Managing an Anthology

Sadly, I’ve been a part of two local anthologies that have fallen through. I’ll be honest it was due to the planning portion than the writing portion. How do you actually put it together in a coherent way. So if you’re on anthology train here are some tips to get your project into the station…

Revising Grief

Nothing kills my creativity faster than grief. It’s like my mind gets tunnel vision and my whole demeanor is sad. I try to find the creative pieces in every part of life but in these moments I can’t. So I look elsewhere for comfort. I usually start with my Bible and that helps the healing…

Show Don’t Tell: Passive Verbs

I’ve been writing for some time now and some of the advice that gets pushed around is “show don’t tell.” Which is fine advice but no one ever gives a practical way to accomplish this. So here it is. A way to move your sentences from passive into active and therefore show instead of tell….

Magical Editing

Most the time the book is made in revisions and it’s magic. However, there is the moment when it’s dark magic instead of the the happy sparkly kind.  #amwriting #amediting #writingcommunity #writetip

Competitive Writing

Not all competition happens in the gym. I’ve been struggling with a picture book for over a month now. It’s driving me crazy. I need to rework my pitch so it doesn’t get an automatic no. I need to revise, revise, and revise some more. I need to brainstorm like it’s the end of the…

The Highlighter is Mightier Than The Pen

The highlighter is mightier than the pen, which is also therefor, mightier than the sword! At least in the world of editing it is. This technique is essential for editing your opening and perhaps your whole story. While reading the October issue of Writer’s Digest this beautiful side bar gave the best advice I’ve seen…

Critiques Aplenty

I’ve been doing a lot of story critiques lately. I see a few different stages of writer because of this, each has pros and cons. Here’s what I’ve observed thus far. There are the one edit writers. All they want is for someone to say they are brilliant and the story is ready to submit….

Different Types Of Critique

I’ve been taking a writing course for picture books and something has become abundantly clear, there are different types of critiques. Within a group of writers and authors I’m looking for specific feedback regarding plot, pacing, character, sentence structure etc. All the things that writers have learned to improve craft through the editing process. That’s…

Scene by Scene

After working on nearly a dozen picture books over the last year I want to go back into a longer story. I dusted off one I had a good start to (I’ve talked about before) and dove in. While I know first drafts are not worth sharing I couldn’t help myself and let a few read…

Expanding Vocabulary Or Not…

I had admiral goals when I stated to my critique partner that I wanted to expand my vocabulary. The issue was in execution. Read the dictionary, was the first thing we thought of. Then realized that retention of those words would be dismal. We’d have to create an exercise to make the words become organic…

How to Research Agents

You’ve written your book, polished it, and gone through rounds of editing. It’s time to send your story out into the world to see if you can get an agent. But who do you send your story to? How do you choose? Carefully. I’ve talked before about what not to say to an agent. I’ve…

A Bow to Editing Services

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time you’ll have noticed that grammar rules and spelling are not in something I hold in spades. In fact, I’m down right atrocious. I do try but grammar and spelling are a constant struggle for me. Which is why I’ve decided to take the next…

8 Things NOT to Say to an Agent

After my latest writing group I realized how many queries I’ve sent over the years. How much digging I’ve done over and over again. And realized there are some common things that really tick agents off. Let me be really clear, this is not everyone. It’s just what I see commonly on different social sites….

Map Progression

A few weeks ago I talked about using maps as a way to figure out plot. As I explore this process I want to go a little deeper with maps. Just like the story itself my maps tend to take a few drafts. My map evolves with my story, plot, and characters. It matters because…

NaNoWriMo Halftime Takeaways

So you’ve decided to try to write your novel this month like so many hopefuls out there. Whether you are on track, behind or ahead of the pace, congratulate yourself on getting words down! You’ve already won by simply beginning. If you are like me you’ve already hit a few snags in your story. It’s…

Crickets, Feedback, and Moving Forward

I’ve submitted my stories so many places and rarely do I hear more than crickets stuffed inside form rejection letters. The crickets are a bit annoyed but not harmed in the making of this blog post. So you’ll understand my delight when a recent rejection returned with feedback! Say what?! Insert happy dance in the…

I Used to Hate Red Pen

But now I hate purple. Thanks to some amazing editing partners I’m awash in it. I’ve killed three of my own pens trying to fix the mess of a manuscript I have. But looking back on all the work over the past two years I feel proud of the manuscript I have. I’ve learned a…

Goldilocks Gets It Just Write

Goldilocks takes so much crap for wanting to be “just right.” The perfectly warm oatmeal. The wonderfully spacious bed. Sure she’s breaking and entering into the Bear’s home, but she’s looking for perfection. And isn’t that what every writer is aiming for? We want enough detail to immerse the reader but not too much we…

Beta Reader Breakdown Part 3, Evaluation time

So you have all your shiny packets back, well except for those first few pages with the coffee marks. But Yay! You have them back. And you’ve glanced through them and you are getting excited about all the positive feedback you are sure to receive! My mind is humming, “I can’t wait for them to…