(Good) Reasons for Combining Characters

And, no, combining characters so you can finish up sooner with the Secondary Characters exercise in Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, does not count as a good reason. Still…that’s when I ended up doing it. I’ve been working for a while now on the Secondary Characters exercise in the workbook. Maass only requires […]

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 […]

Breakout Novel Workbook: Getting Back to the Hero I Started With

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” Okay, not THAT long ago. But long-enough ago, I knew who the protagonist of my YA historical was. I had an image of her walking at high-speed down the streets of 1910 Chicago, going fast, because that was what she did, how she moved. She […]

The Blog: What’s Coming in November

First, Happy Halloween to everybody! I’ve been feeling like my blog posts are a little scattered of late–kind of “my life” focused and a little light on craft-talk. Hopefully, this month, I’ll get back on track with talking about fiction and the writing of it. I’m digging into a couple of projects that I think […]

Frustration Saturation

Can I use two -tion words right after the other? Well, yes, I can, because that’s how I’m feeling. I’ve heard so many people talk about reaching this stage in a writing project, where they’re so unhappy with the work they’re doing, the story they’re trying to tell, that they feel like… Well, that I […]

Houston, We Have a Problem.

I’m baaack! I had a wonderful time at the 2011 Pennwriters Conference, and I’m going to do a more complete post about it later this week. This morning, I’m going to talk about one of the revelations I had at one particular workshop, and what I’m going to do about it. First, a quick reminder […]

Friday Five: Favorite Writing Books

I’ve written about some of these books here, but it felt like time to just toss up a list. As of today, and in no particular order, these are my top 5 books on the craft of writing. If you’ve got some other favorites, add them to the comments, where everybody can see! Donald Maass‘ […]

Sometimes Progress is Little Steps

When I first started working on this WIP (which really needs a working title!), I read Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel (my review here) and spent a chunk of time with his workbook of the same name. In the course of doing some of the workbook exercises, I wrote a few actual scenes–trying to get […]

When the Itch Hits

Do you scratch it? I’ve been talking a lot online about the research & planning I’m doing for my YA historical novel. It’s been going great. I’m learning tons about my characters, about their wants and their conflicts, about their back-story and their future. I know there’s more I can learn. Except I’m itching to […]

Workshop: CWC Redwood Writers

I just saw a post Linda McCabe did about my critique workshop at her writing club–the Redwood Writers branch of the California Writers Club. I had a great time that day–everybody was very nice and made me feel so welcome! And Linda did a great job summarizing the morning. Her post also reviews the Breakout Novel […]