for June, 2014
Programs for Writers 4

Even MORE programs for writers!

June 20, 2014

Happy Friday, guys! As writers, we all have different methods and different styles, and as such, we all use different tools to help us along the way. I’ve written several articles about writing tools and apps already, including this one, which highlights the three I use most often; this one, of which Behind the Name is my favorite addition; and this one, which focuses on online resources rather than actual programs or applications. I thought I’d written a piece specifically about writing programs for mobile phones or tablets, but I can’t seem to find it. I guess I’ll have to write it again! Anyway, as you can imagine, I’m always looking for new applications not only to make my life easier, but that I can recommend to friends or family members looking for new solutions. Because we all have our different preferences, it’s always valuable to give people more options rather than just saying, “Oh my God, I use Scrivener […]


Sensible series lengths.

June 19, 2014

When I first outlined Martyrs, I had planned on the story to fit into a single book (which is absolutely laughable, considering what I now know). As the story extended and as my ideas grew, the series did, too. I began to plan a trilogy, until I realized the story was still too long for just three books. The running outline for Martyrs, then, moved to four books in length, and it stayed at four books for a long time until I had an epiphany and sat down just two years ago and hashed my way through the rest of the story. Basically, I realized one day, “If I have a book series about the Seven Deadly Sins, why don’t I have a book series with seven books?” To be honest, I made that realization several months before I actually sat down to do anything about it, in part because I was borderline terrified at the idea of re-outlining my […]


The magic of “Part One.”

June 18, 2014

This last weekend, my husband and I joined my business partner and his family to go see How To Train Your Dragon 2 for Father’s Day. A little awesome backstory–the first time my Partner in Crime ever told me he loved me was after a movie date to the FIRST How To Train Your Dragon, so the film has some awkwardly adorable nostalgia for me. Plus, I want my own Nightfury. Anywho, I’m usually really leery of movie sequels, but Dreamworks has done a pretty good job in the few I’ve seen (in other words, I really liked the second Shrek), and besides, another chance to watch more of How To Train Your Dragon? You don’t have to ask me twice! And the movie was really good. I wasn’t disappointed when I walked out of the theater (though I did cry–maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but man, what’s with kids movies making me cry? I cried in Brave and Frozen, […]


3 reasons you want non-writers to critique your work.

June 17, 2014

When I’m asked to critique a friend’s work, I’m always flattered and usually (as long as my schedule allows) totally willing to oblige. I understand why my writing friends value my opinions when it comes to their work. It’s the same reason I value theirs when it comes to mine. Writers understand writing, storytelling, and character development in ways non-writers don’t. Writers can give critique in a language I understand as a writer myself. I know they know what they’re talking about. But it’s important to have a list of readers who aren’t writers willing and ready to read your work, too–and not just people who are willing to give you a paragraph response to what they thought at the end. You want non-writers who are willing to try to do what your writers will do: actually delve into the story itself and give you valid, detailed critique on what works and what doesn’t work. Especially while going through school […]


Character believability and motivation.

June 16, 2014

You’ve probably gathered this by now, but it’s my opinion that the characters in a story are arguably the single most important elements to whether or not the story is absolutely awesome or a total waste of my time. I’ve covered the three-legged stool of storytelling, wherein I list fantastic characters as one of the three pedestals a truly remarkable story needs to stand. There are a lot of things that make up and define characters, but realistically, the most important part about a character is whether or not your reader can believe in him. From my experience, a lot of people are willing to suspend a lot of their disbelief about characters. Maybe I’m just pickier than your average reader (hint: I totally am), but characters who highly violate my believability end up insanely popular among the general crowds. Additionally, I’m also super picky about the kinds of characters I like, which makes this even more difficult. However, one […]


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