First Drafts

Today’s featured article discusses writing first drafts.

I’m a second or third draft writer. That’s the point in the process when I get to see what kind of clay I’ve really got on the wheel, when I can crimp the edges and pull out my high points, and make the dire ones worse. When I’ll stay up twenty hours straight and, after imagejust enough sleep to make me more tired, go at it again. Because by then I have something to work with. But that first, initial draft? Pull my fingernails out from the beds with pliers, why don’t you. Learn more.



Character Surprise

When we write fiction, our characters can sometimes surprise us. This is a fun article and I wanted to share it with my readers.

I find myself in a bit of a transition in my writing right now. A while back, my weekly writing group challenged me to write a fantasy novel. (I love you, Solitary Scribes.) My agent at the time said I’d have to come up with a pen name because it’s such a genre switch. I’m thinking CS Tolkien might work. Or Tim Dekker. Or Johnny C. Jenkins.  Learn more.


National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month is in November. Some of my writer pals are participating. Today’s featured article helps writers prepare for writing a novel in a month.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) created as a nonprofit contest to write 50,000 new words on your novel during November.

When I first heard of it, I thought (snob that I was) how could anyone write a novel in a month? 50,000 words in a month? It would be garbage. I didn’t participate and I thought those that did weren’t really writers. (I was a snob – but I’m reformed now, so that makes me more heroic, right?) Learn more.


Book Reviews

Have you ever written a book review for yourself or another author? This article provides some tips on how to do that.

Reading widely and writing book reviews either on your blog or at online bookstores serves your career and your colleagues well. But have you ever read a book review that was totally unhelpful?

Certainly you’ve seen some of those posted on Amazon that have never been clicked as “helpful.” Why unhelpful? Think about these review comments: Learn more.


Stuff And More Stuff

Stuff and more stuff. It grows and multiplies overnight. This article reminds us that we are not alone.

My husband claims that both he and our dogs are afraid to stay in my office for any length of time, as they fear for their lives amidst the floor to ceiling bookshelves taking up every centimeter of space not taken by doors, windows and my desk. The bookshelves are, I admit, overflowing. And then, there’s the stack of 26 x 18 inch storage boxes in front of one set of shelves that’s taller than I am, filled with research books, office supplies, novels I can’t bear to part with. How did this all happen? Learn more.


Writing Styles

How much writing do you get done in a sitting? The answer feeds a lot more than your progress toward a deadline-it can tell you a lot about your writing life and writing needs.
Chunky Method
What do I mean by “big” or “small”? While my book goes into much greater detail, the basic concept is this: If you have a day job or something else that keeps you from writing full time, I place the dividing line between big and small chunk writers at 1,000 words. That means that if your average writing session produces less than 1,000 words (where I started way back when), chances are you’re a small chunk writer. Conversely, if your sessions net you more than 1,000 words, you’re likely a big chunk writer.  Learn more.