Category Archives: Tips & Tools for Writers

When Outlines Make Revisions Easier

BRP2013 GoldWriters, today at The Blood-Red Pencil I talk about that thing I never wanted to do because I feared it would stunt my creativity, but which has instead increased my creativity: outlining.

“I’m The Bad Guy?”

BRP2013 GoldHow do fiction authors create believable bad guys? I find I must explore the existence of my own inner villain. Today at The Blood-Red Pencil, I explore this confronting approach to writing antagonists, with a post called I’m The Bad Guy?

When Do You Fire A Protagonist?

BRP2013 GoldIt happens to writers sometimes, but I never thought it would happen to me. No matter how much we love them, no matter how hard they work for us, no matter how sure we are that they cannot be replaced: sometimes we have to fire our protagonists. Today at The Blood-Red Pencil I consider why I had to fire my historical novel’s first protagonist, and how I discovered whether my new protagonist was up to the job.

An Ambivert Walks Into A Writing Conference…

BRP2013 GoldToday at The Blood-Red Pencil, I consider how both introverted and extroverted writers deal with the ecstasy and the agony of writing conferences. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, or just an introvert or an extrovert,  I believe you’ll relate to my post: An Ambivert Walks Into A Writing Conference…

Amazon and Oranges

BRP2013 GoldToday at The Blood-Red Pencil, I share a few thoughts about marketing and the behemoth bookseller, Amazon. I’ve found gardening a great metaphor for many of life’s challenges, and marketing is no exception. It turns out that reinvigorating my aging orange tree is a bit like pumping energy into marketing: sometimes the simplest things help. Read Amazon and Oranges to learn why.

Romance Outside the Genre

BRP2013 GoldAre you a sucker for romance even if you don’t read romance novels? Check out my interview of bestselling novelist Andrew Sean Greer (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells), today at The Blood-Red Pencil. It’s part of that blog’s February look at Men and Romance. Greer has me pondering questions like: Why do writers and readers sometimes talk as if being sentimental is a bad thing? And: How can we write or read stories if we aren’t to some extent in love with love in one form or other? Check out our conversation here.