Pantsers Pantsers Oi Oi Oi!

Which Came First? The Plot, or the Characters?

This is a perennial question authors get asked, and it’s just as unanswerable as the chicken and egg conundrum. Look, let’s be brutally honest here. Authors as a whole live in a half-unreal world with their heads feeling cloudy ALL THE TIME. Fictional people fill our brains with ghostly conversations. Interesting, exciting scenes play out behind our closed eyelids. Fantasy worlds and concepts capture our imagination. Reality is pretty much optional, okay. In the midst of all this noise, pinpointing…

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Throw Away Your Crutches: Author Toolbox

The author toolbox is the creation of Raimey Gallant, all about sharing resources, discoveries, and expertise. If you’re a writer looking for a diverse range of help in many different areas, this is your hop. Come join! What do you mean by writing crutch, SE? I mean something like those words we overuse (that, suddenly, like) but in the realm of scene setting and action beats your characters go through. Here are some examples of common writing crutches/habits/aids. Dramatic sighs.…

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No Filter in Your Author Toolbox

This old post has been brushed up for this month’s Author Toolbox Blog Hop, hosted and moderated by author Raimey Gallant. Authors at all stages of their writing/publishing journey are welcome to hop in and bring new ideas and tools. Did you know there are such things as “filter words” when writing? I did not as a smol writer but now, thanks to the Tunnel of Everlasting Rejection which was 2017, I do. In the course of a) submitting my…

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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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Add Some Great First Lines to Your Author Toolbox

You know what’s the hardest part of writing a book? Besides the writing and the outlining and the scene construction and editing and . . . okay . . . every other part. This bit is really the most intimidating, I promise. The hardest part is making yourself start. Prevailing advice, endless online articles, and the image of the latest huge seller, hang over your head like a constant cloud. And the cloud isn’t merely decorative. As your mind goes…

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Friday Favorites Gets Twisted

Friday Favorites is a blog hop hosted and created by the wonderful somethingofthebook.com March 29 My Favorite Plot Twists I love a good twisty moment in a book but I don’t go out actively seeking them. I tend to be a pretty oblivious person at the best of times and small details fly far, far over my head while I hum along, blissfully ignorant below. Hi, I’m Dory. This makes things like walking down a hallway without banging my elbows on doorknobs…

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The Insecure Writer’s Group Gets All Up In My Personal Space

This is an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. The group is all about no judgment, secure support for every writer. We post once a month and reach out to each other for support, tips, ideas, encouragement, and occasional lists. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, every month. Come join! This month’s co-hosts are JH Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker, Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey! They deserve a big, virtual thank you so don’t forget to stop by and say it. This month, IWSG wants to…

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Why Titles are Literally the Worst

This is an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. To join the group yourself, head over to their website and don’t forget to throw a ninja salute at our captain, Alex J Cavanaugh. The co-hosts for this month’s posts are Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker and Ellen the Cynical Sailor, stop by and check out their posts as you’re hopping today! The question (totally optional, you little rebel, you) for June 6th is: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names? Answer:…

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No Filter

Did you know there’s such a thing as “filter words” when writing? I did not, but now thanks to the Tunnel of Rejection that was 2017, I do. In the course of a) submitting my manuscripts to RWA contests for judging and b) having my bits chopped off by the Axe of Editing the awesome staff at eXtasy Books wields, I have learned the stuff they teach you in creative writing. So take writing classes, is the lesson here. Alternate lesson: If,…

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