Every novelist approaches projects differently. My technique is usually to get what I call a semi-polished rough draft in place for one chapter before moving on to the next. In my case, that means that I’ve got most of the dialogue down as well as a goodly chunk of the action. Instead of polished description, … More Chapter 2: Roughed In
Picture book writers maintain that they have to slave over every single word. I believe them. In fact, I was more than willing to agree with them that they had a much tougher job on a word by word basis than novelists did. That was before I spent three weeks writing the first chapter of … More Chapter One….More or Less Done!
It’s been a long, long time since I started a new project. But today, I created a file with the name of ItalianChase and managed to produce just over 500 words. It will be another young adult novel, but more in the vein of a suspense/thriller than a cozy mystery. In fact, bad things are … More Starting a New File
Some writers don’t know what’s going to happen next when they sit down at their computers. Others follow their outlines religiously. Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Disc World books, compared his process of writing novels to wood carving on his website: You find the lump of tree (the big central theme that gets you … More Writing Novels
Let me start with a disclaimer. I tried NaNoWri National Novel Writing Month once about six years ago. I wound up stopping about halfway through with a tangled mess. It taught me that I really have to have one scene written up to the level of a semi-polished draft before moving on. But it was the … More Some Advice for Those in NaNoWriMo
I wrote up a writing prompt for My Word Playground. It shares my technique for putting two or more characters together and letting them interact without worrying about trying to build a scene complete with action and dialogue. I enjoyed checking out writer Lynne Marie’s playground while I tried to figure out what I wanted to write about. This … More Letting Your Characters Talk
Usually, when I’m having trouble moving ahead with a novel, I use a variation of Natalie Goldberg’s cafe writing that she shared in WRITING DOWN THE BONES. But yesterday, I decided that I wanted to write on patio of our backyard garden while our waterfall splashed and gurgled in the background. I brought coffee. (I’d trained myself … More Writing the Scene that Doesn’t Want to Be Written
Every writer has a different way of attacking a project. I like to write scenes by hand in a cafe first. I follow Natalie Goldberg’s strategy that she shared in her book, WRITING DOWN THE BONES. This is my shortened adaptation of her technique. I go to a local coffee shop like the Main Street … More A Semi-polished Rough Draft of Chapter 3: Done!
Late last week one of my writing friends sent out a notice. Somehow she missed the fact that she was supposed to bring a completed novel to a master class with Linda Sue Park at the SCBWI National Conference. Clearly this was a writing emergency that required drastic measures. Lynnea decided to embark on a … More NaNoWriMo in July
I was going through the comments that my friend Gina made on my SCARAB manuscript when I found the following: “Kate presses her lips together quite a bit. Check for this.” Using the search function on my computer, I did just that. Not only did Kate press her lips together quite a bit, she and a few … More A Pressing Problem