Category: Blog

To Outline or Not to Outline, Part 2

For part 1 of my outlining debate, I looked at my process and how it has evolved during the writing of my novels. For the rest of this week, my guests will be discussing the same thing from their perspectives. And do I have some awesome guests. Coming later in the week are Nikki Loftin,…
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To Outline Or Not to Outline, Part 1

As I just started writing my next novel, I’ve been thinking about my process. There’s a divide between those writers who swear that the best way is to outline every plot point and other writers who prefer to be more loosey goosey, thinking outlining will curb their creativity. There’s no correct way, other than what…
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Book Review: Techniques of the Selling Writer

Although this book is an oldie, I figure it’s never bad to get re-introduced to good works. If you haven’t heard of it, Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain, was originally published in 1965, but, except for some writing demonstrations that are a bit outdated, the book itself remains a goldmine for…
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Story first

There’s a consensus that young readers will read books depicting the life of a protagonist who’s older than them. “Reading up,” so to speak. And, generally, that’s true. So, what do you do if your story is more powerful with a protagonist that’s more middle grade but the voice and style of the book will…
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Book Review: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies

The newest book in the For Dummies line is dedicated to writing young adult fiction, and true to the series’ tag line, it does make “everything easier.” Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies is written by Deborah Halverson, who knows a lot about the subject. She worked as an editor for Harcourt for 10 years…
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Benefits of critique groups

My friend and fellow blogger Donna Janell Bowman last week ran a series of posts about the benefits of critique groups and how to make the most of them. For her posts, Donna interviewed a bunch of writers inlcuding yours truly! (Yes, that’s me.) Among the questions we answered were: What are the biggest challenges of…
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Children need books

I read some really troubling news today. In the U.K., three out of every 10 children do not own any books — none! No bookcases in their bedroom with Where the Wild Things Are, The Little Prince, Harry Potter… No parents reading to them before they go to bed. I hope they at least borrow…
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Fear and keeping your head

My husband and I were talking about fear the other day and he mentioned the saying that’s painted over the player’s entrance to centre court at Wimbledon: “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…” It’s a small section of poet Rudyard Kipling‘s poem If, and it…
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Rest in Peace L.K. Madigan

In January, I wrote about the wonderful community that children’s book writing has and how they were supporting young adult author L.K. Madigan, who had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Madigan passed away this week, and the support for her family continues. Fellow author April Henry has written that, if you want to…
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Self-publishing and ebooks

Going into the Austin SCBWI chapter’s annual conference this weekend — it was great, by the way — I was curious to find out how middle-grade novels are selling in ebooks, as that’s what I write. I’ve seen lots of articles in the Publishers Lunch enewsletter saying that ebook sales are rocketing in adult books…
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