Seven Ways to Spark Your Writing with “Golden Lines”


Writers In The Storm Blog

by Fae Rowen

On the plane home from Atlanta in July, I re-read my notes and handouts, highlighting tips that resonated with me as I prepared for a major edit on my WIP. When I participated in the UC Irvine Writing Project, I learned the technique of highlighting a few word in an article, an essay, or short story that were lessons for me and my writing. The instructors called these highlighted snippets “golden lines.” This method is different from using up the ink of a yellow highlighter as if you’re getting ready for a test. It’s much more selective. Think of it as a “for immediate implementation” list.

Here are my Golden Lines (in no particular order) and how they’ve helped me step it up a level (or two) in my writing:

1. Be grounded in emotional reality. We ‘re human. We feel. I’ve run the gamut of writing…

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Scene Arcs


Writers In The Storm Blog

By Shannon Donnelly

Everyone knows there’s a story arc—story goes up in tension, reaches a peak, and falls down. And there are character arcs, too, since story is character and character is story. But what about your scene arcs? That’s right—every scene needs an arc.

Jack M. Bickham (a student of Dwight Swain, whose book Techniques of a Selling Writer I highly recommend) describes a scene as: “…a segment of story action, written moment-by-moment, without summary, presented onstage in the story ‘now.’” (From Scene & Structure, How to Construct Fiction with Scene-by-scene Flow, Logic and Readability)

This means the scene starts, it has middle, and the scene ends. Wandering or pointless scenes need to be cut. But how do you make a weak scene better so you don’t have to cut it?

1—Make sure every scene has one focal character that comes into the scene wanting one…

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Covers: A Challenge for the Self-Published


Writers In The Storm Blog

Jacqueline Diamond   Writers in the Storm welcomes Jacqueline Diamond, author of over 95 novels, including romantic comedy, romantic suspense, fantasy, mystery and Regency historical romance. A two-time finalist for the Rita Award, Jackie received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and is a former reporter and TV columnist for the Associated Press. She writes the Safe Harbor Medical miniseries for Harlequin American Romance and is revising and reissuing some of her old favorites as e-books.

 By Jacqueline Diamond

As a reader, you may scan dozens of covers each time you select a book. Some appeal to you instantly; some put you off. Others are confusing. You wonder, Why isn’t this obvious to the cover designer?

Then one day you self-publish a book and have to design, choose or commission a cover of your own. Even a previously published book needs a new design since rights to the original cover…

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Are readers changing and what does that mean to writers?


C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

A friend of mine is an old-school, English major sort of guy. He was extolling the virtues of literature as we once knew it: contemplative novels; long treatises on the nature of the human condition; and “serious” novels chosen by a small cabal of unknown gatekeepers. His eyes gleamed for the nostalgia of MFA glories, tiny lit mag aspirations and the New York Times bestseller lists of old world, analog publishing.

This is the sort of conversation that takes me places I didn’t expect to go. Only in talking it out, and writing it out here, have I discovered and understood what I think about New versus Old writing, reading and publishing.

The “issue” is, have readers’ tastes changed?

All generalizations weaken questions and answers, but there’s validity waiting down there in the dark. Let’s delve.

Pre-WWII, many schools in the first world taught Latin and Greek. Long recitations of…

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King of Dramatic Impact: Don’t Skip This Key Element of Fiction!


Writers In The Storm Blog

by Tiffany Lawson Inman

Going through life, we are always in a state of suspense. Mmmmm…yummy, suspense! According to Oxford dictionary: a state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Life moments creating dramatic impact, small and large.

What will happen next?  Is the question on a second to second, minute to minute, day to day loop in our human brain.

I watched my husband play with our baby yesterday.  There was a lot of giggling going on, so I tore myself away from the computer to see what was happening.  She was on the floor and my hubby was sitting at her feet as if she was getting her diaper changed.  Hubby would lift one of her feet and slowly bend over with an open mouth, going in to nibble on her tootsies , but before he got…

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The Inside Scoop On Romantic Times Magazine


The founder of RT Book Reviews gives us some insight on the process of growing a wildly popular publication

Writers In The Storm Blog

KathrynFalk- Today we are honored to host Kathryn Falk, also known as Lady Barrow. She’s hailed as “Queen of Romance” and a “brilliant, phenomenal promoter” by the New York Times. Kathryn is the founder of Romantic Times Magazine, now RT Book Reviews. She and her magazine became the voice for reading fans and professional writers alike when there was none. I have known Kathryn for many years and followed her career, finding her one of the most fascinating women I know. Today, she’s here to tell us a bit of her history and how a review magazine works.

Hello to the WITS gang and their readers. It’s really fun being here today.

One of the most fun and interesting times in my life started in 1981 when I founded RT Book Reviews – then called Romantic Times — the very first Romance review publication.  I believed that if…

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