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Praise for critique groups

Being a member of a good critique group is like gold for up and coming writers. I am blessed with a great group of talented and insightful people who help me see problems or even places in my story or writing that I can do better. They push me to be the best I can…
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Getting organized

I don’t know if it’s the summer heat, the late nights or the extra day-job hours I worked last week, but getting up early to write just wasn’t happening. I resolve to do better this week, and started off with getting up at 6:30 this morning to get a bunch done. It feels good.   But,…
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Why do we write

Literary agent Nathan Bransford put up a post last week posing a hypothetical question (click here for the post): If someone could tell you the future, would you want to know if you will be published, and if you found out you wouldn’t, would you still write?   The post got a lot of people talking,…
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Chapters for a children’s book

When I was writing my middle-grade novel, I didn’t pay much attention to page counts and chapter length. Mainly, chapters were broken up by scenes.   But during my hiatus — after getting to The End — I finished reading “Barkbelly” by Cat Weatherill and was amazed at how short her chapters were and how…
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Revising from notes

At my critique group a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me what I wanted to achieve in my revision of my middle-grade novel, if I had specific things I knew I wanted to do.   During my break, I had thought about this a lot — anxious to start working on the novel again…
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Getting to the point

Writer’s Digest’s Maria Schneider put up an informative post the other day about things she heard at when she accompanied the magazine’s contest winners on their New York agent meets (lucky them). I won’t plagarize her information here, but one caught my eye for further review: The elevator pitch, be able to sum up your…
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Reading to write

I’m back on the novel. Last week was still really busy, but I jumped into the rewrite of my novel anyway. Time to start waking up at 6 am again! New goal: Finish the rewrite by November.   I’ve also made strides with the Sir Newton Color Me Florida book. Drawings are completed and fixed…
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Finding some time

My day job has been kicking my butt, lately. It’s a busy time of year for us, and I’ve been swamped, which, of course, has put all my passion work — my own projects — on the back burner.   Last week, I didn’t get anything done on the Florida Sir Newton Color Me book,…
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Dig deep

One of the best pieces of writing advice I have heard was to find the 10th way of doing things. It was in a screenwriting seminar, and I apologize to the wise man who said this, because I can’t remember who it was. Let’s call him Will (after Shakespeare, who no doubt used this rule whether he knew…
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Inspiration and business

In case you haven’t seen it, J.K. Rowling’s speech to the graduating class at Harvard is quite inspiring. You can find it here. Her messages: We can learn from failure, and imagination helps us not only to write, but to make a difference.   The second is about her time working at Amnesty International. Her stories…
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