No Dilemma, No Story

One thing that has been coming up a lot in my classes is the tendency for writers to “figure out” their plot. This is due, at least in part, to...

But That’s What Really Happened

“I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.“—Gloria Swanson In writing fiction we inevitably come to that moment that is lifted...

Why Writers Get Stuck

Einstein says, “You cannot solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created the problem.” Writers often get stuck because they believe it’s their job to figure out...

12 Maxims of The 90-Day Novel

I hope you’re enjoying your spring. My post this week is actually a list I call 12 Maxims of The 90-Day Novel. These are twelve things to consider while writing...

What is My Screenplay About?

When we think of our favorite movies, there is invariably an element that is so novel, so surprising, that it ignites our imagination. Think of the character Hannibal Lecter in...

Becoming a Professional Writer

The publishing industry has undergone tremendous changes over the years. “Mid-list” writers who relied on decent advances from their publishers have found themselves shut out of the big publishing houses...

What Does it Mean?

Everyone has a story. It takes courage to tell it, be it memoir or fiction, because there comes a point where we must separate the facts from the truth. The...

The Creative Process

When my son, Ray, was first learning to speak, there were so many new words each day – the syntax often fascinating and occasionally perverse. He also had a sophisticated...

Sell Your Novel to the Movies

When I did a book tour for my first novel, someone asked, “Have you sold the film rights?” And when I said yes, there was this gasp, like I’d been...

Trust

I grew up in a very bright, academic family, but at times I felt alone. My family members were very logical, reasonable people. I was not. I was more interested...