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plotter vs. pantser

NaNo Prep: Making Time for Writing

Hand pulling back a theater curtain with the text: What's Behind the Curtains that Keeps You Busy?

Many writers will spend the month of November dedicating every spare minute to writing as they participate in National Novel Writing Month (known as NaNoWriMo or just plain NaNo). So now is the perfect time to identify issues that could interfere with our writing goals. (And read on below for a […]

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October 11, 2012

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Writing as Sculpture: Do You Build or Carve?

Michelangelo's David sculpture at night with text "Writing as Sculpture"

Writing is an art form, and yet I don’t usually think of myself as an artist. Maybe that’s because when I think of art, I think of visual arts (I draw stick figures) or musical arts (I don’t play an instrument or compose music). Logically, I know there are plenty of […]

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October 4, 2012

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From Newbie to Published: 12 Tips — Guest: Tiffany Allee

Picture of Tiffany Allee

While I’m at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference this week, I’ve invited two authors who have recently debuted to share their insights. Today, I’m excited to introduce Tiffany Allee. Tiffany and I actually know each other in real life, as we belong to the same RWA chapter and I mooch […]

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July 24, 2012

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Writing: Where Less Can Be More

Empty glass jar with the text "Less Isn't Bad...It Leaves Room for Imagination"

For many things in life, more is better. In stores, we see packaging with “Bonus 10% extra!”, “Now even bigger!”, and “Twice the number of chocolate chips per cookie!” (That last one is unquestionably better. One of my greatest achievements is making chocolate chip cookies with just enough batter to […]

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July 5, 2012

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How to Revise for Structure, Part Two

Cover image of Larry Brooks's Story Engineering

Last time, we discussed Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat craft book and how we can use his writing tools to revise our work.  His beat sheet points out when story events (beats) should occur in a screenplay, and most of his advice applies to all forms of fiction writing. Whether we dig into […]

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February 14, 2012

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How to Use the “Save the Cat” Beat Sheet for Revisions

Cover image of Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat"

Before I start, thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, and emailed me with support after my last post about losing my cat.  You all have filled me with virtual hugs and put a smile on my face.  Thank you.  *hugs back* In fact, after writing that post and reading […]

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February 9, 2012

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Can You “Fast Draft”?

Draft stamp

Several writers I know have recently tried the “Fast Draft” method.  What is the Fast Draft method?  Fast drafting entails getting the framework of our stories down as fast as possible—without worrying what that draft looks like. Author Candace Havens says it’s possible to complete a first draft in two weeks. […]

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November 8, 2011

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Publishing Debates: Should We Take Sides?

Statue holding scales of justice

Some days it feels like the publishing business has endless debates and choices where people want us to take sides.  Plotter vs. pantser, plot-driven vs. character-driven, traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.  Ugh. I don’t like taking sides because one answer doesn’t apply to every situation, much less every person.  With my whatever-works-for-you […]

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October 27, 2011

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What’s the Hardest Scene You’ve Ever Written?

Long, tall stairs leading up into distance

(Note: I am not Tawna Fenske, so that title is not a euphemism for anything.  Sorry.  However, this post might include a reference to a shower scene of one woman with two guys.  Or not.) I mentioned last time that one day of the weekend was taken up by writing-related […]

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September 1, 2011

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What’s Your Writing Process?

Stick figure drawing a flow chart

Today I’m guest blogging at Melinda Collins’s blog.  I’m talking about the craft of writing, and how I love every bit of it.  Yes, even the hair-ripping-out parts.  *smile* That love of the craft means I don’t have a favorite part of the process, so I don’t strictly fall on […]

August 23, 2011

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