Author Archives: Guest Column

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3 Practical Tips on Reading Your Work to an Audience

I recently attended a literary event where several writers read their work. I sensed polished pearls buried deep in there somewhere but honestly, I couldn’t hear them. The writers mumbled, stumbled, ran sentences together and acted as though their words were on a bullet train to a faraway station. Their verbs may have been...

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When Characters Become People

As a former motion picture executive and current instructor of fiction writing, I’ve heard too often the incorrect definition of a sympathetic character. It is not necessarily someone we like. It is not necessarily someone we admire as a doer of good deeds. We follow characters with interest and compassion when we have a...

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How to Shut Up Your Inner Editor

It can strike while you’re working on any piece, anytime, anywhere. You're writing along like butter, and suddenly a stomach-wrenching jolt slams you up against a concrete wall. That thunderous voice in your head rebukes: "THAT'S THE WORST, MOST HORRIBLE, STUPID PHRASE SINCE . . . ." And you’re paralyzed.

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Making a Living as a Published Author

Making a living as a writer--Whenever I read that phrase, I immediately think about all the opportunities for writers to make money doing what they love — copywriting, web writing, resume writing, grant writing … writing case studies, white papers, online content, social media posts — the list goes on and on. And typically,...

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The 3 Basic Building Blocks of Writing a Memoir

Some people know exactly what they want to write about when they start their memoir. Others come to the computer expecting to purge their life onto the virtual page. If that’s you, take it from me, it won’t work—at least not for a book project. By focusing on the three foundational legs of memoir...

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How to Write About Family in a Memoir

To write honestly and compassionately about members of your family, you must first reflect on your purpose, your approach, the details of your story and the potential reactions your family members might have. Here's how to do that.