Overcoming Bored Writer Syndrome

When I first began writing fiction it felt like all of the characters were me. Of course, all characters come from someplace deep in our psyche, but when I had a character who sounded, acted, talked and believed like me, I was BORED. I have great self-esteem and lots of people love me, but really […]

When It’s Hard to Relate

As a writer you know you must allow your characters to live through you as they unfold on the page. But what if the character feels unlike you? A character you can’t relate to is hard to, well, relate. But you WANT characters who are different from you–whether they are sympathetic, antagonistic, or simply “other” […]

Wordless Times

I lost my father in July. Then in August, my husband underwent a high-risk surgery. And then last week, I had surgery to determine whether I have cancer. (It looks like I do not.) Now everything that has always felt certain is entirely up for grabs. We have been so well-loved and supported by friends […]

Fall Writing Classes

Fill Your Wednesdays with Writing! Bellevue College, North Campus, Redmond, WA *These classes are for adults; high school students may enroll only with instructor permission. Writing the Hidden Story 9/23/2015 – 11/25/2015, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM Your characters live and breathe because of a hidden story—one you must go deep within to find. A […]

Summer Writing Classes for Teens!

“Katherine brings life and excitement to what she teaches and interacts with me and the other students in a truly honest, personable way.” –Samantha Meuller, BCCE blog. Another reason I love my life: Every summer, I spend a month with several dozen glorious teens who write for the joy of it. Different classes every week. […]

Janet Lee Carey Interviewed by the Mad Queen

I loved IN THE TIME OF DRAGON MOON! And not just because I was around as it was being born. Reading the finished book (which I stayed up all night to do), was a completely different experience from hearing tantalizing bits of the manuscript during the three years Janet was writing. I loved living in […]

Three Keys to Scene-Weaving

Make sure your scene answers these questions before your reader asks them, unless you are deliberately withholding that information to build tension. (For more keys, join us in the Scene-Weaving class! Or, if you’re a teen, try Teenage Novelist: Scenes and Dreams!)  1. Where am I? Orient your reader throughout the scene so that your […]

Yodel-Activated Book Sales on the Rise

With the phenomenon of Yodel-Activated books sweeping the country, booksellers have a hard time keeping up. The books, now a standard feature on Nook and Kindle, respond to the voice’s “break point,” so that each user gets a unique reading experience.”You use your break point to set up the beginning,” explains Lani Travers of BreakPointBooks. […]

Scene-Weaving Challenge!

The Challenge 1. Take the given elements and smoothly combine them in a scene (or part of a scene). 2. Paste your scene in the comments, then change one element for the next commenter. (e.g. “still locked in the cabin, but now it’s noon the next day,” or “setting changed to an island,” or “ship […]

Scene Weaving Class, and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

When her father begins having conversations with dead relatives, photographer Amina Eapen returns to her parents’ home in Albequerque, and a past she has been running from. Confronted with memories of a childhood visit to India and the tragedy that resulted, and of the brother nobody talks about, Amina wants nothing more than to get […]