How to Write a Book Synopsis (and Know When a Book is Ready to Query)

I wrote my first book report in third grade and it was a disaster. Like the little homework-lover I was, I’d prepared: I read the book well in advance and wrote a portion each night (I distinctly recall it being chunked into requiring a paragraph or two write up about setting, characters, maybe “new toContinue reading “How to Write a Book Synopsis (and Know When a Book is Ready to Query)”

Plotting, Pantsing, and Meal Planning

Meal planning was once a tool exclusively to organize budget- and health-friendly meals that reduced the likelihood that I’d panic-order pizza delivery multiple nights a week. It’s taken on an entirely new art form during pandemic: we stretched our bi-weekly grocery run to three weeks, innovated new aisle routes to maximize efficient shopping and minimumContinue reading “Plotting, Pantsing, and Meal Planning”

Stay Calm…and Focus on What (Writing) You Can Control

With everything spinning out of control—routines, plans, the world, etc.—I’ve found a lot of comfort and calm focusing on smaller-scale things 100% within my control: a neatly trimmed lawn, a weed-free garden bed, a freshly organized closet, a tricky recipe followed to the letter. No surprise, a lot of people have found home renovations aContinue reading “Stay Calm…and Focus on What (Writing) You Can Control”

How to Procrastinate Until Your Book Writes Itself

It’s been a long time since I wrote a brand new story idea. I’ve been in revision land a looooooong time. The blank page can be awfully intimidating, writing something rough and misshapen and new, especially after working on something that has years of polishing, and I found myself avoiding some serious butt-in-chair writing time.Continue reading “How to Procrastinate Until Your Book Writes Itself”

The 5 Stages of Accepting and Integrating Critique Partner Feedback

In the last post, I detailed the process of writing and revising (and revising some more) until my manuscript is as good as I can make it by myself. Now, it’s time to get a few second opinions! Enter: critique partners! If you don’t have any yet, here are some suggestions on how to find them. CritiqueContinue reading “The 5 Stages of Accepting and Integrating Critique Partner Feedback”

How to Revise a Novel (Before You Waste a Year Fixing 300 Pages That Never Get Any Better)

Writing is rewriting is rewriting is rewriting. After years of reading craft books about how to shape hooky opening chapters and structure A+ plots and experimenting with nearly every revision process an author has ever posted on the internet—handwritten index scene cards taped to the wall, printed out chapters sorted like puzzle pieces on the floor, color-coded highlighters, color-coded sticky notes, red ink markup onContinue reading “How to Revise a Novel (Before You Waste a Year Fixing 300 Pages That Never Get Any Better)”

Where I Write and a #Shelfie

Quarantine has me spending a great deal of time in the home office/library, thanks (many many thanks) to the day job combined with additional writing time. It’s the coldest room in the house so we have a little space heater in there and it’s also, officially “the cat’s room” where he has laid claim toContinue reading “Where I Write and a #Shelfie”

So, You Want to Be a Managing Editor

Longtime readers might recall a series I ran back in 2012/2013 called, “So, You Want to Work in Publishing,” interviewing entry-level book publishing folks across a variety of companies and departments about their professional experiences. I’d like to think many people found it useful, but I know for a fact it helped at least oneContinue reading “So, You Want to Be a Managing Editor”

Quarantine Diaries

I’ve revised a manuscript, baked (several recipes from this delicious book), experimented with homemade pasta, rearranged furniture, joined digital cocktail hours, attended lifestream exercise classes, planted a tiny vegetable garden, combed through 10,000 dog adoption websites, washed 100,000 dishes, DIYed, binge-watched the entirety of Brooklyn 99, read a couple books, and now I’ve even overhauled thisContinue reading “Quarantine Diaries”

Writing with a Full-Time Job

I am a little bit of a productivity addict. I love to make lengthy checklists–at work and at home. It’s partly practical, to keep myself on task, to sort out some sort of priority system when there’s a mountain of stuff to do and I have no idea where to start, but I also reallyContinue reading “Writing with a Full-Time Job”