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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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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It’s Just a First Draft, Part 2

Yesterday I passed 40,000 words on my work-in-progress! Yay! And yet this means I am in the dreaded middle of the story, where I’m slogging through to get to the climax. In any case, I have more thoughts on first drafts now that I’m more than halfway to my goal. My thoughts after 15,000 words…

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How to Find Books Agents Represent

Last week’s post about middle grade books agents represent was astronomically more popular than I anticipated. I’m so glad many of you found it helpful, and in light of that, I’m adding a permanent page to my blog listing agents with middle grade and young adult books they represent. I’ll give a few more details…

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It’s Just A First Draft

As of yesterday, I’m about 15,000 words into my first draft. Drafting has always been hard for me, but I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me. I set myself a daily word count goal and make sure I meet it every writing day. Once I do, I’m free to do other things,…

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Before the Draft: Outlining in Scrivener

I know I promised the last post in this series last week, but I spent much of the week at the hospital or at my parents’ house as my mom recovered from her hip replacement. She’s doing great, by the way (Hi, Mom!). In any case, I did meet my daily word count goals for…

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Before the Draft: Character Development

I know I promised I would start writing today and you could all hold me accountable. The thing is, my mom is having her hip replaced today, so I’m hanging out at the hospital. Prayers are welcome. But, the good news is, I’ve finished my “Before the Draft” steps and I already started drafting. Ok,…

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Before the Draft: Procrastination

When I started this series a few weeks ago, I thought I’d be much further along in the process by now. But then there was WriteOnCon and a contest for which I needed to critique others and my son started Kindergarten and … … and those are all excuses. The truth is, I hate drafting!…

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Middle Grade Characters and Trust in Authority Figures

I don’t have an MMGM review today, although this post was inspired by a middle grade book–one I’m not going to name because it would lead to a bit of a spoiler. Here’s the situation: The main character places her trust in two adults who turn out to be the bad guys. Why did she…

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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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