Shipping and Handling, Pt III: How to Write Sex Scenes (By Writing Fight Scenes)

“You know why your books don’t sell?” asked my Laddie, scrolling idly through the Kindle sale page. Suggestive covers whizzed by on the computer screen. “No sex scenes.” I wrinkled my nose. “The protagonists in my last series were fifteen.” “Teenagers have sex.” “Not when they’re preoccupied with survival.” While adolescent sexual experiences may be … Continue reading Shipping and Handling, Pt III: How to Write Sex Scenes (By Writing Fight Scenes)

In-Flight Entertainment: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Stories

Epiphany struck me 35,000 over Chicago. Dimmed lights in the plane cabin made my laptop screen glow conspicuously on the tiny tray table, an invitation to judge over my shoulder, but I didn’t have time for self-consciousness. I had revisions to finish. Faced with a cross-country business trip, I’d assigned myself a travel project of … Continue reading In-Flight Entertainment: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Stories

The Accidental Mirror: What Flawed Characters Reveal About Ourselves

Running solves most of my problems. Bad day at work? Fight with the family? Mad at the world in general? After half a dozen sweaty miles, I reach a place where I’m better equipped to deal. It’s especially helpful for working through story issues. My feet go on autopilot, carrying me not through neighborhoods and … Continue reading The Accidental Mirror: What Flawed Characters Reveal About Ourselves

The Beautiful Scientist Problem, Pt III: Three Traps to Avoid When Writing Female Characters

Even when writers describe and develop female characters well, they still must navigate a minefield of stale and unhealthy cliches. Tumbling into one of these pernicious pits can ruin a great heroine, and sometimes the entire story along with her. In this final post of my series on writing female characters, I’ll identify three common … Continue reading The Beautiful Scientist Problem, Pt III: Three Traps to Avoid When Writing Female Characters