Filter Words

This was a post I wrote back on Let the Words Flow, and I’ve taken it and updated it a bit. Why? Because it’s still a lesson I have to constantly keep in the front of my mind when writing—and even more so, when editing. That lesson is to keep the number of “filter words” in my manuscript to a minimum—especially when my story is in first person. In first person, these filter words really crop up and […]


A Tale of Two (or Twenty) Titles

Recently, Savannah at posted about how confused she was by the similarity of these three book titles: As the author of one of those books (Shadow and Bone, on the far right), I had to admit, even my head got a bit muddled. But if you take a look at the YA shelves, you’ll notice quite a few words in heavy rotation: shadow, bone, fire, crown, dark, stars. The trends seem to come in […]


Revealing Character through Details

Is creating a character like designing a building? Mies van der Rohe (German born, American architect, 1886-1969,) famously said, “God is in the details.” This quote is a reference to the fact that it’s the small, subtle design elements that can make a building (or even a book, perhaps?) transcend the common to become something unique and beautiful. Interestingly, Mies van der Rohe is also credited with having said, “Less is more,” a reference to […]


Writing critiques

When I’m between drafts and revisions for my stories, I like to catch up on critiques for my crit partners. (Guess where I am right now.) So I thought I’d tell you a little about how I do critiques. Keep in mind, this is just how I do critiques. Everyone has to find what works best for them — and their crit partners—but in the *mumble mumble* years I’ve been critiquing like this, people tend […]


Bringing Your Baby to Editorial Board

Have you ever heard the phrase “they’re taking your project to editorial board” before? Have you ever wondered what that meant? Well wonder no more, my friends, as I’m going to take you through the dreaded and frightening Acquisitions Process. It seems that everyone at every level in the industry has a “gatekeeper” they feel they must need to pass: writers think of agents, agents think of editors, and editors think of their publishers. I […]