Author Toolbox: Creating Wonderful Characters

This is an author toolbox hop post. Author toolbox is the creation of author Raimey Gallant  ,a box with an emphasis on sharing tips, tricks, and advice with other authors as we all try to navigate together. Characters make or break a story. Yes, there’s plot as well, but I think the characters end up being equally as important. After all, the action loses impact when we don’t really care about the people it’s happening to. They are so important they…

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The Insecure Writer’s Group Wants to Speed Date Me

This is an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor! July 3 question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)? First of all, I like how the question assumes I’ve written personal traits into my characters. This is something I think we authors should…

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Author Toolbox: Tell Me How to Show

This post is part of the author toolbox blog hop, created and hosted by Raimey Gallant. Click on the link to join in with over thirty other authors and receive their pearls of wisdom on a monthly basis. Do you know how to tell, at a glance, that you’re dealing with a new, inexperienced author? Telling. When the writing is chock-a-block full of telling, it’s a gargantuan, neon clue blaring out: This author is still learning. This author is hacking…

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A Tool for Detecting Passive Voice: Author Toolbox

There are some generally accepted Golden Rules for authors (which, okay, change from century to century, genre to genre, and are not so much rules as guidelines?) One of them is DEATH to All Adverbs, which I am personally fighting against because I love me a good adverb. Another is Conflict is King. Too bad no one can really decide on the definitive definition of “conflict” for any given novel since it’s pretty much subjective and changes depending on what…

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The Insecure Writer’s Group has Got the Power

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for our writing insecurities to pop their little heads out, just in time to get whacked back down into the depths of our subconscious by multiple author-hammers. GET BACK IN YOUR PLACE, INSECURITIES! Ahem. Anyway. The optional question for May 1: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? The co-hosts for the month of May are Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin! Thanks to all…

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In Which the Author Continues Interviewing Herself About Her Books

Who was your inspiration for Colton Johnson in “Step Into Love?” My youngest sister was partly the inspiration for Colton. She deals with a lot of similar issues in her daily life, although she’s never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This might be because she absolutely loathes going to the doctor’s office and getting her to tell a doctor how she’s actually feeling is like squeezing water out of a rock. His outlook on life is very similar to hers.…

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In Which the Author, Who Assures You She Isn’t Crazy, Interviews Herself

What were you like as a child? Okay, first, this is an awfully personal question to lead off an interview with and I’m already questioning your motives. I’m told as I child I was energetic and active, almost to the point of being annoying. I would walk up to perfect strangers, to introduce myself as “shy”. I sang Disney songs ad-nauseum. And I liked to create lots of little stories with my friends. I also remember being dreamy and distracted,…

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The IWSG Wants Your Perspective

Spring! It’s so close I can almost taste the green in the air. Sure, it’s 41 degrees Fahrenheit and raining right now. Still. Warmth and sunshine are just around the corner and I CANNOT WAIT. My pale mushroom self is ready to finally leave the house and feel the heat. The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard! March 6 question – Whose perspective do you like to write from best,…

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Six First Aid Steps for Bad Feedback

It happened. The thing you’ve been dreading, avoiding, secretly praying will pass you by forever. Negative feedback. Maybe it’s kindhearted constructive criticism (OUCH) or maybe it’s a scathing one-star take down of your entire book (FUCKING OUCH OW PAIN). No  matter what form it takes this kind of feedback is hard on you. I know this, because I recently got my very own negative feedback. I enter every unfinished manuscript I write into RWA chapter contests for judging because apparently…

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The Basics of Romance, for Your Author Toolbox

*Sings* Do you want to write a romance? If you do, you’re in good company. Millions of books published every year. Thousands of authors. HUGE part of the market share. But, where to start? How is a romance different from any other fiction novel? What defines “romance”? At the basic level: A romance novel tells the story of the romantic relationship evolving between people. That’s all. That’s it. When you get right down to the nitty-gritty center of it, this…

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