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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YA Review: THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater

I read the first book in this series–THE RAVEN BOYS–earlier this year, but when I finished it, I had a hard time putting into words what I liked about it. I think I’ve figured it out, so I’m ready to review the most recent book, THE DREAM THIEVES. While you should read THE RAVEN BOYS…

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It’s Just a First Draft, Part 3

I finished my first draft! It ended up at approximately 68,000 words. I always let a first draft sit for a few weeks before I look at it again, although I already have a number of ideas about what I need to do with it when I start revising. In any case, here are my…

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Make Your Pitches Specific and Other WriteOnCon Takeaways

Another WriteOnCon is over, and once again I feel energized and ready to get back out there with my manuscript. It’s amazing to me how different the conference is from one year to the next. The organizers do a great job coming up with new topics and presenters. In case you missed it, here is…

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MMGM: SECRETS FROM THE SLEEPING BAG by Rose Cooper

I came across this book as I was looking for stories set at camps, and I really enjoyed it. SECRETS FROM THE SLEEPING BAG is actually the third book in a series, but you don’t need to read the others first. Here’s a brief description: During four weeks at Camp Krakatow (pronounced Crack-A-Toe), Sofia Becker…

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MMGM: ONCE UPON THE END by James Riley

So, I usually wouldn’t review two books by the same author in the same series so close together, but I can’t help myself. It’s been a while since I read a book and just had to read the next, and the next right away. But that’s how I felt about the HALF UPON A TIME…

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Emails, Footnotes and Tweets: When Authors Experiment with Format

I’m always impressed when an author pulls off a unique format. I’ve read quite a few books lately that stray from the standard narrative format and thought I’d share. Maybe they will inspire you to try something new! The journal entry. The journal/diary entry is probably the most common detour I’ve seen from the expected…

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The Benefits of Reading Your Work Aloud

Do you ever hear advice and discard it because you don’t understand why you would do that? For me, one of those pieces of seemingly pointless advice was to read your work aloud. I didn’t understand what I would gain from an exercise that would take much longer than just reading the way I usually…

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YA Review: LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger

I should have known I would love this book. After all, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES made my top 5 middle grade reads of 2012, but I confess the description for LET THE SKY FALL sounded like something I’d heard before. I was so wrong, and I think that’s part of Shannon Messenger’s charm. She…

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The Challenge of Writing Multiple POVs

Janice Hardy had a great post Monday about handling cliffhanger endings with multiple POVs. She focused on scenes and how to keep up the tension, reader interest, and reader investment as you switch between points of view. My current WIP alternates between two POVs, so I’ve been dealing with this challenge myself. I thought I’d…

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Practice Makes Perfect–Or At Least Closer to Perfect

It’s been more than a month since my cupcake celebration for finishing my latest first draft. It took great self-control to let the draft sit for that long, but I filled the time with critiques for other writers, a major contest, and a revision to DUET. But finally, this week it was time to start…

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