Critical Things to Do Before You Write Your First Novel

Hindsight is twenty twenty they say. Before I ambitiously embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime, I had no clue what to expect. Sure, I’d read many novels and books and blog posts on how to write them.

What I quickly found out was reading about writing, and actually writing, are totally different. It’s like thinking you’re a good singer because you watch America’s got Talent and belting out off key tunes at a karaoke bar. Time for a reality check.

What I wish i knew blog image

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How to Write Hair-Raising Suspense

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Suspense.

While reading—it keeps us turning the page with sweaty hands.

While writing. . . sometimes it’s just downright a pain.

If I can cause my reader to grow a few extra gray hairs from my writing, I count that a success. *I apologize ahead of time to any of my readers hoping to keep their luscious colorful locks hair.* Here are some of the basics for adding suspense I use.

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Appreciating Culture

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Did you know that today is Chinese New Year’s?[1]

Growing up, even half-Chinese, I wasn’t aware that anyone went by a different calendar[2], or that there were holidays Americans didn’t observe, or vice versa. That’s pretty typical for children, of course. You don’t really start looking outside your own world until you’re a teenager – if even then. My first foray into a culture totally different from my own opened up my world figuratively – in drawing my imagination, and literally – I’m living overseas (and loving it).

But what helps people to greet such differences with interest rather than fear? Continue reading

How to Write Amazing Action

aIt’s hard to write believable action when the most exciting thing you’ve done this year is spike your cat’s water bowl.

I say this because I’ve had a pretty action packed life and the action I’ve lived, I can write. One of my most infamous memories is of being attacked by gang members a couple years back. Thanks to that encounter, I can now say with confidence black eyes are not my style, a broken nose isn’t as flattering as I’d hoped, and hard as I try, I can’t rock stitches.

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