• 2020,  Fiction,  How To Write A Novel: Step by Step,  The Writing Life,  Writing prompts,  Writing quotes

    HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL: The Beginning

    The WRITER’S OATH I promise solemnly: 1. to write as often and as much as I can, 2. to respect my writing self and 3. to nurture the writing of others. I accept these responsibilities and shall honour them always. Gail Carson Levine – Writing Magic Starting a novel is a daunting task. If you have been following the How To Write a Novel series, you’ll know that we have done some preliminary work with ideas and characters, and outlines. But at some point, you need to begin actually crafting this work that will be at least a couple of hundred pages long. So, let’s get started! At the top…

  • 2020,  Fiction,  Revising,  The Writing Life,  Writing,  writing tips

    Revisions: How Do You Know When You’re Done?

    Here we are. Another week of staying at home. With everyone. It isn’t always easy to stay focused. It isn’t easy to ignore distractions. But here is the thing. If you get something done, it’s better than nothing. There are a lot of demands on your energy. The key is to keep moving. Do a little. Try some free writing. Or describe in a journal how you are feeling. Everything counts. Recently, I took part in an excellent online workshop with prolific author Kate Messner through the SCBWI. If you aren’t already a member, you might want to check out their online offerings. Considering the place I am in my…

  • 2020,  Fiction,  Reading,  The Writing Life,  writing tips

    READING your way out

    Facing the blank page is one thing, but sometimes the complications of life steal your emotional energy. Despite all of the best techniques for getting words on the page, if your emotions are sucked dry, working longer and harder is not the answer. Sometimes your emotions are knotted up in a major life event, and while this may provide material for writing down the road, at the moment you have nothing left to give. In times of deep emotional exhaustion, I pour out my thoughts in a private journal, but I find it impossible to focus on my fiction. Reading, however, is something I can do. At the moment, I…

  • 2020,  The Writing Life

    2020 Writing in the Spaces

    The dawning of the new decade is filled with mixed emotions this year. There is much to anticipate in the coming months, but also, much to endure. Faith, hope and love will be important. My ms Anywhere But Here made its way through cyberspace to my amazing agent, Stacey, the first round of revisions complete. What a relief it was to get that out of my hair for a bit! Sometimes, I have read the story so many times, I have lost all perspective of what a reader will think. The relief of sending my baby off to be evaluated by fresh eyes, was accompanied by nervous anticipation and hope…