Tag Archive - writing

Advice to Authors: Stereotypes Are Your Enemy — But Also Your Friend!

If you’re a writer, you’ve heard it again and again: avoid stereotypes! And it’s really good advice. First, it’s just plain boring when your characters act in a predictable, stereotypical fashion — when gay guys are snappy dressers with bitchy comebacks, when black women are always sassy, when disabled or autistic kids are always brilliant […]

Advice to Authors: Alas, You Have Almost No Say in How Well Your Book Will Do

I’ve traditionally published nine books with major publishers (with more forthcoming), and I’m often asked by aspiring writers, “What can I do to make sure my book is a success?” There’s certainly a lot an author can do, especially in this Internet Age. But will it necessarily make your book a success? That’s a whole […]

Do Women Care Less About Plot Than Men?

An acquaintance, who happens to be a film critic, recently told me how much she enjoyed Albert Nobbs, the new movie set in the past where Glenn Close’s character has to pretend to be a man. I hated the movie. I thought it was a total failure on almost every level (except, perhaps, Close’s show-y, […]

How I Learned to Love E-Publishing (and How It’s Totally Freaking Me Out!)

Truthfully? I was dubious about e-publishing. Not as a reader. I love my e-reader — in fact, I now much prefer to read books electronically. But I’ve been a full-time writer of fiction for well over ten years now (with another ten years of “paying my dues” before that), and let’s just say: I’m used […]

How Does an Author Write Sympathetic Characters?

If you’re an author, how do make and keep your main character sympathetic?You could write a whole book on this very topic – in fact, many have. I confess, I find it a fascinating one, mostly because it was exactly this idea of “likable” protagonists that made me start writing fiction in the first place. […]