for November, 2013
Another writing Misconception

Another common misconception about what an outline actually is.

November 25, 2013

I receive a lot of flack for my affinity to and my belief that everyone should outline. And by “a lot of,” what I really mean is that occasionally I run into another creative who doesn’t understand what I mean when I say “outline” and gets offended. People seem to think I’m trying to shove this whole concept of what outlining is exactly and how to do it down their throats. It’s pretty funny, actually, because people think I care significantly more than I do. The fact of the matter is, all authors work in different ways. Some, like me, obsessively outline and create fine-tuned, thought out plots before we ever commit to writing the plot down on paper. Some others, like many very good friends of mine (who are also very good writers) don’t outline at all and instead write a very rough first draft. Do you know what they then do? Write a much better SECOND draft using […]


Where does your writing inspiration come from?

November 24, 2013

I draw my inspiration for this blog from a few places: My own writing experiences. My friends’ writing experiences. Conversations I have with other writers. Brainstorms with my husband. My shit head animals. Work. My education. It’s really nice, actually, having this kind of background and lifestyle. It helps me find topics to write about for this blog, even though I’ve already written over eighty posts for it (eighty? That means I have, what, two-hundred and eighty-five left to go? God help me.). I think this “blog-a-day” thing has helped a lot, too, because I can’t use the, “I don’t know what to write about” excuse to NOT get a post up for the day. But then there’s my creative writing, which admittedly has taken a bit of a turn lately. As in, I haven’t been doing a lot of it. There are a few reasons for that. One, I have query letters for Martyrs out and I’m waiting to […]


How to use your deadline and your outline to create a solid word count goal.

November 23, 2013

By now, you’re probably sick of me talking about outlines. You’ve also heard a fair bit about daily word count goals. There have been random mentions to deadlines, too, but they’re so tiny and insignificant I’m not going to bother sharing a link with you. You can look that one up yourself, but it will be painfully boring comparatively. As I was writing my last piece about daily word count goals, I touched on how just getting your minimum word count done by your deadline doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve finished the novel. In other words, if you need to write a book between 80,000 and 100,000 words and you finish your minimum of 80k on your deadline, it’s entirely possible you’ll still have quite a bit of the story left to write. Are you going to be able to pump out the last potential 20,000 words in three days, if push comes to shove? I realized the way I work […]


Why you should title your novel as early as possible.

November 22, 2013

I wrote an article last month about how naming a novel was way harder than it should be, and while I still think that’s entirely true, I also think it’s important TO name your novel well before it’s finished. In fact, I think you should name your novel before you ever start writing it. I have couple of friends who are expecting their first baby this January. They decided to learn the gender as soon as possible (rather than waiting for the baby to be born), in part because, well, who doesn’t want to know the gender of their baby!? But they also wanted to do something more important: when they talked about their baby, they wanted to be able to call it by it’s name. (Him, by the way, and his name is David Gordon–NOT to be confused with Gordo from Lizzie McGuire, and definitely not to be called “Commissioner Gordon.” We’ll see how long that lasts. I know […]

that and of

Writing Exercise: That and Of.

November 21, 2013

Today I’m going to cover something a little different. Maybe it’s not that different. Who am I to know? Regardless, this blog is a writing exercise to help other writers slim their finished work down. I’ve talked about word count before. I’ve also mentioned many first-time writers have the same problem I had: their work is simply too long, and many agents won’t consider it. Usually, a longer-than-average book implies a first-time writer who has not spent enough time fine-tuning their work. This is a great exercise to do right off the bat, right when you first start editing, especially if you’re only a few thousand words over your limit. It’s also just a great exercise in general, because it keeps your writing concise and clear. In fact, all writers should do this. So, to tie into the title of this article, the words we’re going to demonize today are “that” and “of.” Why? Because most writers use them in […]

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