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)”

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Writing Shortcuts: (Part 4) Characters

This is the fourth post in the Writing Shortcuts mini series where I discuss all the things I learned in the second draft that I wish I had known (and done right!) during the first draft of my current WIP. Check out post #1 and #2 (setting) and #3 (pacing) to catch up! Apparently everyone in the world besides meContinue reading “Writing Shortcuts: (Part 4) Characters”

Reading Material, Including a Little Known Harry Potter Short Story

Every once in a while I need to step away from my latest creative writing project and get some fresh perspective on the craft. On Writing by Stephen King I’m not a huge fan of Stephen King–I know, I know, this fact outrages a lot of people–or his writing style, this book included.  I wasContinue reading “Reading Material, Including a Little Known Harry Potter Short Story”

Elementary: You Don’t Need to be Sherlock Holmes to Figure Out What’s Wrong With Your Manuscript

You just need to be Extremely Patient.  In the Ungodly Long-Term sense. I have this middle-grade historical fiction novel about Joan of Arc that I’ve been working on for what feels like forever.  I researched for a year and a half.  Towards the end of that research process, I simultaneously wrote the first draft inContinue reading “Elementary: You Don’t Need to be Sherlock Holmes to Figure Out What’s Wrong With Your Manuscript”