Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

Writing Dialogue:
Tips from the Trenches.

Nothing kills a story faster than bad dialogue. So said Elmore Leonard, one of the masters of written dialogue and one of my biggest influences as a writer. These tips were mostly inspired by his genius, not my own. But they are guidelines that serve me well. DIALOGUE TIP #1 Dialogue should always do something […]

Writing Villainously for Fun and Profit

Of all the characters I create, I enjoy writing my villains the most. I practically cackle with glee whenever I start dreaming up all of the awful things they will do to my other characters. Maybe that’s because in my real life I am so well-behaved that it feels ridiculously fun to be bad…even if […]

Writing Dialogue: Less is More

When I began writing fiction, my learning curve was steep. And the steepest part of that curve? Dialogue. Every time I had a character speak, I felt like I was wearing someone else's shoes. Now, dialogue is one of my favorite elements of any story I write, but it took time and few lessons learned […]

Writing, Revising, and Chiseling: Seven Steps to Done.

This might sound weird, but revision is my favorite part of writing…which is lucky, because I do a lot of it. Writing fiction is kind of like sculpting, only harder, because, unlike a sculptor, a writer has to create her own clay. Your first draft is the clay. Revision is sculpting, molding, refining that clay […]

Writing What You Know.

Flannery O’Connor said, “Anyone who has survived childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” Well, I sure hope so, because all of my novels are based on my authentic childhood and young adult experiences. I began writing about my life when I was still a teenager, using memories […]

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