When a Plotter Attempts to Pants

It’s been a while since I posted a writing update here on the blog. That’s partially due to it being summer and my schedule changing drastically with my kids being off school and driving them to various camps, partially due to more freelance work, and partially due to drafting a new project. That’s where today’s…

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On Sequels Ruining the Original

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, ever since an eagerly awaited sequel came in the mail this summer and from the first few pages had me going, “Whaaat?” I’m not going to call out this book specifically, which is part of the reason I waited so long to post about it…

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What I Learned Re-Reading the First Manuscript I Queried

I’m going to be completely honest here. I’m not really referring to the first manuscript I ever queried. Because that one was ten years ago, and it was this crazy adult time-travel Christian romance that I didn’t even let anyone read before I queried it (I know! Rookie move!). I had no idea what I…

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New England SCBWI Conference: So Worth the Trip!

This past weekend I traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts, for the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Spring Conference. It wasn’t my first SCBWI Conference. I’ve attended the Missouri conference multiple years, and it’s been very valuable. However, the New England conference is significantly larger and offered the draw of my long-time critique…

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On Balancing the Urge to Slap a Character or Root for Them

I read a number of frustrating books over my vacation, but before you think that means I didn’t like them, I’ll point out that I wrote a review about one of them earlier this week :). Why was that particular book frustrating? Because the girl kept missing out on opportunities where she could have fixed…

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3 Tips for Revising One Character At A Time

You’re probably thinking: Michelle, you already wrote this post. Well, halfway through the process I talked about how helpful it had been for me to focus on the boy POV in order to figure out his character arc. Now that I’ve finished both characters, I’ve pulled my thoughts together and have some specific tips on…

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When You Have Two POVs, Who Is the MC?

For my non-writer friends who follow the blog or maybe even some newer writers: POV = point of view       MC = main character Now that we have that out of the way …. I read a post on Jami Gold’s blog earlier this week titled “Should Our Protagonist Be in the First Scene?” It was…

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Revising One Character At A Time–Plus A Giveaway!

Revision time!!! Yes, that does deserve multiple exclamation points because I love to revise. I let this manuscript sit the self-imposed month before even doing a read-through. What surprised me as I was reading was that the part of the manuscript I struggled with the most as I was drafting actually isn’t half-bad. However, there…

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How Do You Pull Off A Successful Unreliable Narrator?

I just finished reading a certain best-selling book that included an unreliable narrator, and it got me to thinking about how you pull one of these off. It’s no easy task. I tried it. Unsuccessfully. I ended up rewriting the manuscript a different way, and as much as I liked the idea of the unreliable…

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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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