Caren's Articles

Critiquing: The Good, The Bad and The Truly Grotesque

Let’s get this out front right away: I love my critique group, the Hip and Edgy. They are wonderful writers, dear friends and beloved companions of mine. I also believe I am blessed to have them and that our very existence—the fact that we found each other—is a miracle sent straight from Heaven.

Do I think critique is for everyone? Absolutely not. I have a dear published author friend (twice a RITA finalist) who gets the heebie-jeebies when the word “critique” is mentioned. She is incredibly vulnerable to outside influences when she writes and will change her story when she shouldn’t to address someone else’s comments or concerns. Critique does not work for her. And if you are that sort of writer, critique is not for you. Read more »

Got Grammar: Homophones

These days, it is not uncommon to hear writers asking for help with grammar. Yes, grammar! That stuff we suffered through in school and most of us loathed. Why, if we all hated it so much, are we asking for it now?

Well, it seems the public schools are no longer as concerned as they were with whether we can do things like recognize parts of speech. I have a son in college who skated through the public school system without ever having to diagram a sentence, which is completely unfair. Those of us who did suffer through it may not be asked to identify dangling participles on a daily basis, so we grow a bit rusty. Anyway, I thought I would address one of the problems I see most often when judging contest entries these days: homophones. Read more »

What Do You Write?

Hi, my name is Caren and I’m a Taurus. I know that because zodiac signs have dates that define them and my birthday is mid-May. I could also tell you, if asked, my marital status, political party affiliation and religious preference. All those things have boundaries, definitions and rules. But here a question that stumped me for years: What do you write?

When I joined RWA, this was the first thing other writers wanted to know. Initially, I didn’t know paranormal from mainstream or historical from inspirational. After listening and studying the romance genre, I learned the subtleties of long versus short contemporary and the hairsbreadth separating erotica and romantica. Still, the question haunted me: What do you write? Read more »