Strong characters, classic plot by a French master

Good fiction, as well as a good motion picture, depends upon strong characters. The poignant story of a foundling eventually adopted by a miller’s wife, François le Champi , 1852 (literally François the Foundling), by the versatile and prolific author and one-time mistress of Chopin, George Sand, exhibits deep and …

A Montana town’s terrible secret

This novel, set in Bentrock, concerns this small Montana town’s terrible secret. David, an insightful 12-year-old, narrates the story of his father, Sheriff Wesley Hayden, his mother Gail, their Sioux Indian housekeeper Marie and his uncle Frank, a war hero and one of only two town doctors. He tells the …

A magical epic: engrossing, thrilling and universal

s In Amor Towles’s magical epic, The Lincoln Highway, set in the early 1950s in the Midwest, Emmett Watson becomes the epic hero. Long since abandoned by his mother and recently orphaned by the death of his father, he returns in the warden’s car to his family’s Nebraska dust bowl …

“I’m a huckster.” Is that so bad?

A huckster? Never. Architects have traditionally looked down on promoting their services like a huckster. Especially in (shudder) advertising. As a result, they have hidden their light under a bushel, failed to be discovered and suffered economically. Some continue resisting promotion to this day. I was reminded of this yesterday …

Becoming an Architect: My Voyage of Discovery

“How did you decide on becoming an architect?”  a colleague asked me not so long ago, Back then, I hadn’t given my rocky path to the profession much thought. “It was a voyage of discovery,” I would have to reply today.  I learned that discovering its scope and then restoring …

Beta Readers: a no-nonsense guide

My St. Louis Writers Guild colleague Cherie Postill has written a no-nonsense guide on beta readers: how to find, qualify, train and get intelligent feedback from them: How to Train a Beta Reader and Sell More Books. Tools for beta readers Her techniques include providing two ingredients often missing from …

Pub 1.3 Don’t like the weather? Change it.

Mark Twain said, “Everybody talks about the weather. Nobody does anything about it.” But the writer has total control. An author can set the location, climate zone, season and particular type of weather to begin a story—in a snowstorm (Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson); in the pouring rain (My …

Pub 1.2 John Lutz: Tips on Writing Mystery and Suspense

By John Lutz We’re honored today to kick off the Writing Craft chapter of Your Writers Journey with a guest post by my St. Louis friend and writing colleague, mystery and suspense author John Lutz. John Lutz’s work includes political suspense, private eye novels, urban suspense, humor, occult, crime caper, …

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