Here’s an excerpt from Sue Bradford Edward’s recent blog post at Women on Writing: For about two months, I’ve been playing around with a rewrite. I’ll work on it a bit and then set it aside because it hasn’t jelled. Every now and again, I figure out a problem and get some writing done, but after … More When Lack of Sympathy is a Good Thing
I’ve been collecting quotes from writers and editors for the past 18 years or so. In fact, I just delivered a talk at the Michigan SCBWI’s fall conference on Mackinac Island that shared the quotes that I’ve been collecting for the past 18 years. I had about two pages worth of them from various events … More Some thoughts on writing from Donna Jo Napoli
As I might have mentioned before, one of the tricky things about writing in the suspense/mystery/thriller genre is ensuring that your characters aren’t too dumb to live. There has to be a reason for them to keep their deadly secrets or roam through dangerous places. In fact, there was one series of books by a mystery … More Characters Who Are Too Dumb to Live
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
Writers have co-opted an old expression for their own use: That which does not kill us, gives us something to write about. Right now I’m in the process of editing Calyn’s darkest moment. As I work through it, I’m keeping in mind a couple of experiences that I had. The first was being bitten by a … More That Which Does Not Kill Us…
Sometimes it can take a long time for an idea to become a book. I remember that the initial idea for SUSPECT came to me in 1997 when I was reading about a winery in either Hermann or Augusta, Missouri. It was reopening some of its old cellars after years of disuse. I remember thinking “What … More The First Draft of SUSPECT
Today as I was mowing the lawn, I thought of a way to bring all of plot lines together for the darkest moment. And I figured out when to have my character come to a truly horrible realization. There’s a reason I don’t have my kids mow and why I shovel by hand instead of … More Mowing the Lawn II
I had left open our last day in Egypt just in case I needed to go back and do any additional research, but it looked like it was complete. I had visited all the places that my characters had: Giza, Abusir, Ma’adi, the Metro, the Khan al-Khalili, and Al Ahzar park. My husband, the man … More Research all Finished?
My article Prospecting for Gold Nuggets is now up on the Institute for Children’s Literature’s website. It discusses how important it is to come up with a strong premise for your writing projects.
“…it clearly demonstrated where the old cliche of “breath-taking came from.” … More Behind the Scenes of Saving the Griffin: Working with an Editor