Thursday, December 5, 2019


I have gleaned a mountain of information from others over the ten years I’ve been writing. If I have used a sentence from a workshop, it is an honor to the presenter. I stand on the shoulders of the talented writers who have gone before me.
All authors start out as newbies. The writing industry is a maze that writers must master to become successful.
Advice to a novice writer:
1.  The best way to learn to write is to WRITE. Write every day! A page, a scene, or a chapter. Practice makes perfect applies to writing.
2.  Read, read, read—in your genre. It helps to listen to the voices of other writers and observe their styles. Learn the rules of your genre.
3.  Continue to learn the craft. You can never know enough about writing. Take classes, attend workshops and conferences.  Be a perpetual student!
4.  The first five pages are super important. You need a good “hook” to pull the reader in. You need to establish time, place, and character early in the story. Never overload the reader with too much back story—sprinkle it in along the way.
5.  Practice patience. It may take you two to three years to write your first novel. Editing could take six months, finding an agent might add another year or more, and a book offer with a release date might add another two years. Five years is not an unusually long time for a first book, if you want to join a large publishing house.
6.  Avoid the rush to self-publish. If you self-publish for expediency, you might not put your best work out there for the world to see. Once it’s out there, it’s in the spotlight. However, if you create a great product, self-publishing can be a lucrative route.
7.  Check your ego at the door. A literary agent might tell you that your present work project is not ready for “primetime.” Go back to work and improve your product, get a good editor and make your story the best you can make it.
8.  Ditch the stress. Keep the faith. Stay positive. Don’t get frustrated when your work is rejected. Look in the mirror and keep telling yourself, “I’m a writer. I am a writer.” 
9.  Be supportive of others. Guard your future reputation. Don’t whine and bad-mouth an agent, editor, or publisher. Never criticize a fellow writer in public.
10.  Network. Get feedback. Find a writing partner, a critique group, and beta readers. It’s more helpful if your writing partner writes the same genre.
11.  Find a good editor. This is the most valuable money you will ever spend. Most work needs a line editor, a content editor, and a copy editor.
12.  Learn the business of publishing. Writing is a business. Take tutorials, attend webinars, and in-person classes. After you create a delightful story or write a good book, you must sell it.
13.  Attend marketing webinars. Brand your product. Create a blog and other means of networking on social media. Drive the market to your website. Edie Melson’s blog, The Write Conversation shows you how.
14.  Employ a business entity to help spread the word.  WOW, Women on Writing, is a perfect example.
Remember—every published author was once a novice writer who did not give up.                

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

                                    Writing Advice
          All writers want to improve their work products. 
     The list below will take you to experts in the field of writing. 
     These talented friends can give you invaluable advice about: 
     what to do, how to do, and when to do it. 
     Your readers will thank you.

     Joe Bunting – Write Practice
     Lisa Cron – Wired for Story
     Judy Duffy – Story A Day
     Jane Friedman – Publishing
     Ann Handley – Everybody Writes
     Randy Ingermanson – “Snowflake Method”
     Jerry Jenkins – Author, Biographer, JJ Writers Guild  
     DiAnn Mills – Author, Speaker, Writing Coach 
     Jennie Nash – Author Accelerator
     Jessica Shawser – Editor at Reader’s Digest
     Marion Roach-Smith – Memoir Coach

     Example:  Lisa Cron explains how to use the brain, neuro-
  science, to hook readers. Dopamine emits pleasure to the brain,
  and this is triggered by curiosity in your story.
     What does this mean for writers? It confirms that a great story
  is more than just beautiful language. Readers love beautiful 
  prose, but they want to know how everything affects the 
  protagonist. How does he/she feel as opposed to what they are 
  doing on the surface? Why is she angry? Not--She threw a cup 
  across the room. Use internal conflict. What happens next?

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Essential Books

       Books, books and more books!

When you read a book, you embark on a new life adventure.
When you buy a book, you invest in a new outlook on life.
When you write a book, you share a part of yourself and a new journey of life.

     These words have been said a thousand different ways, but they always mean the same thing. Books are important. I'm glad books are essential to my life.

     Few things have affected my life as much as reading. Non-fiction teaches me important things I need to know. Thank goodness for people who write "How to..." books. 
      A good fiction story transports me to another world in minutes. The drama awakens my senses, and I am lost in the time, character, and story.  Fiction grabs me and doesn't let go until I've worked through the events and conflicts to reach a resolution. Stories of joy and sadness, ups and downs reflect real life, often shedding new light on a problem solved in a new way.

     Today I read fiction and non-fiction. It's delightful to have time to sit and read. My husband polished off a fiction book from the beginning until the end. Thanks to Lisa Wingate and thanks to David Baldacci--you made our day.

     I would like to invite you to be a part of my book launch on July 28 for Georgia Stories On My Mind.  Barbara Barth has planned an extravaganza at the Monroe Art Center. She really knows how to throw a party. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Georgia Stories On My Mind

Georgia Stories On My Mind will launch July 28.  Experience the heartwarming southern tales that reach beyond these turbulent times. Enjoy stories shaped by local traditions and legends and the people who live life to the fullest through joys and hardships. Inhale the essence of revitalized small town squares while eating hand-scooped ice cream on a park bench. Each town has its own magic. Sometimes the most real things in life are things we cannot see but those that deeply touch us. Share smiles and shed tears as you travel the curving road of life with these Georgia characters looking for hope, faith, trust, reconciliation, and love. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

                   Recommended Books on Writing Craft


     1.  Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi—The Emotional Thesaurus
2.  Martha Alderson—The Plot Whisperer
3.  James Scott Bell – The Art of War for Writers
4.  Mary Buckham & Dianna Love – Break Into Fiction
5.  Orson Scott Card – Characters and Viewpoint
6.  Annie Dillard—The Writing Life
7.  Debra Dixon – GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict
8.  Les Edgerton—Hooked
9.  Michael Hauge – Story Structure
10. Stephen King – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
11. Dean Koontz – How to Write Best Selling Fiction
12. Nancy Kress—Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint
13. Noah Lukeman –  The First Five Pages
14. Donald Maas – Writing the Breakout Novel
15. William Strunk and E.B. White – The Elements of Style
16. Christopher Vogler – The Writers Journey/Hero’s Journey

More to come--books on using social media to promote  your work.