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How Many Characters Do You Need?

Now, we all know you need a protagonist. If you have no protagonist, you have no story. Your protagonist can be anything – it doesn’t even have to be a person. Heck, you can write a story from the POV of a house, or a cat, or a cup of tea. But you need a protagonist. That’s the easy part. […]

The Curse of Insta-Love

I’m sure most people know by now what insta-love is, but for those of you not so at home in the world of YA books, from which the term originated, insta-love is when two characters fall in love the moment they meet. I’m not just talking about attraction here. It’s plausible two people meet each other and immediately feel attracted […]

Writing Tips: Stay in POV

When readers start your book, they want to get into the main character’s head. Even if your book isn’t from first person POV, it makes sense to stick to the point of view of your main character, and not dart around from character to character. It doesn’t always have to be this way. Plenty of authors write in an omni-POV: […]

Writing Tips: Avoid Weak Writing

I got the edits back for “Fright Train” this week, and my editor told me that I had a lot of instances of “there was / there is” in my text. I was flabbergasted. My jaw dropped to the floor, and it took a while to pick it up again. I had no idea I did that. Another thing to […]

Writing Tips: Adverbs of Doom

Adverbs are bad. They’re evil. Whenever you see a word ending with -ly, run, hide and resist the urge to jump off a building. Adverbs are the spawn of Satan, and when you use them constantly, your text will read like something Satan came up with while he hung around with Cthulhu in the Bar of All Things Evil, drinking […]

Writing Tips: You Can’t Do It Alone

Or maybe you can. Some people can write all by themselves, and have the energy to keep themselves motivated, even when things go tough. But most of us authors? Nope. We need more support than we can give ourselves. We need a team of friends and family to motivate us, to help us think through difficult plot points, to remind […]

Writing Tips: Read What You Write

One day, I sat down and thought to myself: “You should write a picture book. Picture books are fun, kids love them, and well, here’s this brilliant and shiny idea you should make into a picture book”. That’s basically how I came up with the idea and inspiration for Valentina and the Haunted Mansion. No kidding. It was completely random, […]

Writing Tips: Say No To Editing

I chose that title to make you go all “WHAT?” and stare at me wide-eyed. Did it work? Editing is cool. Editing is fun. Well, it’s not actually fun. I dislike editing in general (self-editing in particular) and I’m not that fond of it when I get a mail in my mailbox from my editors either. Not that I dislike […]