Without Pacing What’s The Point

By Shelley Widhalm I’m reading a book with two intriguing main characters and compelling relationships gone wrong. Still, the repetitive dialog and plot points make it boring. The issue is with the pacing, intermittent external and internal tension, and lack of cliffhangers at the end of chapters. I’m determined to finish the book, though, sinceContinue reading “Without Pacing What’s The Point”

Thoughts on Criticism

By Brian Kaufman Writers compose in a vacuum. The voices they hear are in their heads. Imagination has benefits, both for mental health and creative purposes. According to neuroscientists, people have “default networks” in their brains that become active (and are exercised) when they drift into the realm of imagination. In addition, storytelling allows anContinue reading “Thoughts on Criticism”

Subverting Tropes

By Katie Lewis I’ve always been very interested in Japanese mythology and media. But recently, I’ve been more inspired by other East Asian cultures. Mainly, I’ve been immersing myself in Chinese stories as research for a book I’m working on (since I’m half-Italian and half-English/German mutt). As a result, I often have to explain ChineseContinue reading “Subverting Tropes”

Are You Published?

By Amy Rivers An author walks into a conference. She smiles, shakes hands, and introduces herself to fellow authors. Then someone asks the question, “are you published?” She immediately starts to sweat. Why you ask? Because this loaded question is frequently followed by some variation of the qualifying question, “Who did you publish with?” 

Are You Living in A Novel?

By David E. Sharp Among my early writings was a theatrical production about an evening of fine dining gone horribly wrong. Faux pas are made. The kitchen catches fire. A food critic dies. Twice. You get the idea. We staged it in a restaurant with no stage. The audience simply enjoyed it from a uniqueContinue reading “Are You Living in A Novel?”

Craft Books: The Fine Dining Experience

By Shelley Widhalm Reading fiction is like having a sweet chocolatey snack, but reading and writing books is the main course, the wine and dessert combined. And if you haven’t heard it by now, reading all of the books is one of the foundational ways of improving your writing mind. If reading fiction is theContinue reading “Craft Books: The Fine Dining Experience”

Some Things Are Too Strange And Too Strong

By Katie Lewis Growing up, I was a voracious reader. I always completed the reading challenges to get my personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. I circled at least one book every month when we got the Scholastic book magazine back in ye olden days before the internet. And every summer, I completed the summerContinue reading “Some Things Are Too Strange And Too Strong”

Books I Blame

by David E. Sharp I was not born with a laptop and a mug of black coffee in my hands. This is a fact for which my mother is still grateful. It took a lot of tragic, misguiding circumstances to set me on my course to become a writer. The story, as I tell it,Continue reading “Books I Blame”

The Books That Made Me

By Brian Kaufman Along the lines of “everything happens for a reason,” my wife believes that everything that happens and everyone you meet is there to teach you something. I don’t argue with that—if you care to learn from your experiences, you will. The other thing to know is that I have read many booksContinue reading “The Books That Made Me”