Authors Dish Logo (Green)

August 2018: Writing Advice
~ Cora Lee ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What is the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with you and why? (Something other than ‘write what you know.’)

Cora Lee said:
The piece of advice that has helped me add some depth to my writing is to use your POV character’s senses to subtly explain how they perceive their world. The things that they notice or do and how they react to those things will tell your readers about the character without stopping the story to do it. Those things can also tell your readers something about non-POV characters (or, at least, how the POV character perceives the non-POV character(s)).

For example, let’s say we have a POV character named Kate. Does Kate notice rain dripping from the sky and think what a misery the day will be, or does does she think about how happy her garden will be to have the water? If she’s miserable, perhaps it’s due to something in her past (did her favorite grandmother die during a rainstorm?), maybe she hates the way her clothes cling to her skin when they’re wet, or maybe she gets mirgraines when the weather changes and the rain means she’d better find her meds. If Kate is thinking about her garden, your readers know she’s into nurturing living things. Does she grow vegetables and give the extras to her neighbors? Does she grow tropical plants in northern location to remind her of warmer weather? Does she raise prize-winning roses to enter into competition at the county fair?

When Kate comes into contact with other characters, we can use her perceptions of those people to tell the reader more about her as well as the other characters. Let’s call a second character Tom. When Kate meets Tom for the first time, what does she notice about him? Does his cologne smell good to her or is it overpowering? Does she notice his sparkling blue eyes, or is she distracted by his bushy eyebrows? Does she allow him to touch her? If so, how? And how does she feel about the contact? If he brushes his hand across the small of her back and she’s repulsed, the reader will think Tom might be a bad guy because Kate does. If he takes her hand and her heart flutters with joy, the reader will have a more favorable opinion of him.


The Good, The Bad, And The Scandalous (The Heart of a Hero Book 7) by Cora Lee cover

The Good, The Bad, And The Scandalous (The Heart of a Hero Book 7)

[Regency Romantic Suspense]

Andrew Elliott, Earl of Hartland, is no stranger to scandal. A notorious rake and eccentric genius, he fights crime in armor of his own design and celebrates his achievements with the merriest of widows. What the ton doesn’t know is that Hart has received a warning: danger is heading for London and it’s looking for Sarah Shipton.

Sarah discovers the bookshop her mother owns is failing and they will have nothing to live on when the month is out. So when the Earl of Hartland offers for her, she agrees to the marriage. But marrying Hart throws Sarah from the frying pan of imminent poverty into the fire of a world filled with science and peril she never knew existed.

How will Sarah cope with the knowledge that someone wants her dead? Can Hart keep her safe from a person hell bent on her destruction?

Available in Ebook:



More Authors Dish about their writing advice.

Day One:
Day Two:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This