Archive | Writing Life

Lessons I Learned from Line Editing

Recently, my editor and I went through the line editing process with IVORY AND BONE. If you’re unfamiliar with the steps a book goes through once it’s acquired, here’s an at-a-glance overview: Structural/Developmental Edits: This is the part of the process often referred to broadly as Revision. Your editor sends you a letter outlining her ideas for the “big picture” changes that will make the manuscript stronger. (There are usually several rounds of this stage.) […]

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Rules and Tips for Writing Good Queries

If there’s one thing I’m asked over and over again, it’s How do you write a good query? Because there is an endless array of blogs and workshops (and even some posts here at PubCrawl) dedicated to just this very topic, I am sometimes baffled by how often I receive this question. But at other times, I understand. Querying is the first step in the traditional publishing process, the first step in getting your work in front of professionals. […]

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Outlining on Excel…(yes, that’s right, Excel)

Recently, I found myself doing something I never thought I’d ever do in a million years–outlining a book in Excel. You read that right–Excel. (Well, actually, I used Numbers and not Excel because I have iWork, but details, details… :P). This isn’t something I’d recommend for every book, but I’m currently revising a pretty hefty, unwieldy plot with multi-POV. It’s not A Song of Ice and Fire level or anything, but it’s complicated enough for a normal […]

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Practicing Like I Mean to Perform

Years ago, when I was in competitive dance, my instructor often told the group we should practice like we meant to perform. Which meant that from the very beginning of putting together a new routine — learning new steps and memorizing choreography — we had to smile (or make whatever facial expressions were appropriate for that style of dance). We had to dance “full out,” including jumps and turns, and other things that we could […]

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Writing Insecurities

We all have writing insecurities, but this is one is an easy fix: Make sure you’re protecting your work and your computer from theft, damage, and failure. Recently a friend of mine was writing at a coffee shop, and she stepped away from her bag briefly — but this was just long enough for a sneaky thief to grab it and disappear. She lost her wallet, keys, and her laptop, but the worst thing she lost – […]

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