A Plotter’s Guide to First Drafts

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

To plot, or not to plot? It’s the perennial question writers everywhere eventually face. The internet is rife with articles waxing poetic about the virtues of Plotting vs. Pantsing. It’s the Empire vs. Rebellion of the writing world. Do you plan out your story before you write? Then you’re a Plotter. Do you let the muse guide you along the journey without a plan, or maybe with an end-point in…

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Hemingway, Proust, and the Authorial Brand

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Sooner or later every aspiring author is going to be told that they need to work on building their brand, improving their platform, increasing their presence. I grate at these terms. I don’t like to think of myself as a brand. I’m a person. I have a personality. I have interests and quirks and an aesthetic and a manner of speaking, and these things transmit through my writing and my…

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Author Branding: One Author’s Journey of Failing at Instagram

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

  One of the things that new writers hear about all the time is the need to find a brand. As if authors are breakfast cereals that can be boiled down to zingy catchphrases like ‘delicious and nutritious’ or ‘heart-healthy.’ Not gonna lie, the idea of defining my author brand was the stuff of nightmares. But it was a nightmare I knew I’d have to face… someday. Well that someday came…

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The autodidact’s reading list

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I’ve written previously about how I have an MBA, not an MFA. And how that didn’t work out so great for me. So when I was unemployed and stuck in a tiny apartment while raising a newborn baby, it wasn’t a great time to contemplate going back to school for yet another masters degree. Plus, I reasoned, I’d always been told I was a great writer. How hard could it…

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On the Road with Denny and her Writing CRAFT Journey!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

I am a self-proclaimed craft geek. I love craft books, craft classes, online or when possible, in person. I have traveled as far as Maui to take a workshop and have purchased audiotapes and videotapes and bid on private craft lessons with superstar instructors at online auctions. Sounds a bit like an addiction, I’ll admit it. But for nearly two decades, writing workshops fell under my idea of a great…

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Celebrating the small stuff

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It feels a little funny to be writing about milestones and celebrations before my book comes out. It almost sounds like the kind of article I’d write 30 years from now, when I’ve got a shelf full of bestsellers, a trophy case jammed with awards, and a desk built to look like my celebrated novels. What’s that last thing, you ask? I’m sorry, has no one shown you what Danielle…

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I left my heart in Corpus Christi

Thursday, January 14, 2021

My fellow Debs and I are blogging this week about our favorite types of scenes to write, and it made me think of something George Saunders said once about how you should always write into your strengths. Saunders claims he’s not great at plot (methinks he’s being a touch humble), and so when he writes, he emphasizes his characters, or setting, or whatever, in order to make up for the…

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Inspiration or Just Some Books I’ve Read and Loved

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Inspiration is difficult to pin down. At least, that’s the position I’m sticking with. So, I decided to go back in time, not literally (not a time traveler :), but I started thinking about what has inspired me to write—and my answer is writing. Now, I’m not talking about my writing. Although, I wrote my first story when I was seven years old, inspired by Charlie’s Angels, which is not…

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Tips for Navigating the NaNo Blues

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

We’re sharing our best writing tips this month here on The Debutante Ball, and since this happens to coincide with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short), I thought I’d tailor my advice for the NaNo folks out there. November is quickly running out and for many writers it’s make or break time. So what do you do if you still have 10-20k left on your word count…

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Finding Your People: A guide for new writers

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A funny consequence of having a book coming out is that friends and family (and the occasional stranger on the internet) now come to me for advice on writing and publishing. It’s weird to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning these things myself. I don’t have an MFA – I literally just learned about the concept of negative capability this summer!     But when I’m asked…

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