I. Make an outline

I hate traditional outlining. I think lots of people found it hard to deal with during those teacher-enforced research paper projects in school. Still, we need organizing tools when we write. I tend to use spreadsheet software to keep track of my characters and events in longer fiction. Kira Brady has another approach. How toContinue reading “I. Make an outline”

Change your point of view

Seeking a different perspective? Consider author Virginia Morrell’s revelations about animal minds. Try a prompt: write a sketch from a parakeet’s point of view. Or a chimpanzee’s. What Are Animals Really Thinking? Author Explores Hidden World http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140223-morell-animal-wise-animals-science-book-award/

A higher level of difficulty

Occasionally we read a story with a disabled character. The first one we meet may be Captain Hook. Ahab, another sailor, lost a leg to Moby Dick. How does a disability – long-term or temporary (think “Rear Window”) – make a difference in a character’s behavior? What does he or she do to compensate? ToContinue reading “A higher level of difficulty”

Reading women’s words 10 + 3

Here are three from me and ten from Julia Bell for a baker’s dozen options if, as she says happens, you haven’t read much by women. Mine aren’t as literary as hers, but each is imaginative and fun to read. Sara Paretsky: Anything in her V.I. Warshawski series offers a gritty look at Chicago andContinue reading “Reading women’s words 10 + 3”

Getting good press

OK, so Valentine’s Day was a week ago and the organizing metaphor feels a little lame by now. But I’ve been on the receiving end of marketing pitches for years. These tips are good. If you have to do your own marketing for freelace articles, book tours, ghost writing or your nephew’s school fundraiser, followingContinue reading “Getting good press”