1st Draft: Digging Back In

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from my YA WIP. It’s been a couple of weeks of spring break vacation, developing and delivering talks, doing some work for a client, getting through a couple of big research books, getting to the next step on my picture book, and I can’t actually remember what […]

Thankful Thursday: Another One for the Critique Group

I’ve been writing an icky scene. No, not one with blood and guts (wait, maybe that’s what it needs!). One where the writing was just dragging along, not flowing, where I was staring at it and knowing that–even for a first draft–it was not making me happy.  In other words, the staring wasn’t helping. And […]

Remembering What I Love about Writing

This week, I broke a rule. A rule I have told other writers, loud and often, not to break. I started over. I spent some time in the fall putting words on pages. I went back and forth between writing scenes and reading research books. I got close to a hundred pages written. They weren’t […]

Let’s Talk about 1st Drafts: A (Hopefully) Gentle Post-Nano Pep Talk

A week or so ago, I blogged about progress–thinking about what people would be feeling as they came to the end of NaNo. Now that NaNo is over & authors everywhere are actually looking over what they did produce in November, I’m feeling the need to talk about things a little bit more. Actually, this […]

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 […]

Thursday’s Target-A Rainbow of Sticky Notes

Yesterday, I reread Robin LaFevers post on index cards. Then I went out and bought some sticky notes. Two packs. Five colors each. Because I’m confused. Not from Robin’s post. From my own plot. Too confused to know what to write next. So I’m trying something that occasionally works for me, but only occasionally–going visual. […]

Getting a 1st Draft Critiqued…Yes or No?

And of course, my answer is…it depends. PJ Hoover, author of The Emerald Tablet, had this to say about her first drafts. It sounded very familiar, and it got me thinking. I’m working on the first draft for my WIP and know, very firmly, that no eyes but mine shall see the actual words. I’ve finally realized […]

Writing Out of Order

Yesterday, I typed up a quick “summary” of my story, for a critique partner who’s coming up today to do some talking & brainstorming. Summary is in quotes there, because, well…there are lots of gaps and “I don’t know yets” along the way. But what I really noticed missing is any real sequence to the […]

The Magic Bracket, or It’s About Story

I have a new friend. It looks like this:           [ Or, if you look at it with from the other side, more like this:           ] Full on, it’s a bit more complex and robust:          [gobbledygook] Brackets. Or, if you want to call them by their official writing name, that would be: placeholder. (In the […]

I Need a Metaphor

Or maybe it’s an analogy. I’m not going to dig out the dictionary or the style guide to make sure. Besides, I’m guessing most of you are just as vague and blurry on the difference as me. I’ve been working on my first draft for two days now. I’m up to page 27 in my […]