Posted in: #amrevising, #amwriting, #fiction, Character development, diction, jane austen, language, novel, setting

Stealing from Jane Austen – Writing Tips

Virginia Woolf observed about Austen, “Of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness.” I’m an Austenite (having an upstairs and a downstairs complete set of her work qualifies, I think). I’m writing a book whose characters are based on the Dashwood sisters from Sense and Sensibility. I’m […]

Posted in: #amwriting, #fiction, Character development, Characterization, novel, storytelling, Writing

Character Quirks & Little Defining Things or Events

I’m working on a new novel. I know the basic setup: it’s about two half-sisters who clash over inheriting a cottage in Italy, along with its resident ghost, the poet Perch Bysshe Shelley. The setup (hook) has specificity, but a story that can fill a novel drills down into such granular particularity you find yourself […]

Posted in: #amwriting, #fiction, Character development, equality, female characters, feminism, video poetry, woman president

Strong Female Characters and America’s First Woman Nominated for President

It’s official. History made. Glass ceiling — well, not if shattered, a network of cracks so numerous and widespread you know whose head is going through it soon. America may well have — at last — our first female president. So how has literature responded to the new world that presidential campaigns seem to indicate […]

Posted in: Character development, conversation, gratitude, mindfulness, neuroscience, novel, novel writing, prayer

Your Protagonist’s Thought Patterns

Emotion is important in fiction, but thought and will are also a huge component of character and character development. You can identify with a character’s thoughts and decisions when she’s under stress. One of life’s pleasurable but stressful activities is travel. Since my novel’s main character is on a three-week, intensive tour of Renaissance Italy, […]

Posted in: birds, birdsong, Character development, poetry

For the Birds

“Hope is the thing with feathers” led me in an interesting direction: a series of poems with birds in them. Inspired in part by Emily Dickinson’s interest in birds and her many bird poems–which I found collected in a book called A Spicing of Birds –I wrote a series to decipher the messages I hear […]