Tag Archives: writing fiction


Send to KindleThe best way to sell a book has nothing to do with creating a platform or schmoozing with editors at writers’ conferences (though neither of those things hurt.) It’s writing a book that’s what agents call bulletproof—one so … Continue reading

Posted in Barbara's workshops, Craft, Setting, Writing tips | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Diana Gabaldon Interview, Part I

Send to KindleDiana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting “Scrooge McDuck” comics.” The … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Interviews, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , | 78 Comments

What Writers Can Learn From Game of Thrones

Send to Kindle  My name is Barbara, and I’m a Game of Thrones addict. I know I’m not alone. George R. R. Martin has millions in his thrall, captives of the TV series and/or the books on which it is … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Writing, Writing tips | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Good Writers are Good Editors

Send to Kindle  Consider this scenario.  The first novel of writer John Doe has landed on the desk of a leading literary agent. Attached to the title page is a post-it from the agent’s assistant: “Good writer!” it says. The … Continue reading

Posted in Barbara's workshops, Craft, Editing, Writing tips | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

In Praise Of Outlines

Send to Kindle  In a recent blog post, novelist Donna Gillespie makes an eloquent case for writing without an outline, a clarion call for writers to shed their bonds and dive into their stories. Outlining is a “soul-killing, oxygen-sucking waste … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Outlining, Writing tips | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Cross-Writing: Gender Bending Through Fiction

Send to Kindle  I read a good book lately, and it got me thinking, as good books tend to do. The book was RESTLESS, by British novelist William Boyd, and it’s about two women, a mother and her grown daughter. … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Writing, Writing tips | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

“Too Much Body Language,” She Said, Frowning.

Send to KindleThere’s a secret to getting a first novel published, and it has nothing to do with platform, connections, or the ebb and flow of publishing’s tides. Not that those things don’t matter. They do matter as secondary factors, … Continue reading

Posted in Revising fiction, Writing, Writing tips | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments


Send to KindleIt’s the time of year for lists and gift-giving, so I’m combining the two in this list of novels I loved this year. They’re not necessarily books that were published during 2012; in fact, some of them go … Continue reading

Posted in Reading | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Films About Writers: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Send to Kindle  Sorry to be late with this post. I spent the last few days recuperating from a movie I saw over the weekend. The Words is about a writer who plagiarizes the work of another writer, gains fame … Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Writing | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Can Writing Be Taught?

Send to KindleMy last post about the bloodsuckers who prey on writers stirred up some interesting discussions on writers’ forums that I frequent. One writer, Cammy May Hunnicutt, agreed that paid reviews and submission services exploit naive writers and provide … Continue reading

Posted in Barbara's workshops, Craft, Self-publishing, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments