Entries by Alli

The Right Writing Group

One of my favorite things every week is going to writing group. Even though I write every day, there’s something special about meeting with other writers to write. But attending a writing group—especially a weekly one—can be a big time commitment in our busy lives. Finding the right group, a group that will be productive […]

What I Love About DragonCon

A while ago when I was soliciting ideas for blog posts, a friend suggested writing about why I love DragonCon. I attempted to write this post three times before giving up and deciding to write it after this year’s convention (I’d be more inspired then, right?). Well, it’s after this year’s convention and I’m still […]


Last week I attended DragonCon and while I intended to write a post for this week extolling the reasons I love that convention, I spent the majority of this week preparing for a hurricane. It was a little reminder that even the best laid plans can be run off course (or wobble excessively as in […]

DIY Edit: 02 Creating Distance: Time

Even though I’m an editor for hire, I firmly believe in self-editing. Each month I’m going to drop a tip for developing your ability to edit your own work or identify things to look for as you edit. Make sure to check out all the DIY Edit Tips to improve your self-editing.   One of […]

The Story Sandwich

Figuring out what makes up a story and how to make those elements speak to each other can be one of the more elusive aspects of craft. While elements can be developed and adjusted in revision, it’s important to understand how those ingredients work together. In one analogy, you might think of writing a story […]


The Secret to Receiving Constructive Criticism

Receiving constructive criticism can be as difficult as giving it. It can be challenging to divorce personal feelings—and all the hard work put into the previous draft—from someone else’s opinion. But when I put my story out there to receive constructive criticism, I need to be open to it. I have to put aside my […]

Talking It Out

I had dinner with a writer friend last week and after gushing about the novel I’m currently developing, I asked what he’s working on. After a long awkward pause, he finally confessed that he didn’t want to talk about it until he had a first draft. I subscribed to this methodology once upon a time, […]

Why on Earth Would You Write Every Day?

In 2016 I stumbled into my current habit of being an every day writer. It was a goal for a number of years, but one that I could never make stick until I discovered I had written every day for a week and then through sheer stubbornness continued to write every day. (I’m currently on […]

DIY Edit: 01 A New Hat

Even though I’m an editor for hire, I firmly believe in self-editing. For one, it helps you develop your skills as a writer because it forces you to learn to analyze your own work. For two, you’ll get more from a professional editor because if you’ve already caught simple mistakes, an editor can spend more […]

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The Changeable Plan

Almost every week I meet my friend for dinner and we go to either Barnes & Noble or the library. We spend an hour walking through the books, reading titles, touching covers, and expanding our to-read lists. In addition to an ever-increasing to-read list, I also have an ever-increasing library. And of those books there […]