I’m Failing NaNoWriMo & Happy- You Should be too.

It’s Day 11 of National Novel Writing Month. If you’re like me you are slowly watching the gap between the words written and words that should be written graph on your NaNoWriMo home page grow. It’s not that I’m not writing. It’s that I’m not getting as many words as I need. I’m still happy…

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….

I’m Not an Island

I’m a fairly prolific writer. I get ideas fast and can follow through quickly. That’s my normal. To my peers it looks effortless, like I’m a creative island unto myself. I assure you it’s not easy nor as secluded as it seems. It’s a carefully tuned balance in a multifaceted creative life. Currently, I’m not…

The Case for Story Dummies

Listening to the Literaticast Podcast (#34) I finally have been able to get a better handle on the term board book. If you aren’t listening to the podcast I highly recommend it for great industry thoughts and information all around children’s books. So board books are for the youngest readers, ages 0-5. They are usually made…

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L’Amour

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

A New Editing Resource

For those of us that write kid lit, especially at the chapter level and below, it’s essential to understand reading levels. Unfortunately, there are nearly a dozen different scales you can use to “grade”  your story. Additionally, how do you know what makes a story a higher or lower level, are your edits even working?…

11 Tips for Building a Writing Team

I talked last week about different types of critique. Check out that post HERE. This week I want to dig in about how to create and maintain a critique group. I saw an interview with a group of writers who’ve been critiquing for over 15 years and I took notes. These folks were making it…

Writing & Facebook: Caution is Key

I enjoy Facebook like most folks and use it regularly. However what I don’t put on Facebook is my writing that I’m seeking publication for. I’ve been told my stance is extreme at times and I’d like to dive into the why behind my stance. This is an excerpt from the Facebook Legal Agreement that…

How to Utilize Book Structure

When you hear the words picture book, what comes to mind? A book with pictures? Me too. But picture books are so much more than the words and pictures, there is also the book itself. When you go to revise your story think about these different elements and see if any of them are a…

9 Ways to Make Writing Fun for Kids

Kids are so smart and creative, it blows me away. Last week I had the honor of teaching a word camp for kids 9-12 at Alvan N. Belding Memorial Library. It was the best experience I’ve had all summer. We took some extra steps to make writing fun and made some discoveries along the way….

Sweet Seven: A Picture Book Challenge

I’m fairly competitive and I also like teammates. So how’s about a friendly challenge? For those of us writing picture books we have ideas floating around to infinity is seems, see last weeks post for more on that. So it hit me to put my ideas into a challenge. There are many ways to format…

Finding Your Picture Book’s Place

So you a have the most wonderful, adorable, unique idea for a picture book. Great! But what kind of picture book is it? Does it matter? Yes, it really does matter if you are planning on sending those words out into the world. First, you’ll need to decide on the age range of your story….

Using Arc Beyond Characters

I’ve talked about character before but I’m going deeper this time. Have you ever thought about giving a character like arc to things that technically are not characters? Did I just lose you? What I’m getting at is that characters are not the only ones that change within a story. At least they shouldn’t be…

The power of ‘no’

Saying “no” can be powerful. As a people-pleasing, passive person, I rarely say no in real life. When I do say no to a friend or loved one, I feel super guilty about it for weeks. No, I can’t go to the movies this weekend because I have plans with my husband/mom/grandma/husband’s mom or grandma….

Finding Your People

We are all blessed with a few friends in our lives that we cannot do without at some point or another. Friends are necessary. However, writing is by default a lonely endeavor. Lonely out of necessity. You can’t hold a conversation between your own head and a blank page while talking to your cubicle mate….

NaNoWriMo & the Season of Joy

Like Christmas presents, I’ve been wrapping up the loose ends on my stories for National Novel Writing Month. I am not a “winner” coming short of the fifty thousand words needed. However, I feel like a winner. Why? Because I’ve been writing. I’ve been proving to myself that with two tiny children I can do…

Fishing for an Agent

I love to fish. But with toddlers it isn’t something I get to do as often as I’d like. So now I settle for figurative fishing by quering my stories to agents, editors, and publishers. One thing is certain, if you never cast into the water you will never catch anything. But if you do…

Woods Full of Story Trees

I’m blessed to have several writer friends close enough to meet with and it seems we are facing the same conundrum. What story to focus on next? I mean how do you really pick? It’s like picking a favorite tree in the woods. Do you go for the big project and tackle it? Or do…

Breakup with Doubt

I just had a birthday and I’m a tad bit ashamed of my age considering I’ve still not hit it big with publishing my book. But more than that, do you ever struggle with not hitting your goals? I know I do. Do you ever wonder if you will become a real published author? Let’s…