What? Is this my day?Uh, uh, think fast! Need subject!All right. I have a first draft, the story is done. Now what?For me, it’s time to bring in the beta readers. Now, what works for me would probably horrify a sensibly paranoid writer—I put it up as a Google Doc and post the URL on... Continue Reading →

The Quiet Pause

While rereading a seasonal poem, I realized that it fits the pattern Karen pointed out last week with "Lady Diamond." It also fits what Sarah was taking about with the shadows, the quiet darkness, that casts the light and action into higher relief. "Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oarSilently rowed to the... Continue Reading →

Genre Cues: Mysteries

Alma T. C. Boykin. What hides in the twilight behind the wall . . .? Well, you need a crime. Or something mysterious that's not a legal crime but not right either. And you need someone to find out who did it, and to get justice. Right? Oh, and now you can have cats and... Continue Reading →


Obedience training for Muses (Or is that Musi). Doesn’t really matter, I only have one. So far as I know. Mine is sneaky, hyperactive (except under the influence of antihistamines, decongestants, diet sodas, or extreme stress (when it disappears altogether)) not housebroken, and sure as heck won’t walk on a leash. Which explains (excuses?) my... Continue Reading →

Ya Gotta Hook ‘Em to Reel ‘Em In

Here reader, reader, reader! Source: Pixabay Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay Alma T. C. Boykin I was reading a history book that had, to date, the least effective "hook" of a starting sentence I have read. The book is far better than the first line, but if that's what sells the story, this volume... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding and genre

Karen's post yesterday inspired me to do some serious thinking about how I'm handling worldbuilding in the WIP. (Note: this is not the same as seriously inspired thinking. Alas.) It's another Regency fantasy set in the imaginary world of Din Eidyn, which I think of as what Edinburgh would have been like at the time... Continue Reading →

Research: down in the weeds

Since I’ve just finished a historical fantasy novel (the one I’ve been calling Book of Secrets, but now it’s Shadow of the Crescent) set in Italy and Constantinople in 1480-81, I enjoyed the recent column here on historical fiction and had so many thoughts that I decided to save them for a separate post instead... Continue Reading →

The Blurb from the Abyss

[--Pam Uphoff--] Blurbs. The bane of many an author’s existence. They aren’t a brief synopsis, they’re a teaser. A hook. Something to get the potential reader to at least “look inside” if not just hit the buy now button. I'm pretty bad at them. So I just put up a book, with my usual last... Continue Reading →

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