myself. "Stop thinking so much. Just write."

But there is a phase where forward movement grinds to a stop and you just have to think. The editor and the muse work together. That's also following your instinct. Instinct tells you if you continue the plot in this vein, you're going to write yourself into a corner.

So I figured out what I had to to and went back and fixed it, rewriting two chapters (but saving the old ones in case I needed something from them).

Writing is a learning process at every level, from novice to best-selling author. Writing is a gut-wrenching, ego-slamming, doubt-fertilizing profession. And I write "profession" whether you are just getting started, grind out those words whenever and wherever you can while juggling a full-time life, or are writing full-time and getting paid.

We all go through periods of doubt, disappointment, and discouragement. You've received the umpteenth rejection, your current work-in-progress has stalled out, someone you care about told you you'll never be a writer. Maybe more than one person "advised" you to give it up, it's a waste of time.

Do you have a dream to be a writer?

Whether you get published or not, you are a writer. You're writing. You're wrestling with words. You're talking to your characters - and they're talking back. You're living in the fiction world you have created while going through the motions in the real world. Your family has to live with a zoned-out person who was once someone they knew. But they've gotten used to it, and they know as soon as you've typed "The End," you'll return to them.

DON'T LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR DREAM! Ban the naysayers from your life. They have no clue. Be pleasant to them, but surround yourself with people who believe in you. Fill your mind and heart and spirit with whatever motivates you.

For me, when I get down on my writing self, I whip out the words of James Scott Bell. May they motivate you as they do me:

"I wasted ten years of prime writing life because of the Big Lie. In my twenties I gave up the dream of becoming a writer because I had been told that writing could not be taught. Writers are born, people said. You either have what it takes or you don't, and if you don't you'll never get it. . . . I thought I was doomed. . . . So I did other stuff like go to law school. Like join a law firm. Like give up my dream. But the itch to write wouldn't go away."

Then he read about an interview with a lawyer who'd had a novel published after he'd been in an accident and realized he really wanted to write, even if he never got published.

"Well, I want it, too," Bell writes. "I went out and bought my first book on fiction writing. . . . And I discovered the most incredible thing. The Big Lie was a LIE. A person COULD learn how to write because I was learning."

Google James Scott Bell and you'll see how successful a writer he is. He also has the best (and funniest) writing tips video clips, especially the one on "Writing Through Frustration."  (For a list of of his video clips, click here.) 

All writers, even the published bestsellers (like James Scott Bell and Stephen King) feel like failures at times. More frequently than you'd think. Bell hits what he calls "The Wall" about 30,000 words into his novel:

"I get there and suddenly think all the worst things about my novel: the idea stinks and is beyond redemption; my writing is lame, the characters uninteresting, and the plot virtually nonexistent. I can't possibly go on. Career over."

Then he gives a list of things he prescribes for breaking through The Wall.

The above quotes are taken from his book, Plot and Structure, which I highly recommend, as I do all his books, both his "how-to-write" books and his fiction. It's always a good idea to be reading good writing. Your mind is absorbing the technique, and you're learning while enjoying a good read. 

If you're doing NaNo and you're behind where the graph on the NaNo page indicates you should be, don't fret about it. Just write and . . .

Keep writing!


TOTAL NaNo words: 17,158 words written in WIP this month

TOTAL words in novel to date:  39,487  (43%) almost to the mid-point, the "Dark Moment"


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Adding sensory details is an ongoing learning process. Some writers don't include them until the revision/rewrite phase. As I push through National Novel Writing Month,  I'm not concerned about sensory details at this point because I'm getting the skeleton put together. But I will add them in  during the revision phase as I put muscles and skin on the skeleton and give it a heart.

A writing student I mentor told me that while she was working on a lesson, she "shut down." I, too, (and I suspect all writers do) shut down at times. I plowed through a shutdown on the second day of NaNoWriMo. The words didn't want to come. The characters were in a vegetative state. The plot stalled. The internal editor broke out of where I'd locked her in and bound the muse. But I pushed through, knowing even if what I was writing at the time stunk, I could always revise it.

Writing is like drawing water from a well with a hand pump. When you first start pumping, nothing comes. It's like the well is dry. But if you pour in a little water and keep pumping, the water will come. It starts out as a trickle, then as you keep pumping, the flow becomes stronger and stronger until the water is gushing out.

Keep writing,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Countdown NaNo

Only two more days until NaNoWriMo starts!

I'm getting ready to crank out 50K words in 30 days by reading all the writing blogs and articles I feel will motivate me as I face this seemingly overwhelming challenge.

I can do this. I can do this. (Do I sound like "the little engine who could"?)

I did the math. Writing 6 days a week (taking Sundays off), to meet the goal of 50K words for the month, I have to write just 2,000 words a day. (2,000 words x 26 days = 52,000 words)

I can do this. I can write 2,000 words a day. Why, that's not even a chapter! I can do this!

I wrote around 1,600 words a day in my travel journal on our 2-week vacation last month. And it didn't take me more than an hour. Honest.

I just wrote.

I didn't plan. I didn't think. I didn't edit myself (too much).

I just wrote.

And that's what I plan to do during NaNo.

Just write.

I will lock up the internal editor. Better yet, I will bind her with duct tape first.

I will free the muse.

I can do this.

NOTE: Books & Such agent Rachelle Gardner gives some great advice in her blog, "Writing a First Draft." Also check out "5 Habits of Motivated Novelists" for more ways to crank out words.


1. Set time to write every day. (9 a.m. - 12 p.m., then 1 - 3 p.m., or whenever word count for the day is met.)

2. Keep writing time sacred:

  • STAY OFF Internet. That includes Facebook and other social networking sites. Research after word count is met. Only when daily word count is met post progress on blog, NaNoWriMo site, and FB.
  • Do not check email. 
  • Do not use phone. Let the answering machine or voice mail take incoming calls. 
  •  Do not schedule anything during writing time.

3. Write 2,000 words a day, Monday-Saturday. No excuses. 

4. Push forward.

5. Don't think.

6. Just write. 

I'm fortunate in that I don't work outside the home, I live in the middle of nowhere, the nest is empty, and my husband works 11-hour days (is gone 12 hours M-F), and is content with simple suppers.

How about you? What are you doing to get ready for NaNo?

Keep writing,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wisdom for writers

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first began writing?

That's the question editor and writer Nick Harrison addressed in his blog today, "Advice I Wish I'd Been Given," an excellent piece for writers at every stage. I identified with all of his points, but especially with "cultivate patience," to which I add "persistence and perseverance." Which piece of advice do you most relate to?

Another good post is today's "Wednesday's Writing on Writing" blog by Jerry B. Jenkins, who reminds us it's never too late to become what you dream to be.

Do check out the list of blogs for writers ("BLOG TO HONE YOUR WRITING SKILLS") on the right of this page. I admit I don't read them all as soon new posts are published, but I do scan the titles and pick the ones I think will help me where I am right now in my writing.

As I fuel up for NaNoWriMo, I've been reading more blogs for writers, especially those that deal with fiction technique and motivation.

What about you? How are you fueling up for NaNo?

Keep writing!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo

Getaway Mountain, my current novel-in-progress, was flowing along great when it came to a skidding halt in mid-July. Life happens, you know? And I haven't been able to get back to it since.

Most of the summer was spent getting ready for our fortieth wedding anniversary trip, a two-week camping trip in mid-September through the Finger Lakes region of New York, on to Fort Ticonderoga, through Vermont and New Hampshire, and up the coast of Maine to Mount Desert Island, where we spent a week exploring the island and Acadia National Park.

The week after we returned home was mop-up-after-vacation and get-caught-up week. The second week was get-ready-for-the-conference week. I'm the assistant director for the Punxsutawney Christian Women's Conference.

So here we are, the third week back from vacation, and I still can't find the energy to plunge back into writing.

I did, however, complete and submit this month's assignment for my Christian Writers Guild Craftsman course. And today I had my Skype appointment with my mentor, Sandra Byrd.

"I just don't have the passion for this novel that I had for the first and second ones I wrote," I told her ("whined" is more like it).

"You're tired," she said. "It's like a cell phone battery. You have to recharge it all the way. If you unplug it when it's only at 20 percent, it's going to die out faster than if you fully recharged it."

Makes sense. And she's spot-on.

My friend, conference speaker and author Virelle Kidder writes in her book, Meet Me at the Well, "Body, mind, and spirit are one complete package. When one part suffers, the whole person suffers."

When one part is exhausted, so are the other two.

I've been running on all cylinders for months, and I'm plumb tuckered out. In body, mind, and spirit.

Writing requires energy. "Creativity" sounds nice, but while we writers feed on it, in reality it burns a great deal of energy - uses up the charged battery.

What does this have to do with NaNoWriMo?

Everything. If I'm to have the energy to write 50,000 words in the month of November and get my WIP going again, I need to start recharging that creative battery now.


  • Plug in to power sources that feed my writing: For me that's reading, especially fiction and authors I enjoy reading. And how-to's (books, articles, blogs) on the craft, especially anything by James Scott Bell.
  •  Rest: About recharging batteries - I've noticed when I'm recharging my Kindle Fire and using it at the same time, it takes longer to recharge. It doesn't take the valedictorian of MIT to see that giving it a rest while it's recharging will speed up the process. 
  • Play with the plot. A rough outline will provide a map when I run into "What's next?"  during NaNoWriMo. While we were on vacation, I journaled nearly every day about the trip. I didn't plot and plan. I just wrote - and discovered I can easily write 1,500 words a day and not take all day or several hours to do it. That's what I plan to do during NaNoWriMo -- just write!
I'm getting ready for NaNoWriMo. What about you?

(NOTE: Those of you who sign up for NaNoWriMo, let me know! We can be NaNoWriMo writing buddies!)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Novel Rocket

Have you checked out the Novel Rocket website?

I've added it to the list of blogs of interest to writers at the right of this page.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Operation First Novel

Have you written a novel and don't know what to do with it?

Even if it's not the first novel you've written, if you haven't had a novel published, you can enter it in Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel. The winner, who will receive a $20,000 advance and a publishing contract with Worthy Publishing, will be announced at the 2014 Writing for the Soul Conference.

For more information, click here.

And while you're visiting the Guild's website, why not check out the courses offered? They will stretch you, challenge you, give you an understanding of the publishing industry, and help you to hone your writing skills.

Following is a list of the courses. Click on the course name for more information.


Writing Essentials





Building Your Social Media Platform

Articles That Sell

Fiction That Sells

YOUTH COURSES (a great resource for homeschoolers!):



Friday, August 16, 2013

A time to write . . .

It was full steam ahead the first part of July. The muse danced in joyous freedom. The editor settled down behind closed doors with a good book. I finished chapter 8 of Getaway Mountain, my novel-in-progress. The first draft of Act 1 done. On to Act 2 . . .

Except all came to a screeching halt when my  14-year-old grandson suffered a compound fracture of his upper left arm during baseball practice. Getaway Mountain was put on hold during the crisis.

Trouble is a month later it's still on hold.

I'm sure you identify.

Life happens. There's nothing we can do about it. Sometimes our priorities get shifted out of necessity. As Solomon once wrote, "there is a time for every purpose under heaven."

But sometimes reasons morph into excuses.

Like, "I can't get back in the mood." "I'm too tired." "Too busy." "I haven't a clue what to write next." Yada, yada, yada . . .

The real reason is, "I'm afraid to write." I've bought into the lies whispered into my psych by an enemy who doesn't want me to succeed in what God has called me to do. Lies such as,  "I'm really not a good writer." "My writing stinks." "Why bother? It'll never get published anyway."

I must remember how Jesus dealt with the enemy's lies: “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s" (Matthew 16:23 NLT).

No more excuses. 

It's a time to write . . . 


"It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous." - Robert Benchley

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly." C. J. Cherryh

"May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done." - from "A Four-fold Franciscan Blessing"

"The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable." - St. Paul (Romans 11:29)


Friday, July 12, 2013

Website 101

As a writer, do I need a website? If so, how much will in cost in time and money? Where do I start?

Randy Ingermanson, award-winning author of six novels and also known as "the snowflake guy" because of his "snowflake" method of plotting fiction, addresses these questions in three blogs for the Christian Writers Guild:

"Everything Starts with Your Website" (part one of three)

"Using WordPress to Build Your Website" (part two of three)

Look for the link to part three on Sunday or Monday. Check the list of blogs for writers in the right margin of this page. This list updates automatically.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day eleven

July 11, 2013
4:27 p..m.

TOTAL WORDS IN MS:                             23,520

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day ten

July 10, 2013
4:38 p.m.

Finished chapter 7 (wrote 301 words, plus revisions and tweakings), researched and noted plot ideas and scenarios, then completed and submitted my assignment (due today) for the Christian Writers Guild Craftsman course I'm taking.Need to write 700 words today to fulfill my 1,000-word/day commitment for the day.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Two great blogs

Just read two great blogs for writers:

James Scott Bell's "The Kill Zone: The Magical Midpoint Moment" (which is exactly what I need at this point in my WIP)

Kristen Lamb's "5 Traits of the Successful Author" is a good reminder of the difference between an amateur and a pro.

Day nine

July 9, 2013
10:41 a.m.

When Scene 1of Chapter 7 fell flat, I let the manuscript rest for a few days while the problem of why simmered in my brain. I emailed the scene to my online critique group for feedback. "Melody (my main character) is acting out of character," wrote back one. "Needs more tension and conflict" wrote back another. Bingo! They both nailed the problems. What I love about their comments is that they both showed me what they liked and hence what to keep, as well as what needed revised.

I spent yesterday rewriting the scene and am much happier with it. The muse is dancing again.

If you don't belong to an online critique group, find one or form one. Or join one in your area. You can meet weekly or monthly. I like the online group because it works with our separate schedules. No meetings, just submit every other week (I'm submitting every week while I push through my WIP), review when you have time. And my writing buddies are always there to help me through a rough patch, like Chapter 7, Scene 1. Their feedback is always balanced with what could be improved and what is working. They are an encouraging group. Thank you, Patty Kyrlach, Robyn Whitlock, Kathy Bolduc, and Kay Clark!

(Check out Word Weavers and see if there's a chapter near you. If not, why not see about starting one?)

PROGRESS REPORT: Still working on Chapter 7, Scene 1, and I see clearly what needs to be covered in Chapter 8, which will be the last chapter in Act 1. Still on target to meet my goal of 20K words in July. Aiming to finish Chapter 7 today and Chapter 8 Thursday.

TOTAL WORDS FOR JULY (as of 11:10 a.m., 7/9) : 2,414


Friday, July 5, 2013

Day five

July 5, 2013
9:03 a.m.

No forward progress as far as words go. I took James Scott Bell's advice and took a day off. Hubby and I went to see a 5th wheel up by Lewis Run, in the Allegheny National Forest. I read portions of Bell's Plot and Structure that applied to where I am now in the novel. And I did a lot of thinking and taking notes: Why, for example, did the scene where my protagonist finally meets the man she's supposed to fall in love with fall flat? Jotted down lots of plot ideas.

Today I have my column to write, blogs to schedule, and lessons to review. What I really want to do is hole up someplace and just read.

I will complete 20K by July 31. I will.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day three

July 3, 2013
8:27 a.m.

Wrote only 107 words yesterday, and that includes tweaking what I wrote the day before. The scene went stale. Has that ever happened to you? I told myself it was horrible writing. Who was I fooling? I'm not a fiction writer.

Then I remembered what James Scott Bell wrote in Plot and Structure:

"Sometimes the . . . problem is merely writer's exhaustion. A temporary loss of confidence. Maybe even the fear that what you're writing is total garbage.

This is The Wall, and it should help you to know that most novelists hit it at some point in their first drafts.

For me, it is around the thirty-thousand-word mark. I get there and suddenly think all the worst things about my novel: the idea stinks and is beyond redemption; my writing is lame, the characters uninteresting, and the plot virtually nonexistent. I can't possibly go on. Career over."

Sound familiar? This is my fourth attempt at novel writing. Prior to this manuscript I completed two novels and abandoned a historical fiction at about 10K words. That I'm up to 18,355 words, further than usual, tells me I'm making progress. But I'm definitely at The Wall.

Here I am, closing in on Act I, ready to plunge into the "muddle" of Act II, and the creative juices freeze. What to do?

First, I won't panic.

Second, I'll complete the tasks that are on my mind that need to be done - such as paying the bills on time, fulfilling my mentoring duties, preparing Sunday's sermon, and daily stuff like putting supper together, cleaning up the kitchen, and doing the laundry. If I ignore these chores, they'll muzzle the muse.

Third, I'll read a chapter of Plot and Structure or Conflict and Suspense (another James Scott Bell how-to-write book). Bell's writing on writing never fails to motivate me. Ideas and scenes just fill my mind, begging to wriggle out.

Fourth, I'll press through. So what if it stinks? I can fix it later. 

(Check out James Scott Bell talking about "Writing Through Frustration" on YouTube. Be prepared to laugh.)

Bell gives some excellent advice on pushing through The Wall in Plot and Structure:

  • Take a whole day off from writing.
  • Try to spend some time at a peaceful location.
  • Spend at least thirty minutes sitting without doing anything. Don't read, and don't listen to music. Breathe deeply. Hear the world around you.
  • Do something for pure fun.
  • In the evening, drink a glass of warm milk and fall asleep reading one of your favorite authors.
  • First thing the next day, write at least three hundred words on your novel, no matter what. Don't edit, don't slow down. Just write. You'll start to feel excited again.
  • Push on until you complete your first draft.

I'm still on target to meet my goal of 20K words this month. I gave myself some breathing room. I can take a couple of days off a week, or write less on a couple of days. 20K/month is 5K/week, or 1K/day, 5 days a week.

I'm going to go read a chapter in Plot and Structure. Then, look out, Wall! Here I come!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Great new blog for writers

A friend in the publishing industry recommended Kristen Lamb's blog to me. I visited, got a good feed, and signed up. Today's post, "Brave New Publishing & Attack of the Feral Bunnies," is a great reminder to keep pressing on, pursue that dream. There are no shortcuts. Reminds me of the saying, "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." (Vince Lombardi)

Click here to get to Kristen's blog. 

NOTE: I've added Kristen's blog to the list of blogs of interest to writers in the right margin. It will update automatically.

Day two

July 2, 2013
9:02 a.m.

Wrote 1,020 words yesterday. Met my goal. 18,980 to go. I can't think of the mountain. I have to focus on the next step.

Monday, July 1, 2013


We writers are always told to "SHOW, DON'T TELL." Anne Greene's blog for today, "Breathe Life into your Manuscript," SHOWS how this is done.

Here's an excerpt:

I discovered that in Very Deep POV, no thought or action is told. Everything is shown. So I couldn’t use words like wished, hoped, thought, felt, caused, watched, knew, wondered, realized, speculated, decided.

I couldn’t use wonderful verb phrases like happiness flashed through her, despair tugged at her, jealousy flattened her, love took her breath away.

I couldn’t write that she smiled with satisfaction, her skin prickled with fear, the explosion made her jump, the pollution caused her nose to itch, her heart beat fast with excitement. 

No. Emotion by emotion, each has to be shown, not told.

Click here to read the entire blog.

Great advice. Thanks, Anne!