How I Tackle Revisions: Crutch Words

So I’ve written about crutch words before. On my last manuscript, weeding out crutch words was my final step before querying agents. I decided to address them much earlier in the process this time, while I was waiting for feedback from my first round of readers. I realize that I’ll be making significant changes to…

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MMGM Review & Giveaway: JUNIPER BERRY by M.P. Kozlowsky

I’m so excited to jump back into MMGM today. I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick lately, so it was great to return to middle grade. A few weeks ago I did a poll to see which of my Scholastic Warehouse Sale finds I should read and give away next. JUNIPER BERRY was…

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How I Tackle Revisions: Let It Go

Like many of you, I have “Let It Go” on a constant loop these days, and I can’t always blame my three-year-old :). But as I was getting ready to write this post, I realized how apt the title is for the current step in my revisions. As I shared in my last post, the…

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YA Review: THE UNBOUND by Victoria Schwab

I reviewed the first book in this series, THE ARCHIVED, after meeting Victoria Schwab at an event last year. I loved the book and so picked up the sequel as soon as it became available. I think I might have loved this one even more! If you haven’t read THE ARCHIVED and intend to, the…

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When Is It Time to Finish Querying?

I touched on this topic once before, as part of a post on timing, and I want to emphasize the distinction between stopping and finishing. I think these are two different things. You can just stop because you’re discouraged or you can finish, leaving no stone unturned. Here are some things to consider if you’re…

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YA Review: IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi

Eventually I’ll get back to middle grade, but there have been a string of YA books in series I’m already reading that have come out in the last few weeks, and I have another one today. I originally picked up SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi because of Twitter buzz. Although I didn’t fall in love…

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How I Tackle Revisions: An Evolving Process

It’s been two months since I blogged about the first two steps in my revision process. Usually I would be at step four or five by now, but life has forced me to slooow down with this work-in-progress, and also to take another look at my process. Patience and flexibility are both a struggle for…

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YA Review: CRESS by Marissa Meyer

Have you ever read a book where you’re anxious to get to the end and so want to read it as quickly as possible, but at the same time you want to linger? That’s how I felt about CRESS by Marissa Meyer. I think the temptation to linger was enhanced by the knowledge that there…

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YA Review & Giveaway: SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson

I know many of my middle grade friends drop by here to check for an MMGM on Mondays. Today I have a young adult review instead, and it comes with a giveaway, thanks to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale. I’ve really enjoyed Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series, so when I saw another of her books…

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Making Our Characters’ Crazy Actions Believable

Have you ever received the following critique? “I just don’t believe [character] would do that.” I know I have! (Actually, just this week on my WIP :)). And I’ve said it myself, too. It’s not about a character doing a crazy thing. I’m fine with that–as long as the writer makes me believe they would…

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Querying Is Not A Science

I never really liked science in school, but I still did well in it because it follows rules. If you use the right ingredients and follow the steps exactly, you get the expected outcome. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a set formula for landing an agent? Actually, strike that. There is a formula:…

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MMGM: FAIREST OF ALL and IF THE SHOE FITS by Sarah Mlynowski

I love it when agents give away books on Twitter–especially when I win! A few weeks ago I won Tamar Rydzinski’s contest for the first two books in Sarah Mlynowski’s middle grade Whatever After series. Often when I win a book (or books) I will pass them along to my readers, but my three and…

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