Three years ago, I was rewriting a novel I had begun in high school. I was 20 and as you’d expect, I had no clue what I was doing. I had written a lot at that point, but revising was a whole other skill I hadn’t developed.
So I turned to the internet for advice. One bit of wisdom was to warm up before a writing session by scribbling down my thoughts for a few minutes. This could be about the scene I was working on, thoughts about my characters, general ideas, or ranting about something else going on in my life.
So, before every writing session, I jotted down my thoughts in a separate Google doc, catagorized by the chapter title instead of the day’s date. Three years later, I found it again, and wow. The entries are plagued with doubts, angst, and regret. They taught me something important:
Continue reading “Reading Old Notes from my Novel Journal”
What happens after the first draft?
I didn’t know there was supposed to be a second draft when I began my first novel as a wee seventh-grader. I thought you write the story, tweak it for grammar, send it off to the publisher, and become a bestseller. Simple.
The first draft is just the beginning. The real writing comes with revisions. The problem is, how on earth do you do that?
Continue reading “How to Write the Second Draft”
That’s a great motivational quote. Except it’s a lot easier to share it on social media than to internalize its meaning.
Rejection is a horrible experience, especially in the publishing business. To authors, their books are practically their children. For years, they brainstormed, wrote, revised, worried, cried, nearly chucked the drafts into the trash, and finally—finally!—felt confident to send it off to the world. Yet the world sends it back. It stings, especially for new writers entering the publishing game with big dreams and thin skin.
Frankly, after a rejection of my own, I’m not the mood to preach why rejection is a good thing and why writers should embrace it as a way of life. This post exists to validate the emotions of a publisher’s rejection. Like therapy, except free and more entertaining.
Continue reading “The 5 Stages of Rejection”
Why? Many pragmatic and intelligent people have asked fiction writers.
Why waste your time with stories that aren’t real?
Why spend years suffering through self-doubt, and rejection when your work may never be published?
Why not pursue a steadier, more profitable profession?
Continue reading “Writer Talk: Is Fiction a Waste of Time?”
It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing a book is hard. It takes time, patience, blood, sweat, tears, and coffee. When the going is rough, we doubt ourselves and want to chuck our computers out the window. When the going is good, we doubt ourselves and wonder if we should chuck our computers all the same.
A good book is a balance of pretty prose, developed plots, intriguing openings, satisfying resolutions, realistic characters, and more, all swept together in a mess of ideas that are easier to imagine than actually write. And that’s where many writers get stuck.
Continue reading “Pep Talk: Write Garbage”
Hello, all. I’m back. Did you miss me during my hiatus? Did you notice I went on a hiatus? No? Well, that doesn’t matter. I’m here now.
A lot has changed since my last writer talk when I was struggling through a new draft of Lethal Shores. Mazel tov to me, since that draft is completed! I decided to take the advice of a good friend who said, “You’re too close to the story. You need to take a break and edit it with a fresh mind.”
Continue reading “Writer Talk #2: Shiny New Ideas”
While creating a story it’s critical to know your audience, and thereby, your genre. Although we writer folk value creative expression over a business outlook, we must know our market to get published. This series will analyze the various book genres and how they pertain to storytelling.
Continue reading “Behind the Genre: An Introduction”
“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway
There are many posts, videos, and classes about the writing craft, but little about the emotional journey.
Therefore, besides for writing advice and rambles, I’d like to include casual discussions about my WIP on this blog for three main reasons:
- Additional motivation, (Writing about writing makes me want to write.)
- To share my mistakes so others can avoid them,
- To commiserate and celebrate with you.
Continue reading “Writer Talk #1: Editing Slump”
Bible or codex, call it what you want. You need somewhere to store all of the scribbles for your novel. I call mine an almanac.
It’s very easy to lose papers in a shuffle. You can have a great idea for a scene, quickly write it on a napkin, and then someone throws it away. Now, what was that great idea again? It’s gone forever.
Or you could have a sketch of your villain or a list of his descriptions, and when you are writing his scene, you forget what color eyes he had. Were they blue or grey? Wait, you wrote that down somewhere… but that paper is nowhere to be found. Now you have to read through the entire manuscript to see if you mentioned his eyes or just write it whichever way to edit it later.
Continue reading “Why You Need a Book Bible For Your Novel”
There’s always a story behind the story.
Writers don’t write because they have nothing better to do. They write because there is a story they must tell. It’s a difficult craft. It involves discipline and motivation to sit for hours on end, typing words that might never be published. There’s no guts or glory, or a guarantee of success. There’s only hope in what they can accomplish and the fears and doubts that accompany it.
No one hears the author’s story. It is usually hidden behind their work. Yet today I’d like to tell mine. There’s something that changed my life I’d like to share in the hope it will change yours.
Continue reading “How Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ Speech Inspired My Writing Career”