The NanoWriMo Post Mortem Post

I had attempted to write this novel before.  First as a short story of about 10,000 words. When my writing workshop all said “this should be a novel,” I expanded it to about 28,000 words without adding any plot.  My goal for National Novel Writing Month was to finish a complete draft 50,000 words longer, […]

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Write like a bricklayer

I used to think that writing would be like being an acrobat… performing breathless feats, leaving my audience stunned on the ground.  Sure, there would be practice, grueling hours of it (didn’t we have “writing exercises”  in school?) but that wouldn’t be the real work. I would practice and practice and then, when the time […]

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Made-up Words

I was in third or fourth grade when I wrote a story about a group of kids forming a club with a friendly alien.  With a treehouse. Treehouses where very important to me at the time.  Other than that, the story was a straight rip-off of “The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went […]

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When It’s Fun

Sometimes, writing is fun. Super fun. It’s those moments that are the gateway drug into a long miserable career in the arts.  Sometimes the fun can become a problem. It’s like – writing the first draft feels like this: When you’re done, you either think it’s the most awesome, carefree work you’ve ever read or […]

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Making it Harder

We make things harder than they actually are.  Take rock-climbing. The beginning rock-climber takes way more steps and hand-holds than she actually needs.  Trust me. I’m a beginner.  I will not move an inch unless I am braced with both feet and both hands and the distance to step is smaller than a stair.  You […]

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Channels

“This story just needs… more,” the editor said. “It feels thin.” Thanks, I thought, that’s not quite the vaguest advice ever.  But then my husband turned it around for me with a metaphor. Hubby and I were talking about stories having channels, like sound channels in a music composition.  This is best to visualize as […]

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Thinking Like a Dandelion

At Clarion, Cory Doctorow said, “Resist the temptation to think like a dandelion.” (At least I hope I got him quoted right in my wee notebook.)  The line I have written under that is: “The cost of reproduction is zero! Spread!”  Being Cory, he might have been talking about electronic media, but for the purpose […]

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