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SHOULD INDIE NOVELISTS AVOID TRIGGER SUBJECTS? Prior to having children, I worked as a counselor in the mental health field. Probably because of this, I’m comfortable discussing almost anything. As far as my writing goes, not only am I comfortable writing about...

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To ReAD OR NOT TO READ

There have been times over the years when I’ve intentionally refrained from reading anything except manuscripts required for my critique groups. The reasoning behind my book boycott was simple. While I was in the thick of writing, I didn’t want to be swayed by other...

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When is a novel truly done?

How do you know when you’ve finished your novel?  I’m not talking about a first draft, or a second, or even a fifth. I’m referring to ‘never changing another word’ finished. Ever. Answering this question can be tough, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me....

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

WHY YOUR CHARACTERS’ NAMES MATTER. My mother taught for over forty years. She taught in public elementary schools outside New York City, in the Pennsylvania suburbs, and in an elite private school in Princeton. She also directed a New Jersey cooperative nursery...

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COPING WITH A NEGATIVE CRITIQUE

After months or even years of work, you’ve finally finished a draft of your novel. You’re anxious but also super excited to get feedback on your story and the characters you’ve created. Maybe you submit your first chapter to your critique group, or perhaps you hire a...

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IS GOOGLING ENOUGH?

SHOULD YOU ONLY WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW? Is googling enough? Should we only write about our own lives and what we know personally? This question was posed during a Zoom writing group I recently attended. To give context, a writer stated that he didn’t want to write...

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