How to Use Sound to Make Your Novel Stand Out In A Sea of Noise

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) If you’re limiting yourself to just naming a sound, you’re missing out on the richness that the sense of sound could bring to your fiction. You’re speaking to your reader in a monotone. Next to sight, sound is the most commonly used sense in fiction, but three techniques can help you(…)

Are You Working Too Hard?

Are there limits beyond which we can’t—and shouldn’t—push ourselves even in pursuit of our goals? In Episode 1 of Battlestar Galactica’s first season, the humans are on the run from the Cylons (machines originally created to serve humans). The Cylons’ attempted extermination of humanity left less than 50,000 survivors, and all of them now live(…)

How to Use Touch to Pull Your Reader Into Your Novel

Did you know that leprosy doesn’t actually make your fingers and toes fall off? I didn’t. What happens is the bacteria attack the nerve endings in the body so the sufferer can’t feel pain. When they injure themselves, they don’t feel it, and this can lead to infection and gangrene before the injured person realizes(…)

How to Use Our Weaknesses to Our Advantage

How do you feel about your weaknesses? Are they things you’re ashamed of and try to hide? Or do you brush them off because we’re only human? Have you considered your weaknesses might actually be a secret source of strength? Ehud was an Israelite who lived sometime between 1380 BC and 1050 BC when the(…)

The Ending Debate: Make Mine Hopeful

Bilbo: What about helping me with my book, and making a start on the next? Have you thought of an ending? Frodo: Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant. Bilbo: Oh, that won’t do! Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever(…)

Would You Change Anything About Your Past?

Sometimes I wish I had the power to turn people to stone. Or into a tree like Daphne, when she was pursued by Apollo. The great warrior Apollo mocked Eros (the Greek god of love) for handling a bow and arrows. “What have you to do with warlike weapons, boy?” Apollo asked. “Leave them for(…)

Five Benefits You’re Missing If You’re Not On Twitter

If you’re not on Twitter already (or have an account you barely use), you probably have good reasons. You’re afraid it’s a black hole time suck. You don’t see the value it adds over Facebook. You’re worried about privacy. You’re not sure how to make the best use of it, it moves too fast, or(…)

The 9 Steps to Switching from to Part 2

Today we finish up our series by my phenomenal guest poster Melinda VanLone on how to switch from If you missed her previous posts on Should You Move from to and the first five steps in switching from to you can find them by clicking the links. Next Wednesday, I’m(…)

Four Ways We Should All be More like Star Wars’ Mandalorians

You might remember that I’m married to one of the world’s largest Star Wars’ fans. In the past, he’s written guest posts for me on Five Reasons I Wish I Was a Jedi and Ace Combat: Wedge Antilles vs. Kara Thrace. Since we were out of town most of last week, he agreed to visit(…)

The Secrets of Spiderman Revealed

My earliest introduction to superheroes came through the Saturday morning cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the late 1980s. I looked forward to each episode where college students Peter Parker (Spiderman), Bobby Drake (Iceman), and Angelica Jones (Firestar) came together to fight villains and save the world (or at least the city). I dreamed(…)