Six Secrets to Writing Great Dialogue

Whether you’re writing a scene of subtle seduction or ratcheting up suspense with an accusatory rant, your characters want to speak. Your job is to loosen their tongues and create distinctive voices while moving the plot forward. You must get rid of extraneous chitchat and dull exposition. Here are a few tips for picking up the pace and breathing life into a scene. 1) Consider Structure It helps to think of each scene having a beginning, middle, and end. (That’s right, the beginning must set Continue reading →

Everyday Hero: Wojtek the Persian Bear

October 1, 2015 Everyday Hero: Wojtek the Persian Bear It has been many months since I highlighted an animal in my monthly Everyday Heroes postings. When I read the story about Wojtek, a bear cub found in Iran in 1942 and adopted by soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Command of the Polish II Corps, I couldn’t resist making him my October 2015 Everyday Hero. I never fail to be amazed at how animals–even supposedly wild, dangerous animals–can relate to humans and perform heroic feats Continue reading →

5 Fantastic New Books for Kids

Being a full-time writer isn’t as glamorous as you might think. It involves many hours of isolation, with only your thoughts (and current manuscript) as company. It can be great if the writing is going well. But if the words aren’t flowing, it can sometimes be torture. After eight months of being a full-time writer, I knew I needed to find something else to do besides writing all the time. Something that got me out of the house more than once or twice a week.  Something that would finally Continue reading →

An American Icon: A True Wordsmith

Sitting here with the flu, I assumed I wouldn’t be writing this piece today. But something happened and I have to give a shout out to a “master of verse” who has left this Earth at the age of 90: Yogi Berra is gone. Yes, he has a list of baseball accomplishments that spans decades. He was a professional baseball catcher, coach, manager, and all-round great guy (according to 100% of the people you ask), who played 19 seasons. This man was an 18x All-Star, Continue reading →