6 Reasons You Should Critique for Others While Revising

Did you miss me? I know I threw that four years of querying post out there and then deserted the blog for a couple of weeks. My family went to the Lake of the Ozarks, and then I had a week of craziness catching up with some deadlines. But I’m back! So, I’m in the…

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What I’ve Learned in Four Years of Querying

It’s here! I have officially been querying for four years. (Actually it was July 11, but since that’s a Saturday this year, we’ll just consider it today.) And in a strange coincidence, four years ago I sent off my first round of queries and then we packed up and drove down to Springfield, Mo., to…

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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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Revising for Vacation!

When I was in college, my roommate always cleaned our dorm room or, in later years, our apartment before we left for a break. She said she wanted to return to a clean place. (Hi, Liz!) I didn’t totally get it when we were in college, but I do now. And of course I’m going…

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Why Subjectivity Is Your Friend

Like many writers, I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of subjectivity. It’s the indefinable reason for countless rejections in the publishing world, many of them even quite complimentary. It’s also the source of invaluable opinions from other writers who provide feedback on your work. (I’ve blogged on the benefits of multiple subjective opinions before.)…

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A Song for Every Step of the Writing Process

The title of this post might lead you to believe I’m going to give you a writing playlist, but I don’t listen to music while I write. I can’t. It’s too much of a distraction. However, there are always songs in my head, usually of my own making. Today, that song goes something like this:…

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A Prayer for My Future Agent

As a person of faith, prayer plays an important part in my life. I pray about pretty much everything, including my writing journey. I prayed about whether my manuscript was ready to query. I’ve prayed about when to wait and when to move forward. Most of all, I pray for patience. Lots of patience. Like,…

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The Benefits of Reading Your Work Aloud Revisited

Yes, I have already posted on this topic–but it’s been two years. Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging long enough to decide to write on something only to find I already did. And in this case, when I looked back at my original post, I was actually pretty satisfied with what I…

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When You Can’t Revise Another Word On Your Own

There comes a point with every manuscript when you can’t do anymore with it on your own. You’re so tied up in the plot and characters that you can’t see the holes in either. I’ve almost reached that point with my work-in-progress. I’ll finish reading it aloud this week, and then it will be time…

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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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