Archive for new articles

Doing a happy dance: my six-part series on POV is finally finished!

A funny thing happened on the way to the website: although I fully intended to publish my final POV article in April, I got a wee bit distracted by a sudden influx of work. It’s a nice problem to have, but it’s taken me weeks to dig out after I picked up four new clients in one day!

But although right now my Newf Yukon is eyeing me hungrily because I’m half an hour late feeding him dinner, I’m done, and I’m doing a happy dance. Choosing the Perfect POV: The Writer’s Quest for the Holy Grail is finally published. The series was two years in the making, but I hope it’s been worth it for all you writers struggling with the sometimes-confounding topic of POV. If it helps just one person , I will feel that I’ve done something worthwhile.

Article on omniscient POV is up at last!

Well, I made it with one day to spare: my article on omniscient viewpoint is published at long last. I guess it really does work to give myself a deadline; I promised I’d have this done by the end of February, and I was ashamed enough this morning when I glanced at the date on the calendar to finally get it done.

Just as with my article on multiple POV, I had to overcome some internal resistance to write about omniscient narration, since it’s not my favorite thing. But it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction to know that I’m only one article away from finishing this series—and I’m already wondering what the next series may be. If there is anything that you’d like to see me write about it, please fill out the Contacts form and let me know.



Try my new method to prime your writing pump

When I started this experiment in techniques to jump-start my writing back in December, I didn’t intend for it to be anything more than a way to send a jolt of electricity through my post-op brain and get my writing neurons firing again. But when I discovered that neither Julia Cameron’s morning pages nor Natalie Goldberg’s freewriting were targeted enough to achieve what I wanted, I brewed my own method that I call Priming the Pump. You can read about my entire experiment in three parts over on my blog, Spontaneous Combustion.

My pump has certainly been primed. Not only did I finally plot my way through the second half of my middle grade novel, but I also started churning out chapters. I also produced the blog post mentioned above, and I finally started drafting the fifth installment of my web series on POV. I hope to finally get the long-promised article on omniscient POV published here before the end February. I’ll let you know when it goes live.

And in the meantime, I’ve got the Readers Digest Condensed Version of my Priming the Pump method available here on a new page I’m calling Featured Writing Tips. If you try this method, I would love to hear your comments. Post them over on my blog, or email me here. I hope it’s as fruitful for you has it has already been for me!


At long last: that article on multiple POV!

I can’t believe that I’ve let eight months go by without the long-promised third installment in my series on demystifying POV, but it’s here! I just posted my article, “Fight Club: Multiple POV Fights Back” both here on the website and on my blog as well.

I appreciate your patience; over the past several months everything from knee surgery to the holidays to a never-ending onslaught of editing work combined to keep me from continuing this series on viewpoint. It’s a subject that fascinates me, and seems to confuse my writing students and clients, which is why I was inspired to undertake it.

I’m excited about this article because I finally found a way to let multiple POV stand up for itself. As you all know, I’m a staunch single POV kind of girl, so it was hard for me to let go of that prejudice and find a rationale for ever using multiple viewpoint. I did, however—in the form of four middle grade novels which use multiple POV to good effect. Although I don’t think I’ll ever like multiple POV as much as I do single viewpoint, these four books—Wonder, Because of Mr. Terupt, Every Soul a Star, and A Tangle of Knots—went a long way to soften my stubborn stance.

I promise the fourth article in the Demystifying POV series won’t take so long to appear. I’m already researching the next installment, which will explore Deep POV.

Still plugging away: have a new article for you

I am getting closer and closer to finishing my secret project, which is nearing prime-time readiness. There has been a lot of research and learning I had to do, which was time-consuming, at times frustrating, but ultimately a lot of fun. And I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed writing so much! Now the main hurdle may be overcoming my own perfectionism; I can’t seem to stop revising.

In the meanwhile, I re-discovered a neat little trick about proofreading on your iPad, Kindle, or other e-reading device. Perhaps it will help you as much as it’s helped me.

Two in a row: article on cross-training is live

I’m setting an un-repeatable precedent for myself here, but this makes two new articles in under 24 hours. I just published a piece on what I call cross-training for writers. Take a look.

Cross-training: radical therapy for writer’s block

New article on backing up to avoid disaster

Last Monday we were without power for seven hours due to yet another severe March thunderstorm. As I packed my emergency tornado bag with the Macbook Air that I could not bear to be without if my house were blown down around me, I was inspired to write this article about what you can do to avoid losing your work if disaster strikes. It’s a bit geekier than my other articles: sorry! But it outlines some simple and free steps you can take to backup your writing. I hope it helps.

Don’t let disaster set you back; back up!

I’m working on two more articles at the moment, one on what I call cross-training and the other on literary tics. Not sure which will be the first to go up, but I’ll let you know.