Writer's Fun Zone by Beth Barany

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Q&A with Dave M. Strom

I, Dave M. Strom, am a technical writer, comic book geek, and budding novelist and short story writer. So far, I specialize in bringing to life Holly Hansson, the Super(wo)man who’d rather be Clark Kent. She’s a writer also.

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Q&A with Award-winning author Lisa Boragine

L. Heller Boragine was born in Colombia, South America. She is fluent in Spanish and English. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont in Environmental Studies, a masters degree in Speech Communication from Syracuse University, and has 20 years experience teaching Communications studies and coaching academic debate.

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The Subtle Art of Eavesdropping for Character Development by Raina Schell

I’ve been honing my eavesdropping skills as of late, in the spirit that each of our fictional characters speak in a different voice. Whereas one character may sound like a grumbly religious naysayer, another may have the vocal inflections and vocabulary of a “valley girl”. Each character not only uses different verbiage, none speak alike in inflection or tone as well. I pondered this fact of good character development for some time before I decided the best way for me personally to get the “hang” of that was to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations in order to keep all of my characters from sounding exactly like me.

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Perfect Partners Aren’t So Hard to Find by Jami Gray

I know, I know, there is no such thing as a “perfect partner” unless of course you exist in the written pages of all those books we devour like popcorn. And let’s be honest, if we did live in those pages, we’d all have curves to die for, a kick-ass attitude that would make men swoon at our feet, or for those male readers out there—a chiseled chest to cradle all those females falling under our Alpha-with-a-soft-spot spell.

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Motivation vs. Habit by Carol Malone

Does the word “goal” send you into a panic? It does me. A man whose blog I follow religiously told of a motto hung above the door of his gym. It read, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit keeps you going.” I believe Jim Ryan was attributed with saying that. Great thought, don’t you think?

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Resolving Fictional Love Triangles by Kay Keppler

Many books, whatever their genre or literary bent, include a love story. Whether thriller, mystery, science fiction, or even Western, many stories that are not written primarily as romances include a love story in which the complications of the lovers match, complement, or escalate the complications of the primary plot. Think of Robert B. Parker’s Westerns, John Sandford’s thrillers, and many others.

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Writing for Scanners by Annmarie Miles

I heard a great phrase a couple of years ago that has stayed with me. The speaker said, “We live in a pierce & ding age. You pierce the top of a frozen meal, a few minutes in the microwave; and DING; it’s ready.” The point she was making was about how fast things happen now, and how we’ve gotten used to it. People look for instant responses to emails, we don’t like to wait for webpages to load, and we pay to see the preview episode of our favourite box set; because we just can’t wait.

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What Do They Look Like? by Nevada McPherson

You imagine your favorite (or least favorite) literary characters in your mind’s eye, which is part of the magic of reading. Have you ever been disappointed by the casting when they made the book into a movie because then that character didn’t fit the image you had in your mind?