Archive | Miscellaneous

5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WRITING FOR A YOUNG ADULT AUDIENCE

I’ve been a middle school teacher longer than I’ve been an author. While 2019 marks my debut year, it also marks my twentieth year teaching middle school literacy. Juggling these two careers is challenging, but I also benefit from the overlap between both roles. What I’ve learned being an author helps me teach writing better. And what I’ve learned as a teacher has made me a better writer. Some of the principles I use to […]

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Five Tips for Self-Care When You Are Writing Difficult Topics

It can be difficult to write about some things, and some of us are drawn to writing about difficult things, but that doesn’t mean we need to suffer for our art. Here are five things to remember when you decide to write something that, one way or another, evokes intense emotions. Come up for air (or Netflix), but remember to go back in. I write dark shit. An entire collection about loss and grief, and […]

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Good Problems Take Time

It’s funny, writing these posts. They keep coinciding with my deadlines. I’ve just turned in my first round of edits to my editor. Which, let me tell you, always feels like such a win. There’s something about that first draft—about looking at a manuscript so filled with problems that you stare at and try desperately to find solutions— that can be so heartbreaking and demoralizing at the same time. I wrote this? That slithering voice […]

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Pitching Historical Romance Series (and Small Presses)

There is one genre convention in romance that may never be broken: the happily ever after. Hearts must flutter at the close or heads will roll (or both, in the case of my Tudor books). But how do you pull off a romance serial—following the same two lovers—in which each novel features a happily ever after, yet keeps the story going, and is set in a different time period? I faced this conundrum while writing […]

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John Truby’s Theory of Opponents

If conflict is what drives our stories, it would seem to follow that antagonists are a writer’s best tools to create that conflict and propel the story along. And yet tons of people, myself included, really struggle with writing antagonists that feel believable and interesting, who aren’t just mustache-twirling villains who are evil for the sake of being evil. Julie D. mentioned John Truby’s ANATOMY OF STORY in her post the other day, and by chance, […]

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