Fleshing Out Characters

When a story gets stuck, I try to see it as an invitation. Amid the frustration, I seek what I have missed. What central element have I bypassed in this story that makes it tick slower, slower, slow until it halts? Often for me, the culprit is the undeveloped character. I plan the story and... Continue Reading →

Personal Style, or Set in Our Ways: The Importance of Change and Holding On–#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

This week's post is part of the monthly Author Toolbox Blog Hop. Check out other participants' posts here. The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a great way to connect with other writers and build our own repertoire of craft knowledge alongside. Check it out! A wonderful professor of mine, Deborah Appleman, once told me that life is a... Continue Reading →

A Plotter Pantsing: what I’ve learned, and what I’m still trying to figure out

In Twitter's #WritingCommunity, the discussion of plotting and pantsing our stories is a common thread. Plotting, the careful outlining of a story before writing, and pantsing, the seat-of-our-pants, unplanned, accepting-what-comes creation of a story, each draws a crowd of strong adherents. Out foraging for mushrooms this week, we came across this beautiful chanterelle, late for... Continue Reading →

Growing story ideas

In between novel revisions this winter and spring, I've been working on a few short stories. The more compressed, quicker course of developing and honing these has helped me think about the process and purpose of telling stories, and today I'll share some of what I am learning. Likewise, I would love to hear your... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding #1: setting fits the story

The worlds we construct inside our stories, especially in speculative genres, carry our readers to new possibilities, new ways of thinking about life and what is set and normal. Worldbuilding is one of the great excitements of the writing process, as our minds, omnipotent in the world of the story, trace out societies and structures... Continue Reading →

Efficient revising: what order is best?

The four faces of revising. Yesterday, I completed a first draft of rewrites to my novel manuscript. It's been three months since I began, thirteen chapters of new material, and copious reworking of the existing. It's a celebration, to be sure, and I'm content to bask in the glory of a milestone passed for a... Continue Reading →

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