Tag Archives: The Writer’s Life

The Writing Life: FAQs

  I get a kick out of talking with interested readers and aspiring writers, and the past few weeks have been jam-packed with presentations at various events: a book festival, a crime writers’ conference, and an annual assembly of state librarians. For me, one of the highlights comes toward the end of the hour when the floor is open for questions. Since not everyone can make the time or afford the cost of a conference, I’d like to share a selection of frequently asked questions Continue reading →

When Beginning is All There Is

Today I’m thinking a lot about story beginnings. A consulting client emailed me recently to relay her worries about the two opening chapters of her novel. She was concerned that the scenes lack depth, substance, and authenticity…and fall short on inspiration…and they also seem to her too dark, not funny enough. Actually, the chapters in question are strong, evocative, and filled with drama. They are also first draft chapters. And they are the novel’s beginning—at least for now. If you launch out on a journey, Continue reading →

A Tiny Pocket Guide for Writers

I met a woman at a party recently who was excited about introducing me to her seventeen-year-old daughter, who hopes to be a writer. At another party, I met a lawyer who is researching an interesting case that he plans to craft into fiction. A thousand things run through my mind when I’m pondering what to say to a person who shows an interest in writing. If I can share some advice, I’m happy to do it. But I always wish I had something more Continue reading →