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I love revisions

I love revising a manuscript. I’d rather fix a second draft than write the first, and today I’m sharing three of my favorite revision techniques. I’ve included an exercise with each, plus examples from my YA novel I Wish. Rediscover the heart of the story We’ve had other great Ruby posts about creating taglines. To recap, […]

Where’s the Beef? Finding Truth and Pain in Comedy

Go on–write comedy! Maybe you can’t go full Nora Ephron, but even the most serious of novels can use a break. Even you (yes, you!) can add a few lines for laughs to break up all the kissing and fighting and sighing and scheming in your romance. If it doesn’t come out naturally, it always seemed […]

Heart, Heat, Hope, and Humor

No surprise here, but I have closets full of ‘keeper’ books that go back decades. Crisp contemporaries, crumbling high school favorites, bold and sweeping historicals, witty chick-lit, proper regencies, and romantic suspense. I love them all.               Early in my writing career, I studied my keepers to determine what—beyond plot—had me clinging to this particular […]

What I’ve Learned About Book Bub

Book Bub (BB) is a subscription service, which offers daily e-mails recommending free and discounted e-books to readers. Recently I was fortunate (after three rejections for my YA books) to have my Scottish Historical book featured on BB. With the feature coming up, I took the free RWA Webinar given by Carolyn Robertson of BB. […]

Writing Regency Romance in a 21st Century World

You know when you have to throw together a dinner party at the last minute because you forgot it was your turn? (One of these days you really need to figure out that calendar thing on your phone that tells you stuff like this ahead of time.) Or your husband forgot to tell you? (Plan […]

Write On 2017! Prioritize Your Writing

Say it with me, writer friends: It’s time to stop clowning around and get serious about my writing! Maybe you’re a new writer hankering to finish your first novel. Or maybe you’ve been in the writing trenches a while and need to take that next BIG STEP. Get an agent. Self-publish. Quit your day job. […]

6-word stories

My baby girl is home from college for Christmas break. Our typical mother-daughter bonding involves the family room, laptops, web-surfing, and utter silence. Today, though, she broke the chain by sharing some 6-word stories that she’d found online. I left. Dog panicked. Furniture shopping. Our bedroom. Two voices. I knock. Rain. Two strangers. One umbrella. […]

People at Walmart – They Need an Editor (Your Book May Need One Too!)

After nearly fourteen years working at Walmart, there are a great many reasons I am grateful I no longer work there! One reason – I am no longer bombarded with live versions of those People at Walmart memes you see on Facebook. Trust me, it is far more frightening live. The nightmares are recurring less […]

Ruby Release – DANGEROUS BOYS Anthology

Life’s Too Short – Write a Novella Have you noticed how popular novellas are lately? I totally get why. Writers like me, who take anywhere from six to twelve months to write a full novel, can get a novella written and published in a fraction of that time. For readers, a short, satisfying story can be […]

Archetypes and Storybeats Part II: The Virgin’s Promise

In last week’s blog  I discussed the Hero’s journey and the nexus between certain character archetypes that are so well-recognized that they come ready-made with their own set of story beats.  The Hero’s Journey as interpreted by Chris Vogler in his book on screenwriting (The Writer’s Journey), has been so widely read that it’s often […]

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