for April, 2014

Handling your characters across a series.

April 30, 2014

Yesterday I wrote about what the story arc looks like between an individual book and a book series. Today, I wanted to touch on another element about writing a series that is a bit different than writing an individual book: how do you handle all the characters? It actually isn’t THAT different when you consider the overarching story arc from yesterday’s post, but it can be a bit tricky breaking all the old “rules” you stood by when you were working on your individual novel. Here are a few of the biggest differences between working on a novel versus working on a series of novels based on character development. You do not want to introduce all your characters at the same time. When you’re writing a stand-alone novel, every single character that has anything to do with the primary story arc is introduced in that single book. When you’re writing a series, you have several books in which to meet […]

Series Storyline

Creating a cohesive storyline for a series.

April 29, 2014

I love nothing more than being approached with questions about writing. I actually had a dream the other day that I was teaching a class about writing to a group of men and women, and I woke up super sad that I wasn’t actually teaching a class, even though I don’t know at all if I’d be any good at it (I think I’d be okay). So when people ask me for advice, or for help, or want my opinion, I feel super awesome. I feel like other people think I’d be a good teacher, too. So when a writer friend of mine asked me for some insight into planning a series of novels (as opposed to a solitary novel), of course, I wrote her a reply that was long enough to be its own blog post. I considered doing the “copy-paste” thing, but that felt lazy. Instead, I decided to re-write the same basic stuff I told her. We’re […]


365 days down–A lifetime to go!

April 28, 2014

When I started dating my Partner in Crime, I knew I had something worth holding onto. I know it sounds cliche, and I know that all of us say that with the person we end up married to (because we always think the person we’re dating is special at the beginning and if the relationship ends in marriage, we can say we “knew they were special” from the get-go), but there was something about him that was strikingly different than any guy I had dated before. He was happy. Genuinely happy, on his own. He didn’t need me in his life. He didn’t need a girlfriend to feel complete. He didn’t need anything other than everything he already was. That’s a rare thing. And when Mom was diagnosed with cancer and I went off the deep end for a few months, he didn’t sink with me. His happiness, his amazing attitude and perseverance, kept him positive and strong when I […]


Tying up loose ends.

April 27, 2014

My husband and I went on a run this morning–well, half of a run. On the first mile, we actually did run, and we chatted while we did it, and eventually we got onto the subject of the latest Marvel movies, and the whole Marvel movie saga. This conversation turned into a well-mannered argument, and we were both speaking too heatedly by the end of the first mile that we decided to walk the rest so we could use our breath up on proving our points rather than, you know, the run we were originally trying to do. Whatever. Debate-walking counts as a form of exercise, right? Anyway, we were debating one of the Marvel movies specifically: the latest Captain America film. It all started when I said I liked the first one better than the second because I felt like it had a more complete ending (most people seem to have enjoyed the second more because it had more […]


Rushing the end.

April 26, 2014

When I finished the (second) rewrite of Martyrs back in 2011 (2012?), I was so fucking excited. I had one chapter to go, and I sat down at my desk and wrote and wrote until that thing was totally complete. Then, using Scrivener, I exported it to a PDF file and an EPUB file, sent copies to my main beta readers, and forced my husband to sit down and finish the last of the book. I was so thrilled with myself, so absolutely proud, that when he sat down with me afterward and told me he thought the ending felt rushed, I was a little crushed. And angry. I called him a jerk and then quickly took it back because there had to be a damn good reason he felt that way, and I asked him to elaborate. Though it wasn’t exactly fun to hear, he had a really good point. The writing wasn’t as thought out as it was […]

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