Category Archives: writing process

Fantastic Beginnings: taking it slow, with Carol Berg

I have recently started reading Transformation, the first of the Book of Rai-kirah, by Carol Berg. I met the author on a panel about torturing your characters and recognized each other as kindred spirits. She’s actually the first person both … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name? The Naming of Elisha

It has come to my attention from two different and equally interesting directions that some people are wondering about the name of my protagonist, Elisha Barber, specifically, his first name. Some folks have even wondered if it’s my name (it’s … Continue reading

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Focus Groups Taking over the World!

This morning’s Wall Street Journal features an article entitled “Test-marketing a Modern Princess,” about how Disney Junior is developing their new Sofia the First television series. Yes, folks, these executives are sitting down with pre-schoolers, reading them storylines and filming … Continue reading

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Three-act Structure Eureka!

Okay, I’ve heard about the three-act structure for quite some time, from a variety of sources, and had it sketched out for me in at least one workshop.  Quite frankly, it didn’t seem all that relevant.  But I finally picked … Continue reading

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Writer’s Blech

Over the weekend, I had a chance to talk with a writer-friend about one of the problems we all seem to face:  the moment we realize the work-in-progress (WIP) is, in fact, crap.  I think there is at least one … Continue reading

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. . . From a Certain Point of View

Hands up everyone who immediately recognized the source of my title quote?  Okay, that was an easy one. In a post a couple weeks ago, I referenced the special difficulty of writing a book in a single point of view … Continue reading

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When Revision Goes Too Far. . .

Just finished a fourth round of revision on the first book.  Empirically speaking, this sounds like too many rounds, to me–I’ve never been keen on revision.  (You may recall my method for revision which involves lots of beer and stomping around … Continue reading

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Why Your Book Stalled at 100 pages

As I talk with other writers, (especially newbies) I often find they have a book (or several) stopped dead at about 100 pages or 25 to 30,000 words.  They have thrown up their hands in despair. This project which once … Continue reading

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Abort/Revise/Fail?

Yes, it’s me, still obsessing about revisions.  I got two books at once from the editors, which is kinda handy ’cause I can keep in the right frame of mind.  Except that I turned book 1 back over to them, … Continue reading

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A Twelve-step Program–er–Process for Manuscript Revision Based on the Suggestions of Others

Step 1:  Stomp around the house, kick things (inanimate things only!)  scream that your commenter is insane or stupid or both.  Go for a beer.  Do NOT email your commenter at this time.  Especially if he or she is an editor who … Continue reading

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