Sketching, the “saggy middle” and The Winged Pen

Close-up of unusual spikes capped with orange balls.

Today, I’m over at The Winged Pen’s Master Your Craft blog post series. What–you ask–is Master Your Craft? Each Wednesday, the Winged Pen discusses prewriting and drafting a new book from the BIG IDEA to QUERYING. (Handy list of Master Your Craft topics so far.) My post is about that devious stretch of story landscape […]

Persistence and the artistic dream in SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE by Lauren Graham

Usually I write about middle grade, young adult books, or writing craft books here, but this story of a young woman pursuing the acting dream has lots of parallels with the writing life. A nice novel to cheer up overworked writers with a bit of unexpected creative philosophy built in. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a […]

Looking in from the outside: Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series

Thick as Thieves came out this year (Yay! I read it twice in a row!) and I’ve been enjoying re-reading Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series. She’s making me think about the story from an outsider’s perspective. Megan Whalen Turner’s beloved Eugenides character is showcased in a way that reminds me of Dorothy Dunnett’s […]

Does your Work-in-Progress need a Canalmaster?

Construction machines are wasted without a little child to sit in a lawn chair and appreciate the show. This last week, I kept a list of the noisy machines that distracted me *cough* from my revision work. I didn’t get a picture of the asphalt saw that cut a square hole in the street or […]

7 Insights from the 2017 SCBWI Europolitan Conference in Brussels

The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators (SCBWI) “Europolitan conference” is a chance to meet people who write for kids in English and live all over Europe. Yay! Lots of languages 65 writers and illustrators, talking top-speed, Belgian fish and chips. Top 7 insights from the conference: 1. “Build your own community” was a […]

Tame Your Revision Step-By-Step: 4 Cycle Engine for Your Story

Infographic of 7 revision management tips battery icons

This post is part of a TAME YOUR REVISION series that started over at The Winged Pen. You can read the overview, find the links to all the posts, and download the infographic here. As always, feel free to share your best revision strategies in the comments! I’d love to know how you manage. Public […]

Tame Your Revision Step-by-Step: 4 Steps to SORT-BY-SIZE

Infographic of 7 revision management tips battery icons

This post is part of a TAME YOUR REVISION series that started over at The Winged Pen. You can read the overview, find the links to all the posts, and download the infographic here. As always, feel free to share your best revision strategies in the comments! I’d love to know how you manage. SORT […]

Tame Your Revision Step-by-Step: 4 Ways to INVENTORY

Infographic of 7 revision management tips battery icons

This post is part of a TAME YOUR REVISION series that started over at The Winged Pen. You can read the overview, find the links to all the posts, and download the infographic here. Feel free to share your best revision strategies in the comments! I’d love to know how you manage. Scene List. See […]

Contrast with Apple Blossoms, Bach, and Story

Sometimes learning something that you had given up on changes your whole view of the world. James Rhodes’ How to Play Piano teaches rank beginners how to play J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C Major. I never learned to read the bass clef and I’ve really been enjoying this attempt. It makes you wonder what else […]

Tame your revision Step-by-Step: 5+ DESPERATE MEASURES

Revising a novel is a form of bookkeeping. How do you keep from losing your mind? At The Winged Pen, we’re talking Revision. You can read the overview, find links to all the posts, and download the infographic here. To go along with the Winged Pen’s post, I’m attempting a “how-to” series. Let me know […]