Hurricanes and Rowboats

It’s a feeling I am familiar with. Anyone who’s finished writing a story might feel the same. I felt lost, like I was adrift in a boat with no oars or motor. The story had come to an end, but this time it was magnified. It was the end of a series – the cumulative…

Resolutions, Anyone?

New Year’s resolutions have been around forever, it seems. A fresh start. A clean slate. A new chance to get it right. I have my own, personal resolutions but I thought it would be fun to think about resolutions for me, the writer. Perhaps they’ll strike a chord with you. Give Your Story a Home…

Castle Dreams

I don’t remember how old I was (early elementary, probably), but the day is clear and vivid in my memory. After sledding with friends, I changed into dry clothes and spent the rest of the afternoon in my room next to the heat register with a book I could not put down. The book? Grimms’…

Co-Author Magic

At the many writing conferences and workshops I’ve attended over the years, I’ve heard about writers who collaborate on a variety of projects, and I always wondered how it worked. It seemed to be a rare, hushed process that took place under mysterious, obscure conditions. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d…

Conquering the Messy Middle

We’ve all heard of (and endured) the “messy middle” of a story. When I get there, I start to feel fatigued; perhaps my characters do, too. They also seem uncertain, hesitant, and fearful of what’s to come. They hold back with good reason – the middle of my stories contains the low point, and what’s…

Don’t Diss the Details

I love a story with details. I think they have the power to bring a story to life, make it believable, and put the reader right where you want them – hooked, immersed, and with the feeling that they are actually there with your characters. But I would caution against meaningless detail. You want those…

Too Much Sighing

  Writers know that emotion is an important part of a story. It draws the reader in and gets them invested in what is happening. It allows them to become emotionally attached to the characters (good or bad) and either cheer them on or applaud their demise. Just a Sigh… There are passages in my…

Deciphering Dougal

It’s hard to figure out what’s simmering beneath the surface of Dougal’s masked countenance. I thought it would be fun to explore the possibilities in “The Gathering.” At the oath taking, Dougal is the first in line to swear his allegiance to Colum, but it looks more obligatory than anything else. He looks irritated and…

The Best Welcome

The somber, weary Highlanders returning to Castle Leoch are a welcome sight for Glenna Fitzgibbons (Mrs. Fitz). Her greeting seemed boisterous, almost startling to me until I hit the pause button and thought about it. When the Highlanders set out on their journey, she had no way of knowing if she’d see any of them…

This Writer’s Toolbox

Writing is a process of total immersion into the world around me. It is not limited to the actual task of writing – pen, paper, computer, etc. To create a believable and inviting world for readers, I must first create one for myself, as a writer. I create this world by seeking out and using…