Archive | May, 2015

How much is too much for kids?

It’s that time of year again where I start focusing my attention on my fall buy, and in categorizing the fiction selections into Middle Grade/Tween/YA. One rule of thumb that I’ve always used as a guide is the theory of reading up. If I work on the assumption that most kids like to read about characters who are at least a couple of years older, then the decision should be easy. Books with thirteen or […]

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That weird story-planning stage

Right now, I’m in the planning stages for a new series. I’ve barely started writing—just enough to get a good feel for the voice—and I’m making lists and lists of things I know I want to include. It’s a weird part of the process. There’s not a lot to say, “Okay, I did this today.” Ideas come randomly, and there’s not much to show for it besides a lot of daydreaming. Here’s how I’m trying to […]

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Want to Write Better Stories? Write About Change

If there’s one thing that’s constant in all stories, it’s change. No matter what genre, a character experiences a series of events and things are different by the end of the tale. The more character-focused the novel, the greater and more personal this change is likely to be, but it appears in even the most plot-centric books as well. A mystery starts off with a victim and ends up with a killer caught and justice […]

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Revision for Pantsers

I recently finished a fairly major revision on my contracted novel that nearly killed me. How did it almost kill me? I wrote 32,000 words in 7 days in order to get it turned in on time. (I essentially rewrote the entire last act of the book from scratch.) Why did I throw out the last third of my book? Because it made it better. Here’s the thing about revision: I hate it. I am […]

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Advice for Getting Author Photos You Love

The email from my editor’s assistant popped into my inbox, the subject line glaring at me: Author Photo… (dun dun dun duuuuunnnn…) If you’re like me, the thought of a professional author photo is both exciting and terrifying. I knew exactly what I wanted: a photo that would have almost magical qualities—a picture of me that would look good, and yet somehow also perfectly represent the real me to my readers. I approached this task […]

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