Skin to Skin
A large part of being successful when writing fiction is the ability to slip into character. Ideally, we should become each viewpoint character. Sometimes writers make the mistake of being more like a camera looking at the characters. Or they pop into everyone's head and tell you things about every character (omniscient viewpoint). There are times when these tactics can work well.
The Way We Were Was Better
If you ever watch Judge Judy on TV then you know that people are far less educated than they used to be, say 15 or 20 years ago.
I'm at a strange crossroads.
I'm sort of retired, but not really because writers never actually retire. Not as long as their brains function.
I recently read an interesting article by the ever-interesting novelist Neil Gaiman about the importance of reading. Often, I see posts on Facebook and other places wherein people fret about the younger generations not appreciating reading and preferring to play video games. This fretting flies in the face of huge sales of Harry Potter books and many other adventure novels aimed at children and teens.
Thank You, Ladies
Every writer has other writers to thank for inspiration, encouragement, and lessons learned. Although I have a Bachelor's degree in journalism, I learned how to be a novelist from other working writers and from books I fell in love with and wanted to emulate. I've studied -- and still do, occasionally -- novels as my textbooks. Authors such as Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt sparked my interest in romantic suspense. I examined their sentence structure, their dialogue, and their expertise with mood setting and describing characters and action sequences.