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Speed Writing

I started writing the first draft a new book, and this time through I’m trying something new. I used to work as a Systems Analyst/Project Manager for software development teams. So it’s no surprise that I’m always interested in looking into processes, especially my own, and trying to find areas that can be improved. Writing Faster I’ve been lucky this last year, in that I’ve had a lot more time to write. This year I’ve set a writing goal of 2,000 words a day. This goal, as well as more writing time,  has enabled me to get through several drafts …Read More

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Calling All Beta Readers

Hello friends, Some exciting news! I’m at the point where I am looking for volunteers to beta read my middle grade work, Mulrox. If this is something that sounds interesting to you please reach out to me in the next week or so. What’s a Beta Reader? A beta reader is someone who reads a book before its publication in order to provide feedback to the writer. Why? If you’ve ever worked in software development, it is like having Beta Testers, or conducting usability research. The point for the writer is to get an idea of what’s working and what …Read More

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A Look at Chapters

As requested, this week’s post is going to be about chapters. What are chapters for and how do you go about creating them? So chapters aren’t technically required. There are a few novels that go without them, but they are the exception. Almost all novels and most novellas will use chapters of some kind. What are Chapters for Anyway? As a Reader A chapter is a breaking point, a moment to pause and step away from the book. I don’t know about you, but finishing a book chapter always gives me a feeling of accomplishment. The reverse, however, is also …Read More

Independent Bookstores

7 Great Independent Bookstores And Why I Love Them

Happy October! Did you know that October is national book month? No? I didn’t either. But it’s very fitting for what I wanted to write about this week. I have a bit of a book buying problem. Like many writers and devoted readers, I love books.  Holding, gazing, and even smelling them brings me great joy. I honestly just feel comforted having books around. I know I’m in a good place if there is a book or two at hand. I’ve moved a lot in my adult life, and every time I do I’m always a bit overwhelmed that at …Read More

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Two Books, a Podcast, and the Beginnings of a Third Draft

Hello Friends, It’s not quite Fall yet, but it is just starting to feel like it here. Fall has always been my favorite season and it energizes me to feel the wind pick up and the cloud cover start to creep its way inland. Hooray for Fall! Writing The last time I gave you an update on my work-in-progress novel, Mulrox, I had just finished the second draft. So this week I’m going to talk a bit about my process of moving from the second to the third draft. 3rd Draft Process (So far) Read-Through and To-Do list The first …Read More

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Writing Mistakes – Part II: Lack of Suspense

Welcome back to the writing mistakes series! As you may remember, last week we were talking about a short story I had written. I was excited about it until I started to read it out loud. I then discovered a few obvious problems. In this series, I am analyzing the story’s mistakes to demonstrate the importance of certain writing strategies, and hopefully to help others analyze their own work. In the first post, we looked at a brief outline of the story and how it got off track by having multiple central questions. You can read that post here: Writing …Read More

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Writing Mistakes- Part I: Multiple Central questions

This week in addition to planning my edits for the third draft of Mulrox I decided I was going to write a new short story. And I was pretty happy on Saturday when I finished it. However, later that day I started to read it aloud and immediately realized it had some major problems. In this two part series of posts I’m going to outline the problems I saw with my story. I hope that by providing specific examples I can help others avoid similar mistakes. This week I’ll be looking at problems with my story question, and next week …Read More

UPDATES

Update 8/28/17

Project Update and Recommendations Writing Well I did it! I finished the second draft of Mulrox. Hooray! It had to push to get through it, but it’s exciting winding down a story, even if it’s only a draft. A ton of effort goes into the first ¾ of a book in order to properly set up the ending. So by the time you get to that last quarter, it’s like you are running down hill. Brandon Sanderson talks about storytelling as setting up a series of parentheses; open questions that slowly get closed out as you move to the end …Read More

UPDATES

Update 8/21/17

Updates, News,  and Miscellany For the past few months I’ve been working on a middle-grade fantasy novel about an ogre named Mulrox, whose terrible ideas come to life. It’s an adventure story about Mulrox learning to have confidence in himself and the value of even his worst ideas. It has been a much-needed change from working on  Parallax, the literary fiction novel I’ve been pounding away on for years.  The new novel is action packed, whimsical, and fun. It also has the added bonus of giving me ample opportunities to write really bad rhyming poetry. Not surprisingly, it’s been a …Read More

CentralQuestion

What’s This Book About?

The Central Question: Part 1 Whether I am analyzing a book I have read or working on a story idea of my own, I like to try to figure out how the story is structured. To figure out how a book is organized I find it useful to ask myself, what is the central question posed in this book? What is a Central Question? When I am talking about a central question I’m referring to something like a topic sentence. It might be something like will our hero defeat the evil villain and save the world? Or it could be …Read More

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A Trail of Confusion: Writing Process and Misconceptions

The Burning Question Sometimes it seems as though no author interview is complete unless the writer is asked about her process. How does she write? The answer to this question is often mundane: the time of day, whether she writes at home, by hand or on a computer. This seems an odd answer, but appears both satisfactory and expected. Why is this? Why do we care about the time of day something was written? It paints a certain picture, which is interesting enough in itself, but does it account for why it crops up over and over again? I think …Read More

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Flaws and All

The Nature of Learning How to Write One of the amazingly inspiring and frustrating things about writing is that it is one of those things you can work at for your entire life and still not perfect. I think this is in part due to the incredible diversity in form and purpose of stories. Stories are everywhere, in our entertainment, politics, advertisements, even in our everyday communication. The story your coworker tells you about her weekend is used for entirely different purposes than the story you tell at your job interview, which is different from the story you watch at …Read More

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An Experiment

Website Goals and Objectives So this is a bit of an experiment, something new. To be honest, the idea of having much of a public presence, let alone writing a blog is a terrifying concept for me. I am a writer. I love to write. I get up early every morning and write until the rest of my life intervenes. But I do not share my writing. At least I haven’t for the last 6 years. Before that, I did. When I graduated college, I heard that in order to publish a novel I needed to  publish short stories . …Read More