Tag Archives | Prose

A Few Gift Ideas for Your Readers

You forgot, didn’t you? In the adrenaline rush that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you actually forgot to get a very special person a present. Sure, you found your brother in-law that vacuum he wanted at a discount. Mom’s getting that gorgeous plant holder she keeps hinting at. You even remembered the nephews and their strange new obsession with dinosaurs. But you forgot to get a present for us—your readers. (Live footage of your […]


The weight of time (in your book)

Here’s something I do in my first drafts a lot, and always have to trim out in my revisions. I bet I’m not alone. I often find myself writing out the mundane actions of how to sleep or get out of bed. Why? I don’t know. It’s not like my readers don’t know how to get out of bed. First you sit up, then you whine about the sunlight, then you swing your feet over […]


Building Blocks of a Novel: Word Choice

Hi all, Julie here! Recently I found myself looking out a hotel room window at a cityscape. The view made me think of the components of a city—streets made up of buildings, buildings made up of walls, walls made up of bricks. I found myself thinking of all the unnoticed bricks that were holding up the city below my window. This observation got me thinking about novels. I started considering all the components of a […]


Not just trimming words, but chopping

Writing a book isn’t easy. I think we can all agree on that. So the realization that you might need to cut chunks—not just little pieces, like I talked about here, but big things—can hurt. I mean, after writing all those words, it can feel like a big waste to cut them! Here are some reasons to go for it, though: 1. It’ll make the book stronger. If you’ve already decided that a certain subplot […]


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.) […]