It’s the details that will kill you

The other evening, Kathleen Ernst was talking about writing stories for series characters for American Girl. “When I get a call to write the next book for an established character, I read all the previous books that featured the character and all the research notes I can find,” she said. “The character, as I write [...]

Writing crowd scenes is tough

And that’s what I had to do today in my NaNoWriMo novel. I have Thad Cardwell taking 24 of his fellow high school students hostage. Twenty-four. The reader was going to lose track of who was doing what and saying what if everybody was squirming in their desk seats or popping off or crying, as [...]

How fast a writer are you?

I can write and polish 2,500 to 5,000 words a day. My problem is life interferes, so I can’t do it every day. Not even every other day. I envy mystery/thriller writer Joe Konrath. He shuts down everything for the month of February and writers his next Jack Daniels mystery. In round figures, he writes [...]

A lesson from Jeffery Deaver

Are you anywhere near High Point, North Carolina? Tomorrow, thriller writer Jeffery Deaver and two other pros – ex-cop Lee Lofland and editor Chris Roerden – will teach an all-day session for writers looking to step up to the next level. Deaver’s titled his section “People Don’t Read to Get to the Middle: Writing a [...]