Revision and Technique

Keep Calm and Start Revision

Before beginning a revision project, it’s important to consider several technical matters. Just as important is to keep in mind that these aren’t rules, but principles that will encourage you to make informed choices about your work. For every suggestion

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Revision and the Art of Structure

Structure is nothing but a framework for exploration

Reasonably enough, you’re a writer who wants to do “your own thing.” You want to write the story you want to write, and you want it to be as long as it needs to be. You want to ride the

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Seven Maxims of Storytelling, Part Two

Last week, I shared the first four of my seven maxims of storytelling, advice I take with me into my rewriting projects. Today, I share the remaining three. But before we dig in, let’s review the relationship between your heroine

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Seven Maxims of Storytelling, Part One

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!” — Ray Bradbury Plight: The Source of Your Story At the heart of every story lies a plight. Notice that it’s not a question. Your protagonist has a plight.

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Rewriting: An Overview of the Process

"A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus..." — George Orwell

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.” — C. J. Cherryh The goal of the rewrite is simple, but not easy. You want your story to live. To accomplish this, it’s helpful to have a

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NaNoWriMo 2016: A Retrospective

3 Days, 3 Quotes Because trying to write a 65,000 word NaNoWriMo novel in 30 days isn’t enough, a writing colleague of mine, Jean Lee, nominated me for the “3 Days, 3 Quotes” challenge last week. So before we get

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NaNoWriMo: Thanksgiving Update – How Do I Write My Ending?

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. — Henry David Thoreau I’ll be honest, 2016 has been a mixed bag. On the one hand, we’ve lost so many cultural icons, from David Bowie to

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NaNoWriMo: Day Seventeen Update – Story Isn’t Linear

NaNoWriMo 2016: Life is nothing if not unpredictable. Ugh… Ok. Life threw me a curve ball. So much for outlines. So much for schedules and daily word counts. For the last ten years, I’ve been the proud companion to a

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NaNoWriMo: Day Ten Update – Ugh, What Am I Doing?

My NaNoWriMo Advice for Success! So…. How’s That NoWriNaMo Thing Going? …Rassinfrassinmuffinlovin… mumblegrumblebumblefumble… Do you have people in your life who think that writing a novel is just like writing a grocery list, only, you know… more words? Yeah? So

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NaNoWriMo: Day Three Update

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant

The decision to engage in National November Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) is probably the most masochistic thing I’ve done since adopting my 13 Week Novel Writing process. Except maybe for that lost weekend in Iceland… The NaNoWriMo Battle Plan Any

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