My Writer’s Toolbox

Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome to the G.O.T.H. Series!

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Thirty-one years of teaching adolescents thickened my skin considerably, but I faced different challenges when I embarked on a writing career. I had to learn how to deal effectively with rejection letters from agents and publishers, critiques from editors, and less-than-favorable reader reviews. Most important of all, I had to acquire that coveted rhino skin. Here are five strategies in my writer’s toolbox:

Get the Back Story

Whenever I attend readings, I pay special attention to the author’s back story. I like hearing the details about his or her writing journey and the challenges encountered along the way. Occasionally, I pick up valuable nuggets of advice that…

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Story Questions

File:Circle-question.svg courtesy of Wikimedia

A while back, my husband and writing partner, the D of C.D. Hersh,  built me a new cabinet pantry. We spent the better part of an afternoon talking about the size and construction of the pantry to make sure it was exactly like I wanted it. Afterwards, he went to Home Depot to get the lumber.

While holding the front door open so he could carry the lumber in I noticed the first piece was shorter than I thought it should be. When I commented, he answered as he went back out the door saying, “Didn’t you want it counter height?”

No, I thought as I closed the door behind him. I don’t. Didn’t he remember what we’d discussed? I peeked through the side window curtain anxiously wondering what he’d bring in next.

The next piece was short, too, and I became concerned. He laid the…

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The Write Word with Wareeze

Secondary Characters

Hello again, friends and readers. Thanks for sharing your precious time with me today. In past SMP blog posts, I discussed, creating worlds, building a scene, plus introducing characters. The hero, the heroine, and the villain have all been examined. Today, I’d like to mention the secondary characters and the role each one plays.

The main function of a secondary character is to support the main character—hero, heroine, even the villain—in speech, in actions, and to reveal the story plot.

This supporting character gives the main character someone with which to discuss the situation. The hero/heroine could converse with the wall or even the dog, but another character can contribute to the dialogue. Bow wow may be comforting, but the conversation is lacking interaction to reveal the story plot. It’s scary when the villain talks to the wall, or utters his insane speech to an animal. That calls…

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Spotlight on Trixie Stilletto

Joanne Guidoccio

I’m happy to welcome journalist and author Trixie Stilletto. Today, Trixie shares her inspiring journey and new release, Do Grave Harm.

Here’s Trixie!

I grew up in eastern Tennessee where storytelling is a huge part of everyday life. My dear departed husband used to say we were all experts at telling whoppers. And in a sense, he was right. Sunday afternoon was for family. The first question? What’s new?

If you stuck to the truth, it’d be a mighty boring story. So my family expounded more than a little. We didn’t consider it “lying” just making the story more entertaining. I never considered writing those stories down until I took a high school creative writing class. Though I excelled and my teacher urged me to continue, it wasn’t a “job.”

Fast-forward to college. I was on track to become a lawyer. Mostly for the money. While yawning through pre-law…

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New Contract!

Joanne Guidoccio

20014660_sYesterday, my contract for A Different Kind of Reunion was finalized by Editor Kinan Werdski and Publisher Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press.

This is the third book in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series and includes characters from A Season for Killing Blondes and Too Many Women in the Room.

Several new characters are introduced, among them a silver fox constable and seven of Gilda Greco’s former students.


Determined to solve the murder of a former student and prevent another tragedy, a teacher agrees to participate in a psychic-led reunion.


Coming Spring 2018!

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Happy Serendipity Day!

Joanne Guidoccio


Today is Serendipity Day, an officially recognized annual event and special day to celebrate unexpected and much appreciated grace.

Here of ten of my favorite quotations about serendipitous events…

The universe is always speaking to us…sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more. Nancy Thayer

There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery. Jeff Bezos

Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns on the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure—do it well, enjoy it—and then, not now, think about what comes next. Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked. Elizabeth Berg

Unless you leave room for Serendipity…How can the Divine enter?
Joseph Campbell

History is an intricate web of…

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Love Without “Love” – Elle Hill

eyeloveA friend of mine recently posted a challenge on Facebook:

Say “I LOVE YOU” without using any of those three words.

Easy-peasy, right? Not as much as you might think. Finding synonyms or metaphors for “love” isn’t a problem. Situating it within the dyad of me-ness and you-ness without using these words? A teensy bit more challenging.

Nonetheless, am I a romance author, or am I a romance author, amiright? I mean, if I can’t say “I love you” without actually saying it, what kind of romance am I writing? So. Rolling up my sleeves (it’s 95 degrees right now, so I actually just pushed my watch up a little bit), I committed to write down the first 20 “I ❤ U” alternatives that fluttered like wee turtledoves into my overheated noggin. You’ll notice I decided to use first-person throughout, and I didn’t use any form of “you,” such as…

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