Tag Archive 'Inspirations'

Feeding Your Readers Information: A Look at a Master

    As so often happens, the comments on last month’s piece (What Do Your Readers Know and When Do They Know It) showed that there was a lot more to the topic than I could cover in a single column.  So I thought it would help to look in some detail at how a master […]

Corrections Are Good: How to Take Critique Like a Dancer

Today’s guest is Kim Bullock whose novel-in-progress (working title The Oak Lovers) has already been receiving praise. Historical fiction author Stephanie Cowell says this, “I’ve seldom read a novel with such intense passion. I was unable to put down The Oak Lovers; this is a riveting book.” The story, based on family member Carl Ahrens […]

Everything I Need to Know About Plot, I Learned From Buffy

A couple of weeks ago, a client told me one of his beta readers had said his book read like a comic book.  I asked why that was a bad thing. Granted, you don’t want your characters to be shallow caricatures or your plot to be mechanical or contrived, which is what many people mean […]

In Praise of Paper Books

I recently started rereading a book I bought many years ago – one volume of an eight volume collected set of The Spectator, a London daily periodical from the early 18th century.  William Addison and Joseph Steele wrote most of the The Spectator’s 2500-word, witty and wise essays on serious topics of social value.  A […]

Anything for the Story: Tension

Today’s guest is Clayton Lindemuth, with a post about tension and author integrity because first, they are linked, and second, learning to let go of our nice selves is critical to good writing. If the reader doesn’t perceive the reality of the challenge or conflict facing the protagonist, the story is weak. His debut, Cold […]

Nine Good Gifts for the New Year

I’m not keen on New Year’s resolutions. It’s too easy for us to end up in a mire of guilt, weighed down by our failure to meet our own expectations. On the other hand, defined goals can help those of us who might otherwise become TV watching, junk food eating couch potatoes, with nothing more […]

The Book of Life

Therese here. Today’s guest is an author I personally admire, Margaret Dilloway. Margaret’s latest novel, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, is a beautifully written character-driven story about the struggles of a woman riddled with kidney disease–and an abrupt personality–and how her life as a rose breeder is disrupted by the arrival of […]

Out of the Ashes

On the first day of the winter break, my granddaughters’ school was gutted by fire. It started in the middle of the night, and by the time firefighters reached the scene, the hundred-year-old heritage building was well ablaze. Whoever set this fire – and it was certainly arson, with three separate ignition points – not […]

Planting the Russian Seed

Childhood books are so powerful. They can imbue us with a passion for something unexpected, but whose effects are lifelong. And sometimes, when you look back, you can see the precise moment when it happened, the exact story that turned you on to something deep and important. I was thinking about that recently—I’m in the […]

Updating Traditional Motifs to Create Fresh Fiction

I want to do something a bit different today. My new book The Boggle Hunters, a fantasy adventure novel for kids aged 8-12 has just come out this month in Australia (Scholastic Press Australia) and I want to talk about the sheer magic of creating this book and the fun I’ve had creating a new […]