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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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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How I Tackle Revisions, Steps 1 & 2

It’s been over a month since my last writing post and for very good reason–I’ve been taking the first step toward revising my work-in-progress: letting it sit. I’ve learned to set a first draft aside for at least a month. Often that’s hard to do, but with the holiday season, it was much easier. I…

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Subjectivity and Why You Should Get Multiple Opinions

When I first started writing seriously, I didn’t understand the importance of getting multiple opinions on my work. I wrote a draft, sent it out to one person, incorporated that person’s thoughts, revised, sent to another person, and so on. Can you see the issue here? I was relying too heavily on one person’s opinion….

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Missouri SCBWI 2013 Conference Recap

On Saturday, I attended the Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. I would categorize this as more of an inspirational than a working conference. It consists of a series of keynote addresses with one breakout session. There was the option to attend an additional breakout session on Sunday morning, but as I…

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Patience: A Work in Progress

I am always in a hurry. Whether it’s getting the kids dressed and out the door, doing a freelance project, reading a book, critiquing, drafting, revising, or querying, I want it done now or possibly yesterday. This was a perfect fit for my first career choice. I worked for a public relations agency for seven…

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If You Have to Explain It, Something’s Not Working

The other day, Writer’s Digest tweeted the following: “If it needs explanation, it’s not working. #writetip” It’s such a simple statement, and so true. If your query or sample pages bring up the kind of questions that confuse readers instead of intriguing them, something’s not right. I’d also reverse it and say that if someone…

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What I’ve Learned in Two Years of Querying

I really hoped I wouldn’t have to write this post, but here we are. It’s officially been two years since I sent my first round of queries. During that time, I’ve queried two manuscripts, one of which underwent a major revision before restarting the querying process. I posted last year on what I’d learned in…

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When Is It Time to Query?

I’ve written posts on when it’s time to revise and when it’s time to wait, but I started this blog after I’d started querying DUET, so I didn’t have a reason to write about when it’s time to query. Until now. Because even though I still have a few DUET submissions out there, it’s time…

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Those Pesky Crutch Words …

I had this whole post written and WordPress deleted it–twice! Thank goodness I discovered you could retrieve a draft, although I’m still having to cut and paste it. Anyway, there’s a lot of advice out there telling you to eliminate words like: just very kind This rule is so ingrained, I don’t have an issue…

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Without CPs and Betas, I’d Never Get Past the Slushpile

This morning I finished up revisions from my second round of readers and sent my work-in-progress off to a third round. I’m always amazed at the things I miss when I’m editing my own work, and I came to a definite conclusion. If I didn’t use critique partners and beta readers, my manuscripts would never…

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