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August 17, 2018

We readers prefer a narrative that flows in “active voice” sentences. We might not realize it, we might not even know what active voice is, but trust me, we readers prefer it. Why? Simply put: active voice means better, faster reading comprehension.

For example, read th...

February 21, 2018

With becoming a writer, I’ve had to learn all sorts of new coping skills: How to be humble after a good review. How to keep my ego above water after a bad review. How to bargain with myself to get a chapter written (a piece a chocolate every five paragraphs works well)...

June 16, 2017

Fictional writing should offer a rhythm, a pattern, and a sound. Together these elements create what’s needed for any decent narrative: flow. Without flow, readers will soon find themselves disinterested in what you’ve written and, frankly, perturbed at you.

Here’s an e...

May 1, 2017

My Knoxville writers’ group has been at it again with more flash fiction. This time we used Seventh Sanctum to give us individual prompts. Seventh Sanctum is a website that provides randomly generated ideas that inspire writers. The following is what came out of my ran...

March 28, 2017

On one of my earliest trips abroad, I happened to strike up a conversation with a fellow backpacker over expressos at some student café in Paris. One topic led to another, and she ended up telling me about a strange decision made by a friend of hers. Now, many years la...

February 24, 2017

Rage is not anger. Don’t confuse the two.

We can rant at a neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking, we can snap at a significant other for not picking up their dirty underwear, we can even feel our blood pressure rise at the words of a politician or shout at another dri...

January 4, 2017

While I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy, many members of my local writers group focus on science fiction. At a recent group meeting, we fell into a discussion of how hard it is to develop truly "alien" aliens. After all, anything that comes out of a human br...

November 8, 2016

While we women authors often include at least a touch of romance in our novels, it doesn’t mean women understand romance better than men or even that we’re better at "working" it. Perhaps—and this is just my opinion—women simply have more fun with romance than men do.

L...

September 21, 2016

I got fed up.

My favorite fiction to curl up with has usually been a variation of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Yet now after bingeing on the genre for a while, I find myself diversifying.

Yes, I grew bored with the standard tropes associated with, let’s call it...

August 9, 2016

“Flash Fiction” is a short—sometimes really short—form of storytelling. The number of words required in flash fiction differs from writer to writer, editor to editor, contest to contest, but some purists insist that it’s a story told in less than 75 words. For less-rig...

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