How to Write a Novel, Part 1: Turning an idea into a story

Last night I began teaching my first creative writing class at a local college. The course helps participants launch their first novel, from the germ idea through the first chapters. While I don’t claim to be an expert in the discipline—Ernest Hemingway famously said that writing is a craft where no one ever becomes a master—I … Continue reading How to Write a Novel, Part 1: Turning an idea into a story

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Cultivating Plots: How to Grow your Series

After a wild winter here in the mid-Atlantic, spring has finally arrived. Daffodils bob on the highway medians, the famous local cherry trees cast pink carpets under my feet when I run, and my Laddie gulps allergy pills with his morning coffee. I can’t wait to get my hands in the soil, but for the … Continue reading Cultivating Plots: How to Grow your Series

Snape & Sensibility & Sci-Fi: Remembering Alan Rickman

My blog is becoming an obituary column. Just days after saying goodbye to David Bowie,  today we face another beloved British performer's sudden departure: Alan Rickman.  Few actors can glide between genres--classics, science fiction, fantasy, and more--and bring such an unmistakable presence to every one. I'm still too shocked to attempt writing a proper tribute, so instead I … Continue reading Snape & Sensibility & Sci-Fi: Remembering Alan Rickman