Characters Meet and Greet – Name Tag Anyone?

When you walk into a large party or business meeting with dozens of people in attendance you never met before, do you have trouble remembering the names that go with the faces as everyone is introduced? I sure do! Thank goodness for BIG name tags is all I can say. (Yes, I stole these lines from Veronica Scott in her 10/24/16 post for Romance University.)

Read more of why an author can need a name tag at Journey to the stars and worlds of imagination: Characters Meet and Greet

~till next time, Helen


World Building by Janet Lane Walters

World building is something every writer in every genre needs to pay attentio1n to. Sometimes it’s to build a town similar to the one we live in, or it could be a fantasy world where magic rules and dragons fly. Read an informative article by Jane Lane Walters of tips and traps on world building. Be sure to read all the way through. The ending is one every writer can relate to. And then go back to read parts 1 and 2. Or pick up one of Janet’s books.

~till next time, Helen

Books We Love Insider Blog: World Building For All Genres Part 3 Janet Lane Wa…: The next area of World building to consider is Characters. There are a number of areas where people help weave the world web. …

Two Sides of the Coin

As I was reviewing previous blog posts for possible deletion, Having a Voice caught my attention as I’ve been (pick an emotion: enjoying / suffering / celebrating) two releases this summer. I’ve been listening to hear what the readers have to say. Although a book is the writer’s voice, the readers have a voice in what they want, what they enjoy reading… and most importantly what they will pay for.

While the cash register is one way a reader may speak to us, stars and a few words of a review are also important. But they can be impersonal. We are humann beings and can need a closer tie. A brief personal exchange can turn the sky blue and encourage an author to continue on.

Read the full article here for my own memory of a brief personal exchange that turned a blue mood into blue skies.

~till next time, Helen

Success or Embarassment – What Do You Write About?

Even dragons can have a red face.


“If we write about our blunders, we’ll never run out of material!

It’s scary to do this sometimes. Anytime we post to our blogs, we open ourselves up to public critique. We are putting ourselves into the hands of friends and strangers and telling them, “I trust you with this piece of me.” Blogging is already a brave activity, without the addition of opening ourselves up to ridicule. Being candid and genuine is a far more impressive feat than putting forth the perfected version of ourselves.”

 The above quote is from a post titled, Boy, Is My Face Red. It contains considerations about us as writers sharing the part of ourselves that is not so glorious as our successes. 

 Read  the full post at Boy, Is My Face Red  for one writer’s take on the life’s not-so-glorious moments. 

~Till next time, Helen

Historical Tidbit – Naval Terms

How many books have you read that contained words that originated with sailors? Probably as many
as the numImageber or characters that had a past related to the sea. There are entire series dedicated to men in uniform, so many readers have encountered one. But use of the words that came from the sea aren’t necessarily restricted to romance writers. A term might creep into the ships that sail amongst the stars. And don’t forget ships that transverse the oceans of fantasy worlds.

In honor of Fleet Week, a tip to writers. A word or two (don’t use the entire dictionary) can add a hint of authenticity to a work.The U.S. Navy has compiled multiple glossaries of naval slang that has worked its way into common English. Whether you want to bamboozle or use “know the ropes” in its original meaning (which wasn’t complimentary), check out naval slang.

Image   Till Next Time ~ Helen



XPost – 5 Tips to Avoid total Disaster

When I advise new writers (and sometimes experienced ones) I like to use information from experience and not necessarily what is in the latest books. And I am trying to follow through with the philosophy when I wordart - doitallam cross-posting (or commenting on) articles. Even within a sub-genre, writers are such a diverse group that what works for one, either as a writing process or marketing, is an absolute torture or flop for another.

In that vein, I’m forwarding a guest post from the LiveWriteThrive blog by copywriter, editor, and educator Jessica Millis. As you can see from just the bio line, she comes with experience from various sides of the table, and what is perhaps the most important one–she is also a reader. Although I disagree with the statement that, “Most novels in the online and offline market today are garbage,” (mainly it is the word “Most” I object to,) her tips may not turn a bad novel into a best seller, but they are points to consider, especially for those with a novel inside them (that is still there after ten or twenty years.)

What I liked most iswordart - researchends that she didn’t start off with the usual advice of “Write what you know.” And, all too often, her first tip to avoiding a total disaster as a novelist, “Don’t Spend Forever Gathering Material,” is all too accurate. One of the points I consistently make when I lecture authors on research is once you have a base, start writing. You don’t need to know everything about every era (or even one) before you begin to put words down on paper. If your character ends up visiting Notre Dame Cathedral and you had him originally going to London, when you come to a slow spot (aka writers block) dig up the basics for the placeholders you’ve left in the prose, research a unique detail or two, then continue on.

o the rest of Millis’s tips, go to

What is your favorite tip to avoid disaster?


Till Next Time ~ Helen

XPost – Trademark and Writers, Using Tissue or a Brand Name?

Recently in several of the writers’ forums I frequent, there were conversations regarding trademark and brands.

Do we use tissuTR1e or a name brand? When can we reference a character from a movie or book?

Written by a published author (and trademark attorney), a post at the Romance University,,  explains considerations on using a trademarked item, how to determine if a brand is so protected, and other tips for writers on the issue.

~Till next time. Helen