“Three-ways are complicated” and other expert advice on dialogue

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Calling Debut Authors! Now Accepting Applications for the 2018 Debutante Ball! Read this post to learn more. Hurry! THE DEADLINE IS JULY 28! The paperback edition of SMALL ADMISSIONS releases today, and I have been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned as a writer this year. Like, how have I grown and improved? In particular, I’ve been giving the art of dialogue a lot of thought, asking myself, “How…


A Fan Letter to my Freelance Editor

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I remember the day when I pulled my car off I-95 and sat crying in a parking lot outside of a McDonald’s. And the day I went to bed at 1:00 in the afternoon and stayed there. Until 1:00 the next afternoon. And then there was the morning that I called my sister, yelling, “Fu*k it! I quit!” What prompted my outbursts, foul moods, and misery? Phone calls with my…


Conflict for the Conflict Averse: An Interview with Michelle Hoover

Monday, October 19, 2015

  I hate conflict, so I wasn’t surprised when I had trouble putting my characters into difficult situations. When I set out to write a novel, I wanted to create a town filled with people that I loved. Couldn’t I write a story about a bunch of people who cared about each other? Isn’t the world filled with enough trouble as it is? Don’t we read to escape stress? Needless to…


Breaking the Law in Fiction

Thursday, April 17, 2014

As a novice writer, especially one in search of an agent, we swallow every writing and industry rule hook, line, and sinker. It’s understandable when we’re dying to get our foot in the door. And sure, most of those standards exist for a reason, but those books that BREAK OUT, often break the laws of fiction. I’ve stomped all over plenty of rules, just like Natalia. (See her Tuesday post…


We Notice, Therefore We Are

Like most writers, I don’t know where characters begin. A moment in passing, a stranger on the train, a half-remembered story, a what if — characters begin as whispers and shadows, best seen peripherally. Time passes, and you do your best to show up every day, hang out for a few minutes or a few hours, and begin to tease out their stories. I don’t know of any way to…

Wednesday, January 25, 2012