It’s one of those apples or oranges sort of things: stand alone or series? After nine years (eleven years if we count back to when I first started writing Pink I– how scary is that?) of working on the same series, I’m in the odd position of working on both at once. Right now, I’m…

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I just had one of those lightbulb moments that are simultaneously wildly helpful and just as wildly inconvenient. I realized that I was trying to start my book in the wrong place. By which, of course, I don’t mean the wrong locale, but the wrong spot in the plot. I’ve found that for me, the…

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Does anyone else remember that old story, stone soup? My recollection of it is hazy, but the basic gist is this: a man shows up with a stone, saying he’s going to use it to make soup. The villagers are fascinated by the notion of soup made from a stone. One by one, they each…

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The other day, I received an email asking for advice on how to deal with a fragmented schedule that necessitated constantly putting down and then picking up again that work in progress. I’d say that’s a real concern for all of us who write around other things, whether it’s family, work, school, or, in my…

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While plotting my RWA workshop with Sarah MacLean, I had two major epiphanies (the fact that both coincided with the arrival of the waitress refilling our coffee cups has nothing whatsoever to do with it). Here they are: 1. We want our heroines to be likable and our heroes to be lovable; 2. We love…

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At RWA last week, Sarah MacLean and I gave a talk together on creating memorable heroes and heroines. Some very interesting things came up in that workshop planning session (I’ll get to the Orca Test shortly), so it seemed like a good idea to share some of it with you here, with due credit to…

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Yesterday, as I went to drop off the marked up proofs of The Ashford Affair at the UPS store down the block, it occurred to me that there might be some interest in the stages a manuscript goes through as it makes its way towards book form. You know that bit where you type in…

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A lot of you have asked me to talk about juggling work and writing or writing and social media. I can’t help feeling a bit like it’s the blind leading the blind here (my time management skills are far from stellar), but, for what it’s worth, here are my two bits, in a do as…

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The French are the masters of contradictory concepts, such as the belle laide: the ugly beauty. Then there’s my personal favorite: the idiot savant, the learned fool. These concepts are always hard to translate, but the idiot savant is someone who manages to perform brilliantly at something without really knowing the how or why. Sometimes,…

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Fundamentally, the topic of the day is Getting to Know Your Protagonist, Getting to Know All About Her, but that was too long to fit on the subject line, so let’s just call it Character Development: Part I. (I’ll talk about developing side characters another day.) The best advice I ever read on creation of…

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