Writing Tips

Want to Write Better Dialogue? Close Your Eyes and Listen

(I originally wrote this for the Imagination Soup blog.) Wanna know a secret? When it comes to writing dialogue, I have an advantage. Why? Because I was a journalist for … well, far too long. I honed my listening skills during interviews for more than 6,000 articles. And there were usually at least three sources… Read more »

Let Me be the Devil on Your Shoulder to Help With Dialogue

(I originally wrote this for the Imagination Soup blog.) We talk all the time, so why is dialogue so difficult to get just right when we’re writing? I blame English teachers. Just kidding. Kinda. Let me explain. From day one we’re taught to write using standard English. But we don’t talk that way, now do… Read more »

Overcoming the Challenges to Writing Your Life Story

(I originally wrote this for the Imagination Soup blog.) My middle-grade novel in verse, Starfish, is based on my life. So people often ask me, “How can I turn my personal story into a fiction novel?” On the surface, it might seem like the easiest book you’ll ever write. That’s the problem, though. That’s on… Read more »

3 Tips for Writing in Verse

(I originally wrote this for a presentation with The Dalton School.) Think of writing in verse like tweeting  When you Tweet, you have just a few characters to get your point across, right? And so sometimes you spill your thoughts into the Tweet and then have to start figuring out what to cut so you… Read more »