Today is the birthday of Thomas Otway, William Godwin, James Merrill, Patricia MacLachlan

Tip: Introduce all your characters in the first third of the book. If you bring someone in at the end, especially if they “solve” the plot problem, the reader will feel cheated and won’t come back to you.

Thought: I know some very good writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. – Anne Lemont

Teaser: If you are not hearing impaired, try watching TV without the sound on, using closed captioning. What do you feel like you’ve missed, if anything? Next, try blindfolding yourself and listening to TV? What do you think you’ve missed this way?