Writing Character: Where to Begin?

Define story in one word. Did you say “character?” Maybe “plot?” Many people do, according to author Larry Brooks. It’s not quite right, though. The essence of story is conflict. With conflict, a force opposes your protagonist’s goal. It stirs dramatic tension and readers’ emotional investment. Without

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Monday Quote: On Writing Books

When I was working on my debut book, someone told me to write one I wanted to read. That was great advice. I thought back to my early postpartum days, when I longed for a book with perspectives from other moms who had battled postpartum depression. I

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(Re)writing History

My paternal grandmother was a young girl when she and her parents fled war-torn Greece for the United States. Beleaguered by the constant fighting between the Greeks and the Turks, they had seen family and friends slaughtered. America promised safety and shelter. My great-grandfather, Gus, landed in

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Book Review: Love and Ruin

When the Allies stormed five beaches in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, 160,000 troops swung into action—along with one woman. Martha Gellhorn, a war correspondent, was the only female to join their ranks. She was the first journalist to reach the beaches and report on what

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