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Mood and Brussels Sprouts

A Whole Mood

By: Deborah Brewer A short video plays on social media: A pigtailed girl watches with wide-eyed panic as the ice cream from her cone topples to the ground. A pack of mini-poodles swoops in to claim the mess. The girl bursts into tears. Comments follow: “Mood” “A whole mood” “Totally […]

Character's Names and Occupations

Choosing Names and Occupations that Enhance Your Novella

Writing a Novella, Part 9 By Donna Schlachter As we’ve discussed before, novellas have fewer words than novels, which means that each and every one must count. This includes—or perhaps is even more critical—when it comes to selecting names and occupations for your characters. Character’s Names For example—and please forgive […]

A cornucopia of Inspiration

A Cornucopia of Inspiration

By: Deborah Brewer – As a writer stares at a blank page or a mangled plot, it may feel like there is a dearth of good ideas. Yet there are ideas everywhere, a veritable cornucopia of inspiration, waiting to be noticed and incorporated into our tales if only we could […]

Be a NaNoWriMo Rebel

Why I’m a NaNoWriMo Rebel

By: Kari Redmond – What is NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, will soon be upon us. For the entire month of November, writers around the world rally to write at least 50,000 words during the 30 day span. This equals out to be 1,666 words per day. The […]

Have a Stine-tingling Halloween!

A Chat with R.L. Stine

By: Trista Herring Baughman – Back in May, I had the privilege of attending Shreve Memorial Library’s Children’s Book Festival. This was only my second big event to attend as a Children’s Author and I was excited. Even more exciting was the headlining author, R.L. Stine! If you’re a true […]

How to Create Interesting Characters

Crafting a Novella

By: Donna Schlachter – Character Descriptions and Attributions – In a shorter work such as a novella, you can’t spend too much time describing what a character looks like. Some authors take the path of not describing them at all—simply leaving it to the reader’s imagination. However, others, while trying […]

From the President

  By: Kim Olgren, PPW President – Is it a sunset, or a sunrise? For some, it’s both as they move out of one chapter and into another. One thing is for sure. It’s sure a beautiful image for the header of our soon-to-be-unveiled shiny new website. One of the […]

Character arc goes beyond story structure.

Character Arcs

By: Donna Schlachter – This month we’ll take a look at how to create a Character Arc for the main characters in your story, usually the Hero, Heroine, and Villain. Secondary characters can have a character arc, as we’ll see below, but that most often stems from a main character’s […]

I met some real-life superheros at PPWC2022

My Fantastic Journey

Editor’s Note: Jen Wolf was one of several recipients who received scholarships to attend the Pikes Peak Writer’s 2022 conference. She shares many of the lessons she learned over the course of just a few days that all of our readers can gain insights into. If you missed PPWC2022, you […]

Harmony and Conflict belong in the same story

Harmony and Conflict – Different Sides of the Same Coin

By Donna Schlachter – Boy finds girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy marries girl. The end. Boring! Anybody who’s ever told a joke knows that to keep the listener or reader interested, there has to be a problem, a question, or a problem raised so that the twist/conclusion/punch […]

Be a walking advertisement for your writer friends!

Helping Author Friends

By: Trista Herring Baughman Occasionally, I witness a rallying call to support local businesses. It’s a nice gesture, one I’d like to see more often. I prefer to shop local when I can: farmers’ markets, locally-owned specialty stores, mom-and-pop restaurants, etc. I don’t think authors generally come to mind when […]

Injecting Humor into Your Novel and Characters

By: Georgiana Hall (G.G. Hall) Let’s face it. After 2 years of Covid-related lockdowns, sadness, restrictions, and whatever else, we all need a good laugh. So, as I was working on that fifth revision of the tenth book in my series about dwarf two-headed red aliens who landed in Nashville […]

How many characters do we need?

Building Believable Characters, Part 4

Determining the Perfect Number of Characters By: Donna Schlachter Now that you have your cast of characters, you’ll want to be sure they’re all necessary. And that they won’t overwhelm the reader. Or bog down the plot lines. There are several other reasons not to have too many characters. Too […]

Is TikTok for Authors?

By: Jenny Kate Well, TikTok absolutely exploded in 2021. And it will continue that trajectory into 2022. Does that mean you should be on it? If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know my answer to that would be “it depends.” Do you have your books written yet? If not, […]

The Up & Down Sides of Fragments

Fragmentary Thoughts

By: Deborah Brewer There is quite a bit of debate about the use of sentence fragments, or incomplete sentences, in prose fiction to create a voice that is frank, casual, and immediate. These sentence fragments are missing a subject (noun) or a predicate (verb). Some say fragments should never be […]

Find Your Balance

Balance Your Marketing and Your Writing

By Jenny Kate Here’s the deal. There are 250,000 authors signed up as Draft2Digital authors. Writers upload roughly 50,000 books a month to Amazon. If you want to make a living selling books, you must market your work. There’s no way around it. Ten years ago, I would have told […]

Don't give your Metaphors an Identity Crises

Metaphorical Thrills

By: Deborah Brewer What’s not to love about metaphor? Our language would be impoverished without its contribution to our poems, jokes, stories, and rhetoric. Metaphors enlighten us about one thing by relating it to something else. This connection flashes through our brains like an epiphany, one of the best feelings […]

Craft Believable Villains

Building Believable Characters, Part 3

Craft a Convincing Villain By: Donna Schlachter So far we’ve talked about the importance of building believable characters and why that’s so critical to the foundation for any story. Last month, strong secondary characters were discussed, and we learned that not only do these secondary characters support—or oppose—our main characters, […]

Dabble in poetry to improve your writing.

Waxing Poetic

By: Deborah Brewer What writer doesn’t want to improve their prose? Let me recommend dabbling in poetry to do just that. Reading, studying, and practicing verse have improved my fiction writing experience in several ways, improving my mood, my vocabulary, and my emotional expression. You might try it too. Use […]

PPWC2022 logo

Writers Conferences—What’s The Difference?

By: Margena Holmes No matter what stage of writing you’re at, going to a writers’ conference can be fun and informative. I have a few conferences under my belt now, and no matter where it’s held, there is always something new presented to the attendees. The topics presented are as […]

Build Strong Secondary Characters

Building Believable Characters Part 2:

Strong Secondary Characters Last month we looked at why it’s important to create believable characters for our stories. You can check that out here if you missed it. Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to practice some of the pointers I mentioned in that article. This month we’ll look at Strong […]

Subplots, Characters, and Themes. Reader Loyalty

Building Reader Loyalty

By: Kim Krisco Like most writers, I have honed my writing skills by reading countless books, attending workshops, and joining writer’s groups – all with one goal: to get published. Then it happened, a London publisher accepted one of my novels. It wasn’t long after I popped a celebratory champagne […]

Off the Grid

Off the Grid

Disconnecting to Stay Motivated & Ward off Procrastination By: Jenny Kate Did you know, Americans spend an average of 6.5 hours a day on the internet. Pew Research found that most of us spend almost a full day on the internet a week. That’s nuts! Does the internet help you […]

A tool that will change your life as a writer

Could A Scene List Help You Write Better?

By: Kim Olgren Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, you need to know about scene lists. This is a tool that can change your life as a writer. Pantsers don’t run away. I promise I’m not trying to convert you I’m trying to help you. Don’t be afraid of […]

Make your characters believable.

Building Believable Characters

By: Donna Schlachter As writers, we understand the importance of plot—the action of the story. Without it, nothing happens. With a bad plot, we’ll bore our readers, or confuse them, and they’ll do the unthinkable—toss our book aside and never buy another. Along with plots go subplots, those extras to […]