Archives for April 2013

Get Thee to a Conference

One of the earliest—and most annoying—pieces of advice I received several years ago, when I first came back to writing with the aim of publication, was go to a writer’s conference. Isn’t going to happen, I said. I was a stay-at-home mother of seven, busy schooling my children, the youngest still a nursing baby. There […]

Why You Must Trim the Fat in Your Novel, What It Means, and How to Do It

I saw this quote on Facebook recently, and it got me to thinking. New writers sometimes don’t recognize when their novels are carrying extra weight. They have the tendency to think they need to add more “stuff” to fill the pages. Then, in trying to expand the story to fill a couple hundred pages, they […]


“In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit…” With these words J.R.R. Tolkien launched an epic fantasy that has thrilled generations of readers. Yet he chose to begin his story with not with action nor with characters, directly, but with setting. Why? Because in some stories, such as this one, setting is so […]

How NOT to Promote Yourself

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” So, last week I talked a bit about marketing and looking at it from a fresh angle. What might be some ways to NOT promote yourself (or others)? When looking for an opportunity to present your story to an […]