The Writing Life

Writings, and writing about writing.

The Two Types of Suspense, and How to Create Them

Even if you’re not writing a story that one would typically think of as suspenseful—say a mystery, or thriller, or horror piece—you probably do want to keep your readers in suspense. Think of suspense as the invisible fishing wire pulling readers through from paragraph to paragraph, chapter to chapter. If your readers aren’t anticipating something, …

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The Funnel: One simple approach for going from blank page to book

So you’ve decided to write a book. So you’re staring at a blank Word document. So what now? In my last post, I talked about the paradox of creativity: that sometimes putting restrictions on the writing process can push you to tap into your imagination. That article includes my thoughts on why this works, as …

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Why to join a writers’ group – and how

This article was originally written as a guest post for the Charlotte Readers Podcast. Visit their blog for more literary reflections from a variety of writers! There’s a stereotype that writers are solitary creatures whose only contact with the outside world is to gaze contemplatively out windows. I can confirm this from personal experience. Yes, …

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I’m a white woman writing a black woman’s story: Let’s talk about it

One of the two main projects I’m working on at the moment is a screenplay about the life of abolitionist and author Harriet Jacobs. If you’re not familiar with her, check her out; she was amazing. As I’ve started to mention this project to people, several have asked why I, a white woman living in …

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