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Buried in the Slushpile

Editors Don’t Revise

Editors Don’t Revise

Editors are amazing. (Yes, I may be biased, seeing that I am one.) But editors have their limits. A good editor—whether they’re a freelance editor your hire or one that works for your publisher—is there to help you make your book the best that it can be. But they...

What’s at Stake?

What’s at Stake?

Are the stakes of your story enough to get the reader turning the page? My definition of stakes is something your character risks or finds to be in jeopardy because of their own or someone else’s actions. Basically, the stakes are the external or internal problems...

When a Formula Isn’t Formulaic

When a Formula Isn’t Formulaic

Lots of authors think they hate formulas when it comes to writing. They say that structures are confining and stifle creativity. But they don’t have to. Story structures like the Hero’s Journey or Three Act or Fairy Tale style plots do not inherently limit how or what...

One of Those Days

One of Those Days

Today I need to write. I need to write at least 500 words on my current novel if I want to keep my momentum going. I need to write about writing for this blog and for my newsletters. I need to write the lesson plans for the next course I want to offer. So, I set aside...

Can’t I Do It Myself?

Can’t I Do It Myself?

When I was a kid, my favorite phrase was By Myself.  I wanted to be independent. I wanted to be self-sufficient. I wanted to be left alone to do my own thing.  In some ways, I haven’t really changed. In many ways, I still prefer to do things on my own...

New Year, New Goals!

New Year, New Goals!

It’s that time of year again. That time when we evaluate where we want our lives to go in this shiny new year. I won’t lie. Last year all of my goals revolved around my health. I had my final chemo treatment in January of 2022, and I was still facing 3 surgeries and 6...

Chunking Up Your Book

Chunking Up Your Book

A pretty standard part of setting big, long-term goals is to chunk it up into a bunch of smaller goals.  And what is writing a book if not setting a big, long-term goal? So, let’s chunk a book up into a bunch of smaller easier goals. First, set the major goal:...

Whose genre is it anyway?

Whose genre is it anyway?

I’m into watching TikTok right now.  I know. I know. I’m too old. And for a lot of the stuff over there, I really am too old. I’m never going to be doing any fancy pants dances. My days of kicking up my heels passed when I hung up my pompoms.  But one of the...