April 24

Birthdays: Anthony Trollope (1815), Robert Penn Warren (1905), Sue Grafton (1940), David Morrell (1943), Elizabeth Goudge (1900), Karan Mahajan (1984), William Goyen (1915)

Tip: Try not to use colons, semicolons, or parentheses in fiction writing. They clutter things up, especially in ebooks. Stick with the basics of periods, commas, question marks, etc.

Thought for the day: “As much as I like it when a book I’m writing speeds along, the downside can be that an author becomes too eager to finish and rushes the end. The end is even more important than the first page, and rushing can damage it.” – David Morrell

Jumpstart: You are at a family reunion. Your great-aunt Bertie pulls you aside and whispers in your ear. What she says is so shocking, you can barely handle the news and you have to pretend like nothing happened so others don’t get curious. What did she say to you? Why did she tell you?

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