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The Tyranny of “Just”

Writers have a real problem with “just,” and I don’t mean in the filler word sense. I mean more in the way we treat our dearest accomplishments as filler words. I’m not a real writer, this is just my first book. I write, but just children’s books. I’m published, but just small press. I’m a bestseller, kind of, but just USA Today, not NYT. Of course, writers aren’t the only artists guilty of this. I’m not an artist, I just like to take pictures. I scupt, but just in plain old clay, not marble or anything. Most of us have done it, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I weren’t one of the worst offenders. It’s a defense mechanism, this self-protective way we downplay our attachment to the things we actually care about the most. And okay, humility...
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How to Write STEAMY Sexual Tension

Okay, so you know how to write tension. But can you write it…sexually? If that sounded dirty to you, you’re on the right track. Sexual tension is all about getting your reader to long for your characters to do something. And it’s a whole lot more about what they’re NOT doing than what they are doing. Which makes it hard to write, yanno? Can’t write something that’s not happening. Or can you? Have a look at this. You just tilted your screen away from the rest of the coffee shop, didn’t you? But what does that picture really show? Knees. Knees aren’t that racy. For all you know, outside the frame that girl could be wearing a giraffe costume. But all you had to do to make that set of knees sexy was to add panties (which created an atmosphere...
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The Dreaded R&R

What are your chances of getting signed if you get an R&R? An R&R is one of the terms in the publishing industry that frequently has writers drawing a blank…or devolving into sheer panic. Simply put, an R&R stands for Revise and Resubmit. It means that instead of rejecting or offering representation, an agent thinks you’re close but not quite there yet, so they send feedback, and invite you to resubmit if you choose to revise to their feedback. They can be exciting (hey, it’s not a no!) but they can also be a lot of hard work. My husband repeatedly pointed out the irony of the acronym when I was working 15-hour, eye-bleeding days on an editorial R&R of my own. No, folks, it does not stand for rest and relaxation. It also isn’t a guarantee of an offer,...
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