Moving On: New Plan, New Path

So for the past few months, I’ve been working to get a draft of the WIP done, for the possibility that I would get accepted into a SCBWI mentorship program. Best laid plans and all that, lots of reasons, that plan didn’t work out. But I still have my finished draft! My goal for this […]

When DO You Back Up & Start Over?

I am the queen of writing forward. Okay, I’m the queen of telling other people to do that. Nobody has ever said I don’t have strong opinions. Or that I don’t share them. So what’s happening? Well, as so often happens when we spout off share our opinions, life seems to be coming back at […]

Unkilling Those Backstory Darlings

Yes, “unkilling.” WordPress wouldn’t let me write Killing in my post header, so I had to get creative. Shoot me, already. On with it… Yes, we have to be careful about how much backstory we drop into our manuscripts. It sure feels like, unless I’m reading an epic fantasy or a long family drama, that […]

Writing Lessons from Tiffany Aching

Okay, Tiffany Aching isn’t Steven Tyler. But if we’re learning anything from Jo Knowles’ “unintentional blog series” about Tyler, it’s that writing advice comes where you find it. And, probably, most people would agree that Terry Pratchett would be right up there with authors we could all learn from. BTW, if you didn’t know who […]

2nd Draft: Focusing the Telescope on…?

So, that first draft is done. The last chapters are off to my critique group. I’m reading and reading and ordering more books and reading, trying to get some more history and psychology into my brain. I’ll also be cleaning my office–all those piles that have just gotten added to and sort of pushed into […]

This is My Brain. This is My Brain on Plot.

This post is dedicated to Terri Thayer, for listening and not once telling me I’m crazy. What my brain tells me when I announce that, in the second draft of this WIP, we may be dropping one entire, MAJOR plotline: Wow! Wouldn’t this be a betrayal of Character X? Who just happens to have been […]

What’s Harder about Picture Books—#4,385

Okay, maybe I should have said “different” in the post title, instead of “harder.” As I work through my first picture-book attempt, I’m finding lots of things that do just qualify as different, and some that are actually easier than, oh, say, a historical novel. Did someone say *cough*, “Research?” This week, though, I’m heading […]

Dialogue: My Least Favorite/Most Favorite Writing Tool

What’s the toughest thing for me to write? Dialogue. What’s the writing element I probably revise the most? Dialogue. What’s my favorite, favorite thing to read in a book? Good dialogue. (Hint: I’ve been reading & rereading some of S.J. Rozan’s Lydia Chin books. You want great, snappy, fast, real, funny character-specific dialogue? Go pick up […]