Tagged with A to Z Blogging challenge

Google Zeitgeist: How a Writer Uses Trends


As a fiction writer, it is important to know your audience.  If you have never done any research to discover what demographic your proposed novel might reach (or not reach) then you may be wasting valuable time writing a novel that no one will read. Google Zeitgeist is a fantastic engine created to show researchers … Continue reading

Being Xenophanes: How to Write Satire


Today a former student of mine wandered into my room with paper in hand ready for me to churn out writing tips.  This student will graduate in a few weeks, and he has been assigned to write a satirical piece of his choosing about a social issue.  Like Xenophanes of the 6th century who traveled … Continue reading

Tabula Rasa: 6 Ways to Begin Writing a Novel


In the 17th century, John Locke wrote “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” in which he posited that at birth human beings are born as if they were a blank slate.  Many of you reading this post right now may be at this stage with your novel, the blank “slate” staring at you, be it a … Continue reading

Rogue Literature: Villains as Heroes


Lately I’ve been listening to Johnny Cash songs.  Many of his tunes are about the exploits of criminals like “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Cocaine Blues”, “25 Minutes to Go” and “Hardin Wouldn’t Run”.  Cash had an ability to tell the story of a criminal better than anyone (even though he served absolutely zero time), but his … Continue reading

5 Problems Facing Novelists and How to Overcome Them


I have always wanted to be a novelist.  Of course this requires that I spend countless hours in front of a computer screen working, many more hours promoting myself, building my platform and generally getting my name out there. Over the years, I have found that there are several “hobgoblins” that will grab a novelist’s … Continue reading

Organic Unity: A Good Novelist’s Added Edge


As an English teacher, I have read and taught much great literature.  I have a stack of great writing to draw from when writing my own stories.  What makes these writers great is their ability to write organically unified text. A novel has organic unity not just when the story is well conceived, but when … Continue reading