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To Outline or Not To Outline

by Robbi Hess Does the word “outline” cause fingers of dread to claw their way down your spine? Outlining: Does it conjure up images of your high school English teacher standing in front of the classroom explaining the “finer” points of A, Roman Numeral IV and footnotes? Would you feel better with the terms diagram, skeleton or road map? Even though it’s a matter of... read more

Slow down! Where do I find the time to do all of this writing?

by Robbi Hess Getting into the writing habit Cleaning out the clutter; taking control of your life; managing your time/resources wisely, etc. All the catch phrases for today’s busy person seem to offer solutions that would take longer than the lack of time problem itself. There are times when I sit down at the end of the day and pat myself on the back for having accomplished as much as I have. There... read more

I’ve got it…now what do I do with it?

by Robbi Hess An idea, your idea — it appears to be everything you had ever dreamed of, but now that you finally have it, what do you do with it? After you have taken the time to savor your genius at having discovered a nugget of an idea that speaks to you, now you need to ponder your writing style. Are you intrigued by plot, character or setting? Let’s say, as an example, I give you the idea... read more

No, really, where do you get your ideas?

by Robbi Hess I know they’re out there… somewhere. I walk five miles a day hoping one of them will hop up onto my shoulder and shriek “pick me, pick me.” It rarely happens. Some days I just lie on my bed in the early hours of the morning, hoping that if I am really still one of them will shimmy up my arm and whisper in my ear, “here I am.” No such luck. Ideas. When you are... read more

Genre, genre, who’s got the genre?

by Robbi Hess The difference between nonfiction and fiction is like the difference between a photograph and a painting. My nonfiction works consisted of snapshots of the people I interviewed – their thoughts and the issues I explored. Fiction has enabled me to explore my creative side – to paint word pictures with wide brush strokes, to give my unconscious free rein and to entertain rather... read more