Not all writers emerge from the womb fully formed, and that certainly wasn’t the case for me. I had to study the writing process to hone my craft. As I learned, I realized that the process is different for everyone, and it mattered how the information was presented whether or not I really “got” it.
For instance, I struggled with “motivation” for years, hearing the word, and knowing that my characters had to have it. However, when I came across the word “agenda” in regards to character motivation, it instantly clicked with me. Coming from the business world, I understood that an agenda is the instruction sheet a person operated from. It is the basis for action in the past, present, and future. Now, whenever I’m in a character’s point of view, their agenda is always foremost in my head.
So, in the hopes that someone else will have an “agenda” moment, I wrote articles about what I’ve learned, and I’ve posted them below. The topics vary from straight crafting (writing scenes, creating conflict, etc.) to dealing with writerly doubt to making your work really stand out.
Find the crafting materials that speak to you, become the best writer you can be, and then there’s only one thing left to do. Write from your heart.
I present workshops at writer’s conferences and have given talks at Amelia Island Book Festival, Left Coast Crime, McIntosh Art Association, First Coast Romance Writers, Florida Heritage Book Festival, Southern Lights Conference, Scribbler’s Retreat, Florida Writer’s Association —Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine chapters, Ancient City Romance Writers, Southeastern Mystery Writers of America SkillBuilds, University of North Florida Writers. I’ve presented on the topics of pacing, painting with words, query letters and synopses, pitching, genre bending, writing journey, self-editing, cold reads, polishing, plotting, and working writers.
I’ve participated on industry panels at Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, Killer Nashville, Left Coast Crime, Southern Lights Conference, Murder in Magic City, Sleuthfest, DragonCon, and LibertyCon.