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Writing Tips

Capturing Convincing Settings
Capturing Convincing Settings 1024 576 Reader Views
During his author talks, Randy Overbeck is often asked if he grew up in the locales of his stories—the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake bay, Cape May, New Jersey and the Gulf Coast of Florida. Readers are often surprised by his answer – NO! Today, he shares four suggestions on how to make your settings come alive. read more
Using Fiction to Teach Checking Facts
Using Fiction to Teach Checking Facts 1024 576 Reader Views
Fiction books can even provide clear examples of Truth versus Make Believe. Fiction is stories that never happened, written for entertainment value, but that can also be educational. Fiction falls into recognizable types, created for different purposes. read more
Three Editing Strategies That Can Make a Real Difference
Three Editing Strategies That Can Make a Real Difference 1024 576 Reader Views
Once you written and slaved over a manuscript and revised and nursed it through several iterations, the last thing you want to do is to slough through even more editing tasks. I get it. Sometimes, after I’ve put in hundreds of hours to write and strengthen my work, taking one or two more hours to do even more editing seems like a bridge too far. But I’ve found these three editing strategies—which don’t take that much time—can make a huge difference in how a piece reads. These are hardly new, but the changes they exact can be dramatic. read more
How Improv Comedy Made Me a Better Writer
How Improv Comedy Made Me a Better Writer 1024 576 Reader Views
The basic premise of improv is that scenes are made up live on stage in front of an audience.  Terrifying and hilarious, improv is a form that exists every moment in the creative place where artists surprise themselves and their scene partners… don’t writers perform improv every time we pick up a pen? read more
The Age Old Question of Plotting vs. Pantsing
The Age Old Question of Plotting vs. Pantsing 1024 576 Reader Views
The question of how to approach writing your novel—whether you should plot out every detail or “write by the seat of your pants”—has been raised and answered more times than I can count. On this issue, I’ve learned much from several great writers, from Stephen King to William Kent Kreuger to Stephanie Evanovich. And I’ve tried to put these lessons to work in crafting the narratives of my new series, the Haunted Shores Mysteries. There is no perfect advice here, but perhaps my observations may prove helpful. read more
“Writing about Imaginary Playmates”
“Writing about Imaginary Playmates” 1024 576 Reader Views
I never understood why my mother insisted that my friends Nappy and Cordy were imaginary. They talked to me, told me stories, and were just as real as Alison or Charles or Kathy. I certainly didn’t see any difference, except possibly that they told better stories. read more
Writing About Controversial Topics
Writing About Controversial Topics 1024 576 Reader Views
The key factor to remember when creating controversial agit-prop fiction is to write a story that someone who is opposed to your desired change will find engaging enough to read. read more
Home, Sweet Home
Home, Sweet Home 1024 576 Reader Views
Homes can form the center, backdrop, setting, or sometimes take the starring role in a book. Homes reflect our personalities and preferences and our localities, our countries, and our cultures. Homes are a great way to introduce children to diverse cultures. read more
Children are an Easy Audience, Right? Think Again!
Children are an Easy Audience, Right? Think Again! 1024 576 Reader Views
Many writers go into writing children’s books with grand stories to tell. After all, they are stories they used to make up for their own kids; and if they loved them for sure other kids will too! Others believe that their Children’s book will sell because parents will love its message, forgetting that the audience is the kid and not the parent. read more
Closet Writers Unite: What is a writing collective?
Closet Writers Unite: What is a writing collective? 1024 576 Reader Views
Many writers prefer to work alone, but at some point, all writers need feedback on their writing, or at least encouragement and a chance to share ideas with other writers to find out what works and what doesn’t. read more