Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew every step along our writing path? Not just the ones we’ve already made or the one our foot is coming down on just at this moment, but the ones yet to come?

It’d be a bit like taking your list to the grocery store–walking down the aisles, picking the right items off the shelves and putting them in your cart, checking off ingredients one by one. The whole journey would be well-planned, organized, and straightforward, and each step would bring you closer to your goal. You’d be heading toward the check-out line, you’d know exactly how to get there, and you’d succeed. Easy. You could even work it so you had a nice bar of chocolate at the end.

Unfortunately, our writing paths are a lot harder than shopping for milk and bread. Fortunately, they’re also a lot more fun and way more interesting. We do all the work we can to try and figure them out–take classes, read books, join critique groups, and write and write and write. There are steps along the path that are nothing like you’ll find at the market, when something happens that has you doing Snoopy’s happy dance in front of your computer. There are also moments that feel like you just stepped in the broken-egg mess left behind when someone dropped a carton.

At this new website & blog, I want to talk about all these steps (yes, the bad ones, too). When you visit, here are some of the topics you’ll find:

  • The BIG elements of writing–plot, characterization, voice, pacing–you name it
  • The writing process–outlining, first drafts, revising, polishing
  • The critique process–reading deeping & thoughtfully, giving and getting constructive & supportive feedback, brainstorming, revising (yes, again!)
  • Networking–getting to know other writers, and agents and editors, in person and online
  • Marketing & PR–websites, blogs, social-networking sites, book launches, workshops, signings
  • Book reviews–books about the craft and business of writing, as well as books that I just fall in love with

Today, more than ever, all these pieces are stepping stones on our writing paths. I hope you’ll stop by frequently, enjoy the posts, and leave your two cents (or three!) in the comments. Together, I believe we can make more progress than if we walk alone.

Let’s start the discussion. Leave me a comment about who supports you on your path, and how you work together. What are the benefits you gain?


  1. The new site looks terrific! I’m looking forward to reading about your continuous journey. Thanks for letting us all walk the path together.


  2. cyndyfurze says:

    wow becky–this is lovely
    I found it quite readable, especially your bulleting stuff.
    write on!


  3. martha says:

    It’s beautiful!! Loved your post.

    Also loved seeing my blog mentioned. Thanks so much.

    Can’t wait to add your blog to my blog recommendations!!




  4. Terri Thayer says:

    What’s so easy about grocery shopping? I’m always leaving my list at home, the store keeps changing what aisle the tea is in, and there’s that dang person with twelve things in the ten-and-under aisle!

    I look forward to reading your posts. This is very exciting.

    Where did these cool quilt blocks in the corner come from? Love!


  5. beckylevine says:

    Terri, That dang person with twelve things is that character who’s trying to get you to listen to them! Conflict, conflict, conflict! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by.


  6. beckylevine says:

    Oh, and I have no idea where the quilt blocks came from. I’m only so good at this techy stuff. Wait, why don’t I just tell you I designed them myself. Yeah, that’s it!


  7. Well congratulations on the new site. It looks great. And I’ll bet it serves you well. I’ve joined your mailing list. Your discussion points should be great points from which to get the discussion going.

    Terri, going to the store is easy if you just shop the perimeter. I avoid the prepared and preserved foods…talk about conflict, conflict, conflict.

    Best of luck with the new site Becky.


  8. Terri Thayer says:

    The quilt blocks are very complex I’m impressed.

    Since we’re critiquing, why is your comment thingy up top? I had to search for it.

    Oh yeah, you’re pretty and you smell nice.

    (Just completing the critique sandwich). Nice, critique, nice


  9. beckylevine says:

    Okay, I’ll find out about the quilt blocks! The commenty thing “is what it is,” to quote a very good friend. Some things in the template can’t be changed. I wouldn’t mind making the tags disappear either, but no can do. They come along with the quilt blocks.

    Thanks for the positives–and I haven’t even showered yet!


  10. beckylevine says:


    Thanks for the visit and for signing up. My sister–a home economist–told me about the aisle arrangement. It’s SO sneaky. And if you’re vegetarian, you can even ignore one whole edge and be really fast. Of course, then you miss the steak.

    It’s tough to skip that cookie and cracker aisle, too!


  11. Sarah Ockler says:

    Hi Becky – I just heard about your new blog on Cynsations and I look forward to checking it out!

    BTW, the quilt blocks are icons WordPress uses to uniquely identify commenters who are not signed in to a wordpress account. It goes by IP address, which is why yours are all the same image. Quilt blocks are the default but they have a few options you can pick from. I use monsters!

    Anyway, signing up for the newsletter now!



  12. beckylevine says:

    Sarah–thanks for stopping by AND for the explanation. I’m going to have to hunt for that feature–see what my other options are. Although Terri would vote for the quilt squares, I’m sure, since she’s the author of a great quilting mystery series!

    And thanks for signing up for the newsletter. I was so happy to see the link in Cynthia’s post!


  13. Becky, this is so elegant and calm. I love that clear road and the green beside it. I want to go there! I’m very impressed. Great job!


  14. beckylevine says:

    Doesn’t look much like my old site, I know! After I found the photo, the next morning I was driving my son to school and realized how much it looks like our road, except we have more trees. That’s probably why it felt so good.

    Thanks! And thanks for coming by. 🙂


  15. I am a dogged outliner, as I’ve been told by critquers that I don’t build enough tension… the scene-by-scene planning process and traditional story arc is the solution! And yaye, NaNo!! I’m a first-timer this year, myself.


  16. beckylevine says:

    Have a great time with NaNo! One year, I’m really going to get the timing just right and throw myself in.

    So, when you outline, are you plotting out the tension points, as well as the basic events? I do find myself looking at the hero’s goal in every scene and seeing how each action moves him forward on his quest, but I’d be curious to hear how you plot for keeping that tension going.


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