If you write, you do not have to publish

It is not necessary that every writer be published. Sometimes writers write because they enjoy it. Society puts pressure on writers to publish and become a professional author. Non-writers think all that writing should go into some printed material, but that does not need to be the writer’s goal. Some people like to jog or[…]

Reading and Writing, Input and Output

Some educators believe we learn first to read and understand language even if it is only looking at pictures. This is input. Once we understand the reading world, we graduate to writing, which is the output. Of course, this could be wrong. Some educators believe we learn to write before reading (look up Maria Montessori).[…]

Does a Critique Group Make You Feel Like Writing?

I have been in a critique group for several years. The coordinator and I have stayed with other people coming and going. She is determined not to end the critique group, so I’m determined not to quit it. Before each meeting, we email each other our stories (we are not poets). So at the meeting,[…]

Linking Short Stories Together in a Novel

I self-published one book of short stories and will soon self-publish another. My biggest issue I had was what order to put my stories in. Over the years, I wrote almost fifty short stories. Since I am writing novels now (at least for the time being), I wanted to do something with my stories. I[…]

Creative Writing Advice *

A lot of people give advice on the craft of writing. I am guilty of this, too (as you can see by this blog post). With so much advice going around, some of it becomes contradictory. What is correct? ** My thoughts are that advice is based on the experience and education of the person[…]


Keeping a story’s timeline accurate is important for many reasons to include controlling flashbacks. I have read flashbacks that were to be one year ago, but were several years based on events. Or a twenty-year-old who five years ago was eighteen. The seasons seem to confuse writers. Going back one season from spring is winter,[…]

Naming or not a Fictional Character

There are two kinds of characters in a story. One who has a name and one who does not.* Characters who have an impact to the plot and appear in more than one scene should be named. They are a significant part of events and move the story along. Characters who perform a function, without[…]

Keeping Track of Time

When I’m writing a story, I try to maintain a consistent timeline. Even in science fiction, time progresses in a logical direction. The story can jump around, but the orderly passing of time should be maintained. This may seem obvious, yet I have read novels where the author confused the passage of time in the[…]

Heroes Need Friends

Recently I listened to a podcast* where the guest speaker talked about characters. One thing the guest speaker said was that a hero** should not be a hero alone. Every hero needs others to help them do heroic stuff. I’ve read stories or watched shows where the hero took on the villain alone with maybe[…]

Making Changes

I worked on a novel for several years until putting it away to work on other writing projects and grants. When I put it away, I had in my mind that it was a great novel. Over time, it became even greater. Two weeks ago, I decided to work on it for publication later this[…]

Do Readers Read Table of Contents?

A table of contents (ToC) is a tool for a reader to use as navigation within a book. They can read the story the writer wants to tell. It is also an organizational tool for the writer to help them categorize their material and keep it all straight. A ToC is best used in nonfiction[…]

To Tell a Story or To Learn

Some people think the purpose of creative writing is to tell a story, while a grant writer is to explain what the project is about. One is to entertain while the other is to teach. This is true, but the opposite is also important. I think creative writing and writing grants are linked by the[…]

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