The Conscious Writer: Taking back your creative power

When a manuscript isn’t firing on all cylinders, there are so many ways to shift responsibility: Characters that run away with a life of their own. Plotting systems that strip nuance and meaning. Agents who press for writing to market. It’s not my fault, writers think; the characters (or this dumb outline, or my annoying Read more about The Conscious Writer: Taking back your creative power[…]

Half dozen

Prewriting: 6 parts of the writing process that aren’t writing

This article is about the parts of writing a novel that don’t involve writing. It’s not about the business side of being an author. It’s not about book design and production. It’s also not about book marketing or promotion. This article is about the process of getting your story onto the page, and a lot Read more about Prewriting: 6 parts of the writing process that aren’t writing[…]

How many drafts is enough?

Write your novel in six drafts

How many drafts is enough to prepare a manuscript for professional editing? A first or second draft isn’t worthy of the investment, after all. A manuscript isn’t ready for editing until you’ve set it aside for weeks or months (to regain some distance and objectivity), sought out feedback from objective parties, and revised it thoroughly Read more about Write your novel in six drafts[…]

Writing rules

Why story structure won’t squelch your creativity

There’s an assumption among many writers that writing rules and outlines are pinched, mean things that constrain creativity and the flow of literary ideas. Writing blogs advise authors to flout conventional grammar and aim for a free, contemporary style. Authors fling pantsed manuscripts at their editors only to discover there’s a dropped plot line and Read more about Why story structure won’t squelch your creativity[…]