Guest Blogger: Bringing it Full Circle

I’ve said for a while now that I’m not so much a writer, as I am a storyteller.  Wordplay can be fun, don’t get me wrong.  But I’m far more concerned with character and plot than I am making my prose sparkle.


Mainly because I know I’ll get better at writing as I go, and that improving my writing is a life long goal, never to attained. If you wait for your prose to be perfect, you’ll never publish anything.


But understanding characters, plot, and pacing… That’s something you have to master right away. All manner of grammatical errors can be forgiven, if you can tell people a good story.

true story

And I’m thinking about that a lot more these days. See, I’m ending my Werewolves of Pittsburgh series. Three ‘books’ comprised of  seven stories, shorts and novellas, featuring a colorful cast of misfits and rogues.

Oh! This show!

The third and final cycle is written. The monsters and hunts are finalized. But I keep finding myself rereading the first two books. And I know why. I’m looking for the moments. The little things that brought the characters together. I want to remember them for this final journey to Pittsburgh, because I want to remind the reader of how these people came together.


Yeah, what Crowley said!

Yes, I write Urban Fantasy, but the heart of this story has always been about family. Mina, Matty, Rick, and Sam are, above all, family. And this has always been about how they become family.

So, I’m searching for those moments, the times where they really bonded, so I can make sure I add in the echoes of that in the final series. Just subtle reminders of how and why they are where they are.

Because the end of a story should always take you back to the beginning.

Oh, you know Joss did it right!

A repeated line here, a mirrored scene there, and the reader will find themselves marveling at how much a character has changed.


Katara is the poster girl for the Adrenaline Makeover.

The best endings are all about the beginning of the story. Showing you how far a character has come. Because, ultimately, all stories are about the journey, not the destination.

(Skip to 2:04!… Although really, this whole song is very appropriate to the subject at hand.)

So, while my fight scenes are written, and scrubbed pretty clean. I’m still finding those moments, those little pockets of raw emotion that shaped the characters, and I’m adding them in, a line here and a word there, to bring this story full circle.


author photo cropped

Kate Whitaker writes for fun and profit from the woods of Pennsylvania. You can most likely find her sitting at her kitchen table yelling at kids and cats as she tries to figure out a new way to kill made up monsters. She has a newsletter now, too!

What I’ve Learned Along The Way by Kathryn L. James


Next month my status will change from aspiring author to published author. Crazy Beautiful Lies will be going into the wild for the world to read. I had hoped it would be ready for publication in October, but I didn’t have a clue how much preparations are involved. Currently it’s in its last round of editing. Continue reading

Software for Newbie Writers by Matt Mansfield

When I decided to get serious about writing, the first thing I did was look for software that would help me create my own writing process, one that fit the way I work best.

Okay, that probably sounds like the most blatant bit of procrastination ever voiced. After all, the first thing I should have done when I got serious about writing was sit down and write. Continue reading

One More Thing Self-Publishers Agonize Over

By BA Couture

Most in the writing community know that self-publishing seems to be increasing exponentially, but self-publishing isn’t a snap, though some find it easier than others.

In any case, a lot of research and study goes into learning how to produce a professional-looking published work. Self-publishers are competing with huge publishing companies that know how to produce a quality-looking product and how to market it.

So I was rather surprised and dismayed to discover yet another issue self-publishers face. I’ve read that writers who self-publish consider any other writer who writes in their genre to be their competition. Continue reading

Procrastination: Friend or Foe? by Emily Cooper

I have a love-hate relationship with procrastination. I loooove to wait until the last minute to do anything important. I must love it, because I do it ALL the time. And then about midway into my marathon of catching the hell up, I hate that I procrastinated.

5e106a72aa4b521aca4a9dc2be63c045 Continue reading

One Reason We Write — Awards by my friend Phyllis Humphrey

As I’ve done several times before, I’m devoting a blog post to winners of writing contests, this time the Anthony Awards – mysteries – from Bouchercon. Next time I’ll list winners of the Macavity Awards and Barry Awards.

Reblogged from

Anthony Awards

 Bouchercon – Raleigh, North Carolina
October 8-11, 2015
Continue reading

Memory by D. L. Hungerford

I originally wrote this post for my Novel Approach blog on March 23, 2013.  The dates are off, I’m retired now and not commuting.  But the memory is still sketchy.

This week, my commute-busting audio book is “Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict” by Laurie Viera Rigler. I found the story fun, interesting, engaging, all the good buzz words. I even enjoyed the obligatory meeting with Miss Austen that all these sorts of novel must have. Continue reading

Editing is… Tedious by Milli Gilbert

And I hate it. Oh, yes, I do. Especially when the story was so hard for me to write in the first place. I don’t think it had anything to do with it being a paranormal story about shape-shifters. It certainly didn’t have anything to do with it being a romance, or a short story for that matter. The characters were likeable. Both were secretive, even though I knew what their secrets were. But months of writing to get less than eight thousand words of story took it’s toll on me.

Continue reading


imagesPNPZ0XHK Most of us write because we love creating stories. Even if we’re not likely to earn a living from projects we’ve poured our blood sweat and tears into.  While there are countless authors who have achieved financial success from their writing many of us have accepted the fact that we can’t quit our day jobs – at least not right away. Continue reading