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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...

Restricted Realism

Restricted Realism

Novels, even fantasies and science fiction, need to be realistic. There have to be things the reader relates to in order to connect with the story. Something has to ground them to the world you’re building, and realism does that. However, you can have too much of a...

Lessons Learned as a Bookseller

Lessons Learned as a Bookseller

For many years, I spent most of my days in a bookstore. First for one year at Barnes & Noble, and later more years than I can remember at BookPeople in Austin. I have always believed that everyone in publishing from the author to the publisher would benefit from...

Double Duty

Double Duty

One of the best ways to know whether or not your scene is meant for your story is to consider whether or not it’s doing Double Duty. Double Duty is the concept that every scene needs to be doing at least 2 of the following 3...

Breaking Down Your Chapters

Breaking Down Your Chapters

One of the key parts of any children’s book revision plan is the chapter or scene breakdowns. These are chapter (or scene) summaries that highlight the main points of the existing edit. Chapter summaries can be extensive multi-page entries for each chapter, or they...