• Novel Writing,  Writer's Block,  Writing Inspiration

    Turning a Scene into a Novel

    “Hey Lizard! So I have an idea for a story, but it’s only one scene. I have no idea where to go with it or how to flesh it out into a longer idea. Can you help please?” Frankenstein by Mary Shelley started out as one very spooky scene that Shelley first imagined on a surprisingly chilly summer’s evening to scare her literary friends. Though getting from just one cool scene to an entire book is not without its challenges. First: Save that cool scene in a folder and don’t touch it. Make a copy of it that you can work with. Even if you change it, it’s not gone.…

  • Writer's Block,  Writing Life

    Everyone’s a Critic

    Notes on Taking Criticism in Stride & Gleaning What’s Useful Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of questions and requests to talk about the rejection and criticism. As a writer, you’re bound to come up against it eventually. Whether you’re showing your stories to your next door neighbor or sending it off to the editor of your favorite magazine, you’re going to eventually come face to face with someone else’s thoughts about your work. That can be a frightening thing. Your writing might be personal or share some very intimate details about your life. It can be hard to hear that it’s is less than perfect. For that reason alone, I’ve…

  • Writer's Block,  Writing Life

    Refocus on Writing Now: Overcoming Creative Burnouts

    As artists, sometimes we just burn out. Think writer’s block, but it’s more than just writer’s block. Like not a block, but an enormous brick wall. An exhausting creative rut. I’ve heard someone refer to it as an “Art School Hangover.” It’s a sudden crash that often comes after an intensely heightened period of creativity.  But now, I want to talk about getting past it.

  • Plot,  Revision,  Writer's Block

    Writing More than One Plot Line

    “How many plot lines are too many?” I don’t think there’s a definitive answer here. There are some books that thrive on having such a narrow focus, showing one character grappling with one central conflict, while others are busier, lots of characters lots of conflicts and that’s great too. I think it all comes back to one question, “what is this book trying to accomplish?”

  • Writer's Block,  Writing Inspiration,  Writing Life

    Hasn’t this Been Written Before?

    "Hey Lizard! I’ve read through all of your blog posts in the past days, but I still don’t have an idea what to do. Right now, I have lots of time to spend on writing. The problem being, that it doesn’t matter how polished my characters seem to be and how often I change my outline, the plot is still similar to a story I’ve read once, because the major issues are the same. It even reaches the point where I have the feeling that if I just change the character’s names, it’s that story. Any advice?"