Archive | Writing Life

Creative Writing Classes — Beneficial or a Waste of Time?

When I was in high school, I was adamant that I would never take a creative writing class. The pointers we received in English classes always seemed pointless and inapplicable to my own writing—creative writing wasn’t something that could be easily passed on from student to teacher. The best writing teacher, I thought, would be reading as many books as possible. I still, to a large extent, think this. At the same time, I’m happily […]

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Backwards World-Building

I’m still making the slow and sometimes rather painful transition from a full-on pantser to an outliner. At heart, I  like to let stories come together on their own over time, unfolding as they will, but now that I have deadlines to meet, having an outline—even one I know I might deviate from—saves me a lot of stress. The changes aren’t just about the outline, though. I used to be on a very need-to-know basis […]

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Genre Mashing

There are a million reasons I love writing and reading YA, but one of the things I’m constantly grateful for is the freedom of genre. When you want to buy a YA book—or you’ve written one—you know you can find it in the YA section of the bookstore. Contemporary? YA section. Magic realism? YA section. Urban fantasy? YA section. Science fiction? YA section. Dystopian romance with hints of fairy tale set on a second Earth? […]

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The Mysterious Getting of Ideas

One of the most common questions writers get is about their ideas: where they get them, what they are doing when they get them, and why they get them. As far as I can tell, the getting of ideas is a very mysterious process. Everyone wants to know about it. Well, my friends, I’m here to give you some answers. I’ve asked the question so you don’t have to. Where do the Pub Crawl girls […]

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After The First Book Doesn’t Sign or Sell

Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions: What if this book doesn’t land me an agent? Worse, what if I do sign with someone, but then the book never sells? How can I give up this amazing story? I’ve been with this book so long it’s like my kid! Will my agent drop me if I don’t sell? Am I going to be the biggest failure ever if this book isn’t a success? […]

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