Featured Writing Advice

“My Head is My Study”: Developing Plots and Characters

One of my favorite quotes on writing is from Louisa May Alcottthe author of Little Women and numerous other classics.  She said: “My methods of work are very simple and soon told. My head is my study, & there I keep the various plans of stories for years sometimes, letting them grow as they will till I am ready to put them on paper. … While a story is under way I lie in it, see the people, more plainly than the real ones, round me, hear them talk, & am much interested, surprised, or provoked at their actions.”  (from a letter to a journalist, 1887)

During the writing of my first ten or eleven novels, I always had from one to four babies, toddlers, and preschoolers underfoot. I desperately loved writing fiction, and I longed for the day when I could sit down at the typewriter, take a deep breath, close my eyes in solitude, and think about what I wanted to say. Developing plots and characters is challenging when time is at a premium Read More→


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