Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2016

5 Tips for Giving New Life to Old Ideas

What do you do with old story ideas that seem like such great ideas at the time and then die on the vine? You know those stories. They come to you in the middle of the night or in the afternoon while you’re taking a walk and they energize you at the time, but then they seem to wither and die. You might even start writing the story in a mad rush and then enthusiasm flags and you forget about it until you’re going through an old notebook or cleaning out the files in your computer.

What can you do then? Delete the file? Throw out the old notebook you found it in? Come to think of it, why do those stories never get finished? Is it because they were going nowhere? I admit I have those type of beginnings all over in notebooks, scraps of paper, and the old computer files. Why do I give up on them? Why do you give up on them? Well, sometimes those story just runs out of energy. Sometimes they simply seem to hit dead ends. Maybe you didn’t think them through enough or perhaps the characters nev…

5 Tips to Writing Dialogue

As writers we all know we will need to write dialogue sooner or later. We can't avoid it. People are going to speak in your books and that is what dialogue is--the characters having a conversation. Writing dialogue should be simple for writers. We all have to do it ourselves on a dialy basis and we have all read it. Dialogue should be simple to write, but when you get right down to it, there are certain rules and guidelines you need to follow.Here are five easy tips to consider as you write dialogue.
Make your characters sound different. Nothing is worse in a book than having all the characters sound alike. First of all, it is not realistic. Listen to the people around you. No one talks or sounds just the same. So how do you do that? How can you make them sound different? Again, listen to the people around you. Notice the different ways they speak and then use that in your story. Just as an educated teacher is going to sound very different from a hig…

5 Tips to Setting Your Story Mood

This past weekend I attended a workshop on making video trailers for fiction books. Having spent so much of my life mixing words and video in TV news and public relations, I was intrigued. I know how to put together a news story visually and features that show a story or person, but how do you make a trailer that would show visually what a book was about?  Part of it has to do with showing the mood of the story.  That got me to thinking about how to show some of that mood inside the story itself.  Here are five tips to consider as you write your story to show location, mood, and ambience. These can all make your story stronger.

1. Consider the setting. This is self explanatory.  If you're writing a dark, gothic type story setting it in an old, dark castle or house seems natural.  But what if you're writing a dark story that is set in the tropics, or on a summer vacation?  Use that setting to make the case.  For instance, that bright tropical setting can hold lots of dark, hid…