July 25

Birthdays: Midge Decter (1927), David Madden (1933), Robert Barrett (1937), Denys James Watkins-Pitchford(BB) (1905), Elias Canetti (1905), Eric Hoffer (1902), Josephine Tey (1896), Melissa Marr (1972)

Tip: Don’t overuse your character names. Once you’ve established the last name of a character, you don’t need to reuse it unless there’s a reason. Plus, in dialogue, it’s not necessary to keep using names. As long as you’ve got tags or action delineating who is speaking, that’s enough.

Thought for the day: “Letters to agents or editors should read like professional business letters. Don’t let your creative self get in the way of professional interactions. Sometimes that means writing replies but SAVING them as drafts for 48 hours so your mood can level. Being a professional writer (or pro artist, singer, etc.) involves switching modes between creative and practical.” – Melissa Marr

Jumpstart: Your character has created a virus that will cure all ills of mankind and extend their lives by at least double—but it means they’d be sterile. Would s/he put it out there? Why or why not? Would s/he use it?