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The Five-Second Rule for Writing

Every day, you make hundreds of decisions in less than five seconds. Many aren’t conscious decisions, like fastening your seat belt, opening a door, putting sugar in your coffee, or saying thank you to the barista. Most of the time, you make decisions without thinking, without consciously choosing. And those decisions are based on emotions… Read more

Writing a Novel in a Month – Time to Prepare!

Writing a novel in a month sounds like madness. But some writers seem to zip through National Novel Writing Month—NaNoWriMo—and pump out 50, 60, even 70,000 words or more like it’s no big deal. Others plod through, get discouraged, pick themselves up, and write like crazy on the final day just to hit 50,000. And… Read more

Ghostwriting Fiction: Is It for You?

Ghostwriting, as you probably know, is professional writing done for an individual person or company without getting public credit for it. An autobiography, for example, may claim the subject as the author even if the book was written entirely by someone else—ghostwritten. In some cases, a writer may get partial credit. An “as-told-to” memoir is… Read more

The Em Dash and How to Use It Correctly

This post was originally published on December 30, 2016 and was updated on July 19, 2019. Do you use em dashes? Do you know what an em dash is? If you do, you’re in good company. Lots of writers use em dashes—a lot. I definitely do—sometimes more than I should. And since too many em… Read more

How to Write Sex Scenes from Sweet to Steamy Hot

Sex scenes can be challenging for any writer. Aspiring novelists, especially, struggle with how much to tell and how to tell it. Even a “sweet” or mildly sensual scene isn’t easy, and unabashed writers with no qualms about “open door” encounters find blazing-hot situations just as challenging. Writing intimacy scenes takes skill, practice, and knowing… Read more