Where do you get your ideas? Recently, I received an email from a fiction writer who was nearing completion of her first novel and wanted to know how to generate a list of ideas for future stories. I’d like to start by saying that I applaud this writer for thinking ahead. It is always best to have a bunch of ideas waiting to be written when you have finished your most recent manuscript. But how do you find ideas? And how do you know which are worthy of spending your time on? First, it helps to know that there is no magical formula for generating ideas.   With that said, here are 6 suggestions on how to generate ideas for your story that have worked… Read More

Is Your Research Showing? 4 Ways to Know

When reading a work of historical fiction, details like the kind of fabric a court jester wore to the actual streets your protagonist would have walked down can pull readers into your story — making them feel like they are really in your characters’ world. But, sometimes an author’s enchantment with these tidbits of history can end up smothering a novel with facts. Soon, the story begins to feel more like a museum tour. How do you know what research should end up in your final draft — and what should stay in your notebook? Here are 4 steps to trimming your research… Read More

How to Write a Novel Without Leaving Your Couch

Feeling guilty about being a couch potato instead of writing your novel? Although I’ve dedicated my life to writing, reading and editing written stories, I can’t help but resist the siren calls of the small screen. I must admit I have to fight against being a total television junkie and for good reason – there are some fantastic shows on TV right now. My favorites are Dexter, Homeland, Breaking Bad, Modern Family, The Middle, Suits, Shark Tank, and The Nightly News. So, how can you make zoning out in front of the TV productive for you as a novel writer? … Read More