The One About Nothing

I find myself with very little to say, today. I am supposed to be relaxing with my family, enjoying the cool rain of upstate New York, but instead I have stayed back from the annual trip to the pet store in order to get my bi-weekly blog up. I have not finished any books lately…

Summer Writing

Last fall, when my youngest kid went off to kindergarten, I went full-time (six hours a day during school days) as a writer and publisher. The year turned into three novels at different stages of production: one is in the later stages of editing, and two are half-written. Now that summer break has arrived, I…

The Hard Way

Some of these lessons, you just can’t be “taught.” The truth is, to be a good writer, and a good indie publisher, you have to have outside feedback, and then, miraculously, you have to know what to do with it. Because sometimes it’s not grammar or spelling or even A + B = C, but…

Tenacious Dee

In the writing world, much of our advice becomes trite. Partly, I think, this is because it is true and therefore gets batted around so much it becomes tattered and, at times, useless. For example, my last post was about Write what you know. I have the feeling I could have written the first two…

How To Write What You Don’t Know

How many times does an individual writer hear, “Write what you know.” And conversely, if you write something–even completely fictional–and write it well, you get “When did you do that?” or even the dubious, “How could you have written that?” Look at the hubbub surrounding Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone (a painfully intimate account from…

Goin’ Campin’

If you have been around this blog, long, you witnessed my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), last November. (For the journey, see here.) If you haven’t, I’ll just explain that NaNoWriMo happens each November, and tens of thousands of writers and would-be-writers sign up to pound out 50,000 words during the thirty-one…

YA Vs MG

Let’s get this settled once and for all. Where is the line between YA (young adult) and MG (middle grades) literature? What ages are we talking here, let alone themes and appropriateness? (Please note that this debate has been worn out just about everywhere else on the internet, but I have not settled it for…

Paying Attention

Let’s be smart about this. I am all for intuition, as a writer. But the other day, I had a moment where my subconscious writing process made a leap to my consciousness, and that’s when one can all of a sudden share that process. We’ll call it a teachable moment. Whereas before what I was…

Mind Your Firsts

I pay close attention to first lines. One of my writer aspirations is to have such a great first line that they’ll be begging me to use it in the “First Lines” section of Poets & Writers. I read that section, every month, scrutinizing the novel lines. Then whenever I start a new book, I…

Novel Planning: a NaNoWriMo Update

They all said to make a plan. I even chirped the same advice to my writing friends: October should be NaNoPlaMo, National Novel Planning Month, we said. Because if you want to succeed at the 50,000 words demanded of you to conquer National Novel Writing Month in November, you want to have all guns blazing…