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 →

Our series so far… To recap or not?

How much should you sum up the story and characters in each successive book in a series? This is something that I’ve struggled with and am not sure I’ve decided exactly where I stand. The first question is “Do people read a series out of order?” The answer that I’ve found is “Not usually, but... Continue Reading →

5 Great Reasons to Publish Short Content

When you’re trying to establish a brand, it’s important to build your series as quickly as you can without sacrificing quality or sanity. If you have a good response to the debut book, don’t make readers wait a year or more for their next meal—they will move on, and you need all the momentum you... Continue Reading →

Backstory: Don’t Blow Your Load

I’ve seen some writing advice that suggests would-be writers know their characters as well as they know themselves. To come up with a complete dossier on their background including their family tree, the name of their first pet, favorite color, college minor, and blood type. Bullshit. That may be a fun exercise, but it’s a... Continue Reading →

The Care and Feeding of a Muse

I absolutely believe in the muse. Not literally a daughter of Zeus, but the creative inspiration that comes from “out there.” Muse is as good a way to describe it as any. Sometimes she comes as an idea appearing in your mind like a bolt of lightning. Sometimes she draws your attention to something: a news... Continue Reading →

Course Correction – When a work-in-progress isn’t working

Last week I wrote a long post lamenting the shitty state of my new novel Summer Wind. If you want to read the whole boohoo thing it's here. The short version is: It sucked. My main character Detective Mike Malick was stiff and uninteresting. One of the solutions I pondered was "Try switching to the... Continue Reading →

6 ways to bust writer’s block

These tips are from my new book B.Y.O.P. Be Your Own Publisher. It's available right now on Amazon for a buck-fifty. Download it here. I don’t believe writer’s block exists. You’re blocked? You “can’t write?” Bullshit. You just don’t want to write. You’re sure it’s crap and you’d rather feel sorry for yourself and eat... Continue Reading →

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