Recipe for an Unfinished Novel

Monday, December 14, 2015

This week on the Debutante Ball, in celebration of the winter solstice, we are writing about the dark times of writing–moments when we thought about quitting or let our doubt get in the way.  Recipe for an unfinished novel Ingredients 1 work in progress 1 workshop, preferably your first one 1 bag of peanut M&Ms 1 famous author/instructor 1 bullying workshop attendee 8 other workshop students Instructions 1. Read aloud…


Who Reads Your Novels First?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Funny you should ask…   So this week, we’re talking about getting feedback. And I must say, that’s exactly my current question. I’m writing Book #2 (working title: The Boss) and I have no idea who will be reading my drafts, other than the editor who already bought it, of course.    Several months ago, as I was working on the Book #2 outline, I was rejoicing. It was so refreshing to…


Criticism and the Impostor Syndrome

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I was a lawyer for almost a decade, and every brief I wrote was edited by other lawyers. This never bothered me. Once, my boss crossed out a paragraph in which I’d explained, in multiple dependent clauses, not unlike this sentence, that the plaintiff — while perhaps well-meaning and confused — was, unfortunately, operating under several sadly incorrect assumptions. He replaced it with four words: “The plaintiff is wrong.” I…


The Harshest Critique: Finding a Writing Group

A critique page
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feedback. I have to laugh when people talk about being stressed about workshops and critiques and feedback. Because I have received the mother of all feedback—no, sorry, the grandmother of all feedback—and I’ve lived to tell the tell. The stereotype of Jewish grandmothers is pretty well known. They are warm. Motherly. Perhaps they pile on the guilt a little heavily, but they mean well. They think you’re too skinny. “Eat…


Reviews: Read ‘Em & Weep (Or Laugh)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Not long after TINY PRETTY THINGS went into copyedits, Dhonielle and I chatted about reviews. We know the drill: Do not engage. And that was the plan from the start. But in our heads, we couldn’t help but compose our own worst review. It would say things like: “These girls are unlikable.” “This book is too long.” Or maybe: “I figured out who did it.” Whatever. Then we got by (relatively)…


Deb Elise Gnaws on Anne Lamott

You know how sometimes something is so overwhelmingly perfect, you just want to bite it? I say this all the time to my daughter.  “You’re so delicious, I just want to bite you!”  Sometimes it’s more specific, like “Look at that face!  I just need to bite that head!”  Or “look at that tushie!  I have to bite that tushie!” I should clarify that my daughter is only six.  At…

Monday, September 20, 2010

The most important creative lesson I’ve learned so far, by Deb Katie

When I give publishing advice, I often include at least one bulletpoint that emphasizes the importance of collaboration. This is due to a job I had about seven years ago that taught me more about collaboration than anything before or since. I was an assistant at a production company that developed programming for children. I was hired to assist the general manager of the office, but in a six-person company,…

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Welcoming Guest Author Kayla Perrin

Today we have a really fun gal joining us as guest deb—the delightful Kayla Perrin who is one seriously prolific writer. We hope you’ll enjoy Kayla’s post and check out her latest book, Single Mama Drama. Kayla will be picking a commenter at random who will win a book and t-shirt! Make sure to leave a comment! WHEN ROMANCE WRITERS PUSH THE BOUNDARIES In January my newest novel, SINGLE MAMA…

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Guest Blogger Ellen Litman author of The Last Chicken in America for Deb Gail

I am thrilled to welcome Ellen Litman as my guest on The Debutante Ball today. Ellen is the author of the glowingly reviewed The Last Chicken in America. In the The New York Times Book Review, Maud Newton said, “Ellen Litman’s elegantly constructed web of stories about Russian-Jewish immigrants living in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh… is warm, true and original, and packed with incisive one-liners.” George Saunders, Mary…

Monday, October 29, 2007