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Have You Ever Been Tempted to Give Up?

White flag

First, let me state: No, I’m not giving up.  But this round in the deadline cave has been especially brutal, so I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind for a split second. This past weekend, my computer froze in the middle of saving my document […]

March 15, 2011

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Should Beta Readers Match Your Market?

Square peg in a round hole

Several months ago, I ran a post about what to look for in a critique partner.  One of the points I’d made was to evaluate whether a potential critique partner was familiar with our genre.  Only someone knowledgeable about our genre would know the expectations for pacing, character development, etc. […]

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March 10, 2011

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When Is Rejection a Good Thing?

Runner at starting block

I get a brief reprieve from the deadline cave this week while I wait for feedback from my awesome readers.  When I first sent my work out to them, I felt great.  This work was as good as I could make it. But going back to last week’s perfection posts […]

March 8, 2011

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A Perfectionist’s Guide to Editing: 4 Stages

Red funnel

Yes, I’m still under deadline, but an interesting issue came up in the comments on my last post about perfectionism.  Perfectionists tend to be nitpicky, no surprise there.  But there’s a time when that trait is very helpful, and a time when we need to ignore the compulsion to tweak. […]

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March 3, 2011

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When Should a Perfectionist Call Something Done?

Edited page

Yes, I’m still in the deadline cave this week, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Yay!  While I’m hiding, I wanted to share this post I originally wrote last summer.  The lesson is even more relevant to me right now.  (That’s a look at one […]

March 1, 2011

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What Creates Good Writing: Instinct vs. Skill

African Lion

I’m still in the deadline cave and self-banned from Twitter, but I wanted to post about something I’ve realized through this revision process. It’s probably safe to say we all want to get better at our jobs, whether that’s writing or something else.  But how much of what we do […]

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February 24, 2011

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You Might Be Under Deadline If…

Man's face covered with post-it notes

I’m in a deadline cave this week, so I have just a short post inspired by my current crazy schedule.  I’m so grateful to my awesome critique partners and beta readers.  They’re trying to keep me sane.  Or at least, they’re trying to keep me from going completely insane.  But […]

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February 22, 2011

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Why Is Head-Hopping Bad?

Mannequin heads

Depending on who you talk to, head-hopping is somewhere between a shoulder shrug and the-world-is-ending bad.  Note that neither of those extremes thinks that head-hopping is good.  I suppose it could be positive if used in some sci-fi story, along the lines of “body snatchers,” but we’re talking about it […]

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January 27, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Three

Thumbs up

If we don’t want to waste time writing a story that will never get anywhere, we have to make sure we’ll be able to complete it.  And guess what?  It’s not completed when we, as writers, think it is.  Going from seed idea to completion happens over two stages. So […]

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January 25, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part One

Tree growing from book

Every story begins with an idea.  Sometimes this idea comes to authors out of the blue.  Sometimes a dream provides the spark.  Sometimes “people watching” or an overheard conversation will trigger the thought.  But no matter where it comes from, the idea kicks off everything else, like a seed from which […]

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January 18, 2011

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