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The Accidental Writer: The Magic of the First Chapter

The Accidental Writer: The Magic of the First Chapter

A good first chapter should feel like a first kiss.   It should leave the reader intrigued, a little breathless, and wanting more. If your first chapter does that, then you have a winner. Of course that’s easier said than done. Here are a few things you should do in a first chapter. Establish one of […]

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Author Robb Grindstaff

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Author Robb Grindstaff

I was extremely fortunate to interview the immensely talented Robb Grindstaff. Robb has had a long career as a newspaper editor, publisher, and manager that has taken him around the world. He has two published books – Carry Me Away and Hannah’s Voice. If you could choose one author to drink beers with, who would he […]

The Accidental Writer: Is the Path to Hell Paved with Adverbs?

The Accidental Writer: Is the Path to Hell Paved with Adverbs?

There is a movement afoot to do away with adverbs.  In fact, many “serious” writers scoff at those “ly” words, turning their noses up in the air, and pursing their lips. Why so much venom?  At first, the extreme reaction left me a little dumbfounded.  They’ve always seemed useful to me, but as I gave […]

The Accidental Writer: Writing for YA Audiences

The Accidental Writer: Writing for YA Audiences

I love YA books. There’s something about a well written YA novel that inspires me. In addition to having great characters, interesting prose, and a well developed plot, it’s important to pay attention to the other elements that dominate the genre. Some people believe that YA books are simply adult books with young characters. This […]

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Erotica Author Pavarti K Tyler

The Accidental Writer: Interview with Erotica Author Pavarti K Tyler

Pavarti is an award-winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature. She is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. Besides penning erotica novels she is also the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity. Her most recent work, Protecting Portia (A Sugar House Novella), was released last month. Which authors most influence your writing? I’ve been […]

The Accidental Writer: The Latest from the Book Expo of America 2014

The Accidental Writer: The Latest from the Book Expo of America 2014

Researchers have determined that storytelling benefits humankind. Just the telling or reading of stories helps people learn how to be, well … human. No kidding! Researches did not need to tell that to the people attending the nation’s largest book expo at the Jacob Javits Center. The energy and spirit at this year’s BEA crackled […]

The Accidental Writer: Engage Your Readers!

The Accidental Writer: Engage Your Readers!

Good writing engages the reader at all possible moments. I’ve been doing some editing lately, and I’ve been focusing on adding more engagement into the prose. Lets look at an example. David panicked when he saw the angry mob. This sentence works on one level. It gives a bit of information about the character and […]

Interview with Author Jonathan Gould

Interview with Author Jonathan Gould

I had the really good fortune to interview author, Jonathan Gould, the other day. He hails from Melbourne, Australia, where he spent his youth overindulging in Mad Magazine, Monty Python, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In addition to children’s stories, he’s also written several humorous novels and novellas, one of which was a […]

The Accidental Writer: What's Your Perspective

The Accidental Writer: What’s Your Perspective

Authors get to choose the perspective of their narrations. There are a few different perspectives to select from, but I’ll mention the three most useful here: first person (I say), third person omniscient (he says and the narrator knows everything), and third person close (he says, but the narrator only knows what the point of […]

The Accidental Writer: It's not just what they say, but how they say it!

The Accidental Writer: It’s not just what they say, but how they say it!

Well-written dialogue is critical for any finely crafted novel.  It should entertain, impart vital information, and move a story along. It’s hard to think of a good book that doesn’t have compelling dialogue. Some novels like the Game of Thrones series seem to largely consist of conversation among the characters. Dialogue also has another critical function. It […]

The Accidental Writer: The Many Faces of our Characters

The Accidental Writer: The Many Faces of our Characters

Great characters, like interesting fun people, must be multifaceted.  It is important that protagonists have some positive traits—maybe they are smart or physically gifted, but those same heroes must also have faults.  Perhaps they are overconfident, too trusting, insanely stubborn or shy. The next part is critical—not only must they have faults, but those faults […]

Interview with D. Robert Pease

Interview with D. Robert Pease

I hope to use this space to print interviews with published writers to bring other voices to the issues we are discussing. I’m very excited that my first interview is with D. Robert Pease. He writes science fiction and fantasy for kids, young adults, and book lovers of all ages. His very successful Noah Zarc […]

Write Books People Read

Write Books People Read

Every story is composed of a few basic elements.  I like to think of them (in no particular order) as places, people, prose, plot, and pacing—the 5 Ps! Which one is most important? Which one makes an average story good or a good story great?  Why do so many people, young and old, love the […]

A Little Encouragement

A Little Encouragement

I can’t count how many people have told me that they have always wanted to write, but can’t seem to start.  The reasons vary from I wasn’t an English major in college, to I can’t spell, or I just don’t have the time.  Writing does take time (actually a good deal of time), but I […]

The Accidental Writer: Why Write?

The Accidental Writer: Why Write?

Everyone has his or her own reasons for writing.  I’m pretty sure making a lot of money or becoming famous are long shots.  If that’s your motivation, you might want to try the lottery—it’s easier and the odds are about the same. Most writers I know find the process fun, thrilling, and creative.   It gets […]