Saturday Night Write

Setting and History

A setting is the sum of its history.  Whether you’re writing contemporary fiction, or something set in an invented country, a place’s history provides both context for your story and opportunities to make your story specific. I played into that with the mystery I just released by setting it in Galveston, where I am familiar […]


Giving Your Story Depth

When talking about story depth, predominantly, you’re talking about how the author has handled themes in a work.  I’ve had a number of writing students who embrace the ideas of planning out character and plot, but totally shy away from discussing theme.  The story events are what they are – entertaining, exciting, fun.  So why […]


Finding Your Voice

It can take courage to be yourself on the page.  If you are writing “primly” or “correctly,” that can feel safe.  Who can find fault with a voice that sounds carefully generic?  But the story written generically isn’t going to come out very exciting, is it?  More likely, your entire book will sound stilted or […]


Invented Language

I’ve designed parts of multiple alien languages for my Chocoverse books.  It’s one of the most fun parts of worldbuilding.  I love building lexicons and language rules, and thinking about how prefixes and suffixes can affect a basic word’s meaning. Depending on how much of the language will actually be used in a book or […]


Pick Anything and Own It

Bear with me.  I know most of you are writing for adults, but I want to talk in term of kid’s cartoons for a minute.  When it comes to aesthetics, there’s nothing that makes the concept easier to understand than animation meant for developing minds. The 2019 Dora the Explorer movie played hard into the […]


I Feel So Conflicted

One way to attach readers to your character is to present her with a problem, and then let us into how she FEELS about it.  If you make those feelings specific – and unique to her – then we can feel them too.  Let us in on the character’s specific thoughts, internal physical sensations and/or […]