Wakin’ Up in a First Person Mood

When you roll out of the sack, early in the A of M, do you start thinking about your writing for the day? Or has your brain already been ticking over for a while, putting together clever dialog for your mystery? How does your writing routine fire up, is the question of the day.

And […]


Writers’ Basics: Key Terms Explained

Here’s a growth arc most all of us writers go through, once we decide we want to write. First, we don’t know how to talk about stories; about their skeleton, their foundation, how stories are developed, and so on. We simply know we have one to tell. Next, we start learning about concept, theme, development […]


A Few More Items for the Plot Lab

Okay, it’s not done yet, although I’m already using it. I added an easel from my kit of equipment that’s quite useful: An easel, with lined white paper. In particular, with a self-stick easel pad, where the pages have that wonderful gum across the top that lets you stick a page up anywhere; the same […]


To Outline or Not to Outline…

If you’re a Pantser you can stop reading now. For the Plotters out there, or those who are (are at least partially) converting to plannerdom, read on…

How to get started on that big novel? It’s more than an idea; there are characters, locales, conflict and more to design and manage. These days, maybe software […]


Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit and Other Fine Images

Are you a fan of simile and metaphor? You are, whether you know it or not. Let’s face it, at some level all language is metaphor. As writers we have to avoid the cliché part of metaphor, at least most of the time. You have to admit, though, that it’s all “Figures of Speech” at […]


I Win!

Whoever dies with the most writing books wins, right? Well, I finally got the whole pile together from Christmas. My family and friends gave me fifteen books on writing! More than enough to keep me busy this year. Books on systems for writing the novel; books on building plot; books on editing. All very useful, […]


Does Eric Edson Have the Story Solution?

I’ve now worked my way through the first of my great Christmas gifts, The Story Solution by Eric Edson. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I got insights into why my fiction isn’t working. Certainly worth the price of admission! But let’s not run ahead too far…

Who is Eric Edson and why should we pay […]


Write-a-Thon (the Book, Not the Event)

Although it was a few day earlier than we expected, Santa stopped by the sprawling ol’ estate that houses the Accidental Novelist’s offices to drop off some goodies. (Also to reclaim some wayward Elves who were drinking up our booze and eating us out of house and home overdue back at the shop up […]


Book Review: Add “The Plot Whisperer” to Your Collection?

If you’re like me you’ve read several books on how to craft a novel or screenplay. (And skimmed so many others.) Every writer has strengths and weaknesses, and plotting a large project is one of mine. I found Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson some years ago, and read it carefully; but I wasn’t ready at […]


Are You Pantser or Planner?

I saw this question on the NaNoWriMo forums for the first time this year. No, it’s not a new query, just new to me. Apparently it’s almost a controversy now, with budding novelists sorting into two camps and in some instances tossing rather heavy stones at each other.

Me, I was oblivious to the whole […]