Writing Category

If your revised manuscript still has the same events in the same order, then what was the point?

Okay, I think line-editing is great. Lines should be as information-dense, melodic, and insightful as possible, and you can’t get there without a lot of work. However, I don’t think a line edit is rarely the difference between selling and not selling, or pleasing and not pleasing your writer. Too often I see people get […]

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Feeling a tiny bit on edge about this novel revision

My revisions are going really well. Yesterday I reread the opening and was like, “Yep, this has soul.” Which is to say I feel very good about the book. But I also feel a little stressed. I know this is the last revision before I send it to my agent, and I know I want […]

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Well, my debut novel, ENTER TITLE HERE, is officially out in the world

If you’ve preordered my book, it is on its way to you. If you ordered it on the Kindle, then you should already have it. If you go into a bookstore tomorrow, the book should be there (I hope). After two years of waiting, my debut novel, Enter Title Here, is finally out. And, you […]

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Engaged in a really delicate, painstaking revision process

Right before coming to Maine to spend a week with my parents, I finished a revision on my work in progress. Certain types of revisions, I find, tend to recur again and again. In this case, the revision was the sort where you make small changes to the first third of the book, moderate changes […]

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I’m not sure there’s any such thing as laziness

I’ve gotten better in recent years at listening to myself, and one thing I’ve noticed is that whenever I find myself frittering away my time on pointless, mind-numbing activities (computer games, iPhone games, idle Internet browsing, binge eating, etc), it’s not, as I used to think, because I’m feeling lazy, and I need to pull […]

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Damn, can’t wait to put the first draft of this novel to bed

Am at sixty thousand words with this YA romance, and I’m experiencing a terror that I had heard about but hadn’t quite believed was real: third act problems. That’s when you get all the way to the two thirds mark and maneuver all the pieces into place, and then you’re like, well shit, how do I […]

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Two years out, my MFA workshop doesn’t seem nearly as important as it once did

For the last few years I’ve been lugging this huge document box full of workshop comments everywhere, to DC, New Orleans, Oakland, Berkeley, with the intention of someday sitting down and going through it and revising all my old MFA stories. Well, over the years I’ve revised all the stories that felt like they really […]

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Finished a draft of a new book

Just typed the last word of the first draft of a new book. It’s an MG fantasy novel whose working title is A Sword Named PERHAPS. Not sure if that title will stick. I’ve literally gone through 400 titles (well, actually 393, according to my notes), and I still haven’t found one that really captures it. […]

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Really liking this ‘Stop when I’ve hit 3k for the day’ way of writing

For me, it’s really rare to actually be fully in the swing of a project. Most of the time I’m writing my way towards a project, or I’m trying to revise it. In both of those cases, it doesn’t make sense to set a word count goal, since I don’t really have anything yet. Word count […]

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I really, really, really hope that all of this struggle is actually leading me somewhere…

Working on some new stuff. Chipping away. But still finding it difficult to write. I feel like I’m floundering, a little bit. I hate it when people talk about how hard writing is. It’s not hard. It’s about as difficult to do as it is to achieve at a high level in any profession. I […]

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