The Care and Feeding of Minor Characters

Let's talk about minor characters.These are your protagonist’s family members, friends, and coworkers. Important enough to have a name, but definitely not an above-the-title name. They mainly exist to help move the plot along, often being on the receiving end of your protagonist’s witty dialog or exposition. “OMG Amber, let me tell you about what... Continue Reading →

In the Beginning – Starting a New Novel

My ninth book (Glitched) is with my editor right now and so, it's time for me to start writing the next one. Book number ten will be the second in the Mike Malick series, and it's unique in my experience for one reason. I don't really know what it's about. Here's what I've got: A title: You Go... Continue Reading →

All About That Pace

Let's talk about pacing, i.e. the action in your novel. Does it start slow and build to an action-packed climax? Do you hit on your main themes in a regular pattern? Do you sprinkle humor here and there? I wasn't sure how I did it. I've had readers comment that they like the pacing in... Continue Reading →

How to write a terrible sex scene

There are valid reasons for writing terrible sex scenes. To show that characters aren't right for one another, or because it's funny. Or you could take these tips for writing bad sex as a DON'T list for good sex scenes. Top 5 Ways to Write Bad Sex 1. Lots of thinking. Whether it's about unpaid bills, cellulite,... Continue Reading →

Writing great bad guys

Just as you shouldn't write a perfect protagonist who is good at everything and always makes the right choice, don’t make your antagonist perfectly evil. Everyone has something not-terrible about them. I don’t mean anything like “Hitler loved kittens.” He probably loved them for breakfast. I’m not talking about real-world villains, and I’m not suggesting... Continue Reading →

Researching the Novel – Crowdsourcing

When doing research for your book (and I'm talking strictly about fiction), you basically have three choices: Do it yourself, outsource it or crowdsource it. Crowdsourcing is putting a question to a crowd and collecting the answers. It’s best for single questions and not subject matter braindumps. I have solved many technical issues in my... Continue Reading →

Breadcrumbs: the art of leaving clues

Writing is hard. Anyone will tell you that. Just sitting down and squeezing your brainthoughts onto a page via your fingers freaking HURTS. And I'm sure that non-fiction has its own hellish idiosyncrasies and each genre no doubt has its unique challenges. Sci-Fi writers probably struggle to think of cool names for non-existent tech, and... Continue Reading →

Cover Art: The Christmas Edition

I know some of you are already bitching "There's Christmas shit next to the Halloween candy!" So let me further assault your eyes. You may know from a previous post that I am releasing a Lexy Cooper Christmas story this season. For shits and giggles and as a sort of experiment in short-form content and... Continue Reading →

A Deep Breath — Moving on to the Next Book

I began writing the first Lexy Cooper crime novel Schooled on May 3 2012 and finished the first week of August. It came out on November 6. I started noodling on the second Lexy book, Pwned, while Schooled was in the editing process, but I didn't hunker down and really start making progress until December,... Continue Reading →

Obsession, change, and superstition — tales from the sequel

  File this under More Bitching About Writing a Sequel. Over the summer I wrote a post about my writing rituals and the magic number of words I needed to write to feel I was 'done' for the day.  When NaNoWriMo came around in November (the same month I published Schooled) I thought about taking... Continue Reading →

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