Writer Self-Care

When I made a serious commitment to writing about three years ago, I had good energy for creating but was very inefficient. A page a day was an accomplishment. Now my energy can be hit-and-miss but I get more done. I consider a thousand words my minimum daily output. The moderation in energy hasn’t surprised me. I think […]

5 Ways Music Can Help Writers

This week, I listened to a CBC interview of Ian Rankin in which he discusses the large influence music has had on him. The same is true for me. I especially remember punk and new wave emerging in my late 70s undergrad days. I was in an all-male residence and there was a big debate over how that music measured up to traditional rock. […]

When a Manuscript’s Current Draft Is Done

Today I finished the current draft of my third book. The book is coming together nicely but I’m tired. This is what I will and won’t do this week. Will do Enjoy the fall leaves…now on the ground and sidewalks. Watch every documentary on Netflix about late 60s and early 70s rock bands. Make the “new […]

Characters: Giving Readers What They Want

In “Thoughts on Writing”, I’ve been posting about issues I’m grappling with as I rewrite my third book. A big focus of the rewrite is character development, which is partly based on comments of several readers on the prior draft. Today’s issue: how far do I go to respond to those comments? Some writers advise not to use beta readers at all. Stand tall […]

Refining Plot

Two weeks ago I posted that I had received comments on the current draft of my third book and that I was working on developing some characters further. However, I need to make some plot changes, too, and that has me asking what the best process to refine plot is. Some writers create an outline for […]

Becoming a Character

Here’s another post under “Thoughts on Writing”. Over the last four weeks, I’ve been receiving comments on the current draft of my third book. I have a lot of reason to be optimistic and a lot of work to do! One thing that’s become clear is that, while I’ve nailed many characters, a few, including two key ones, need to […]

6 Tips for Writers to Handle Criticism

Every writer receives criticism. And it’s really not a lot of fun. The first thing I want to say, and occasionally do, is, “Don’t you understand what I’m doing there? I mean, come on, it’s obvious.” At the same time, there’s a little voice inside me that says, “You see, you’re not going to be the next […]

Writing a Killer Ending

I’ve been posting for a while that I’m working hard on my third book. I’m down to editing the last chapters before sending out the manuscript for the first round of developmental comments. And that has me asking: in the thriller genre, what makes for a killer ending? A book’s opening is the chance to […]

A Hard Way to Make a Living

Last week, I blogged that I’m now a member of the The Writers’ Union of Canada. I’ve been taking a closer look at TWUC’s work. TWUC just released its latest income survey of Canadian writers called Devaluing Creators, Endangering Creativity. The results are ugly. From the press release: “For 81% of respondents, income from writing would not […]

I’m a Member of TWUC

A very short blog today to say that my application for membership in the The Writer’s Union of Canada has been accepted based on my book, False Guilt. The Writers’ Union of Canada is a national organization of professional writers of books. It has about 2,000 members and was founded more than 40 years ago to work with […]