Tag Archives: craft

Last week, I gave a detailed account of the first half of my revisions process – the fun and creative but sometimes arduous task of making sure the actual story is just right. Plot and character development must be nailed down before I waste time on anything else. After all, it’s in that phase where I make the most profound changes and there’s no use spending a lot of time on perfecting the words of a sentence or a whole paragraph that might not be there later. We left off with my WIP in the hands of my first round … Continue reading


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I’m not doing so well on my goal of reading one craft book a month. But it’s not that I haven’t been reading. I have! It’s just been a little slow going with life’s events and getting two books ready for publication. It also has to do with the book I’ve been reading – Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that it’s a bad book or boring or anything so horrible. Most of you have already read this book and know it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s one of the best craft books … Continue reading


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We’ve heard it time and again – “Kill Your Darlings!” It sounds like such a psychotic phrase. Kill my darlings? As in my babies? These sweet little things I’d give my life for? No, no, NO! Not your human darlings. Sheesh. So what darlings are we talking about? Your writing darlings. (Which can sometimes feel like our human babies, I know, but they’re not really. Human, I mean. You know that, right?) I’ve discovered over the years that this phrase has several different meanings. Killing the Darlings Everyone LovesI think the first time I ever heard “Kill Your Darlings” was … Continue reading


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The craft book I’m reading this month is Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell, part of the “Write Great Fiction” series by Writer’s Digest Books. I’m just starting Chapter 3, but have already learned some real techniques to apply to my writing. Chapter 2 is about the three-act structure and it got to me to thinking. You’re probably familiar with the three-act structure and this may be old news for you. But in case you aren’t – or, as in my case, don’t know as much about it as you think you do – here’s an overview of how … Continue reading


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A few months ago, I made a goal for myself to read at least one craft book per month. Um, that’s craft as in writing craft, not as in arts and crafts. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for those kinds of crafts these days. Anyway, I started by trying to re-read Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel and the accompanying workbook, but they weren’t really grabbing me. I’d already read both a couple times and wanted something new, so I kind of fell off the wagon. But staying up on our craft is important. We can always improve, right? So … Continue reading


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