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Posts in category Writing Tips

MOOCing it up

Back when books were scribed by hand, the most impressive libraries held only a few hundred titles. A diligent reader with sufficient time could take in a significant chunk of everything ever written. Today, there are roughly three zillion books released in English every year, and all available instantly through our wireless e-readers. So do [...]

Lessons from A Brave New World

Dystopian novels are a guilty pleasure. For a few hundred pages, readers can lose themselves in a bleak landscape where humans have gone virtually extinct, or where a vindictive government regularly tosses children into a gladiatorial arena, or where most folks remain oblivious to the environmental wasteland just outside their protective city [...]

A Moving Experience

Harry Potter's Luggage
I’ve given a lot of thought to “moving experiences” in literature. Authors most often use relocation as a plot device, but it can also highlight a book’s theme, demonstrate character traits, or show an aspect of the setting. Plot Moves: This is the most straightforward example. Typically there’s a character who encounters a new ki [...]

Writing Shortcuts: Paid Interviews an...

Writing Shortcuts: Paid Interviews and Reviews
This is the first in a series of articles I’m calling “Writing Shortcuts (And How to Avoid Them)”. Learning to write well can be a slow process. Creating a quality manuscript can be a slow process. Finding just the right agent or publisher can be a slow process. Building a name for yourself can be a slow process. It’ [...]

Writing Resources

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Joining this organization is the best thing you can do for your writing career. Get involved, attend conferences, read The Bulletin, join or form a critique group, and you will be a children’s book professional before you know it. SCBWI “Blue Boards” For years, V [...]

Revision Case Study

Revision Case Study
Galaxy Games: The Challengers Every round of revising is different, even for the same manuscript. This is a study of the "final" revision of the first Galaxy Games book. The revision had a hard deadline, since the final manuscript was contractually due on October 15th, 2010. This is actually not the version that will appear in print [...]