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Stop, Thief! (When Another Author “Steals” Your Idea)

Recently I opened one of those helpful emails from Amazon—you know, the ones that suggest books you might like. They’ve got me dialed in. I definitely liked the book they suggested…because I’d come up with the idea to write it several years ago. Seriously, the resemblance was uncanny. I’d never heard of this author and it’s highly unlikely she’d ever heard of me. She didn’t actually “steal” my idea. I seem to be cursed with this sort of thing, though, because earlier this year, one of my favorite authors put out a book that was eerily similar to another idea…

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Thoughts on DEEP WORK

This is me most of the time. I feel like I’m pulled in so many directions that I often find it difficult to settle down and focus on writing. In one of the many writer groups I belong to, Deep Work by Cal Newport has been a topic of conversation. I finally got around to reading it. Here are some thoughts on it. A Distracted Society Newport’s primary claim is that in our distracted society, deep work is becoming rare while simultaneously becoming invaluable. His clearest explanation of what deep work is comes near the end of the book. Basically,…

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Thoughts on STORY GENIUS (Part 2)

This post is later than I expected because I stalled out in reading this book. I got about 80% through it and I doubt I’ll finish it. However, it did change my perspective on writing. The story is how the character changes; it's his/her transformation. The plot is the series of events that cause the character to change. I’d never thought about it like that, and it definitely changes how I look at my own writing. It reminds me of Michael Hauge’s idea of a character moving from his/her identity to his/her essence. Cron stresses the importance of developing a…

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Thoughts on STORY GENIUS (Part 1)

So far this summer, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, which is something I should do more of but usually don’t because I always feel like there is something else I should be doing. Reading is so indulgent that I often feel guilty taking the time. However, as a writer I should be reading daily. In addition to various novels, I’ve been reading craft books. In just a few weeks, I’m heading to the yearly RWA national conference, where Lisa Cron will be giving a workshop, so I picked up Story Genius. I’ve only read three chapters so…

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The Writing Process Blog Tour

The Writing Process Blog Tour stops here! I was tagged last week by the lovely Amy DeLuca, my 2014 Golden Heart® sister. Amy writes young adult and has a new adult series launching this summer. You can find her at Here we go! What am I working on? I’m in the middle of writing a young adult novel, tentatively titled Birthright, which is the first in a series. The story popped in my head when I heard the popular saying that frequently comes up when a good person dies: God must have needed another angel. I wondered who is…

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Author Stalking at RT (Day 2)

Another successful day of author stalking! I was not able to meet Veronica Roth. The room didn’t open until just before the panel began, and then she was ushered out by an armed guard the second it was over. In fact, some people went to try to talk to her, and the RT employees acted as human barriers. So this is the closest anyone could get to her. She presented herself as an intelligent, well-spoken woman. The chat was entertaining, but the moderator questions were pretty typical—what faction would you put yourself in, what was it like having a cameo…

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