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 […]

Contest: What’s Your Revision Metaphor?

WARNING: MIXED METAPHORS (or possibly even analogies) AHEAD: You know that stage in revision, when things are FINALLY coming together? When you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s NOT a train)? I have struggled for years to come up with a good way to describe. Something concise, cohesive, […]

Moving Forward: When to Let Go of Plotting

Everybody has their own style of writing. We talk a lot about plotters and pantsers, but-just like anything in the world–these are pretty black-and-white divisions. I admit I’m more of a plotter than most writers I know–I love the feeling of creating the puzzle pieces before I get started with decorating them. I love to […]

Friday Five: Around the Blogosphere

I take you today to a few posts that caught my eye, and my imagination, over the past couple of weeks. 1. PJ Hoover lists her top ten reasons to have a writing group (different than a critique group). 2. Beth Revis gives her answer (for now) on the question of how to define success. […]

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 […]

Somebody Else Says: Beth Revis

Beth Revis’ Writing it Out blog is one of the regulars on my read list. She’s got a couple of posts this week that I wanted to share. She’s looking back at her latest BIG revision, and she’s posted about the things that did and didn’t work (with ideas about how to fix the latter, next […]

Making it through the Middle

Saturday was November 15th. For NaNo writers, that’s halfway through. I’ve been following people’s journeys on blogs and Facebook, and some people are already finished with their word-count goal (yay!), others are still working hard to get there (yay, again!) Theoretically, a lot of NaNo-ers are somewhere around the middle of their novels. The MIDDLE. […]