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Madeline Smoot

The REAL Hero of the Story

The REAL Hero of the Story

Who is the real hero of your children’s book? The one that should triumph because their motivations are so just and pure. The one character that is usually so sure of themselves, nothing and no one can change their minds. I’m of course talking about your villain. Now,...

Communal Writing for the Win!

Communal Writing for the Win!

Back in the BP (Before Pandemic) several of my writing friends and I used to get together once or twice a week to write. We’d meet in a coffee shop or some other public place and set an egg timer for 45 minutes or so. And then we’d write. And write. No talking. Just...

If you want to write, read.

If you want to write, read.

I did not grow up wanting to be a writer. I don’t have any of those cute journals from when I was a kid. My parents didn’t save any sweet little books I made about my stuffed animals—because I never made any. I got a marketing degree in college because in the business...

When Writing Feels So ALONE

When Writing Feels So ALONE

I love watching DIY home-improvement shows. Watching someone demo a wall or grout tile or reorganize a closet is Madeline catnip. In my free time I rearrange my furniture, wallpaper the odd wall, and reorganize my own closets for fun. (I have an odd idea of fun.)...

Perfect Scene Pacing

Perfect Scene Pacing

I spend a lot of time talking about Perfect Pacing when it comes to the overall work, but scene pacing is incredibly important too. This is the rate that your scene progresses. Some scenes we want to be fast; others slow, even languid. It just depends on what’s...