Oh, how I love the bracket trick.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I love revisions. (I know, you’re about to ask—which demon rose from depths of hell and is currently wearing a writer coat?) I just think it’s incredibly fun to take a rough piece of coal and polish it into a diamond. But first drafts have their charms, too. You don’t have to impress anyone — not even yourself. In a first draft, you can just knock the firehose to full…

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Dorothy Parker and the Vicious First Draft

    It is one of the minor tragedies of my life, perhaps a major tragedy in my writing life, that no one ever told me first drafts are supposed to suck until I was thirty-eight years old. Yup. Thirty-eight. Now, this is most likely because I never really knew any writers, and I rarely took any actual writing classes. While most writers would probably agree that having an MFA,…

Friday, October 12, 2018
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Book Two: Blessing or Curse?

Monday, July 30, 2018

When I sold From Unseen Fire, I got that coveted thing: a multi-book deal. Three, in fact! A guarantee that the story would go on, and we could stop trying to sell the blatant lie that the first book was “a standalone with series potential”. How magnificent! I could traipse merrily into Book Two in a state of security and confidence. After all, I’d already written some scenes, back when…

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Takin’ the long way around: FROM UNSEEN FIRE’s path to publication

Monday, December 4, 2017

A tale of a book, from pen to shelf: November 2011 — Project begins, called simply Aven, as Cass’s 2011 NaNoWriMo project, an attempt to get herself writing creatively again after several years devoted to academia. December 2011 — Cass sets to finishing the draft and polishing it up. July 2012 — Cass scrambles to finish editing her draft in the hopes that it’s fit to be seen and attends a…

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Telling Myself the Story: Composing a first draft

Monday, November 27, 2017

It’s fortuitous that this topic falls here, at the end of November, as I’ve spent the past 26 days frantically drafting Book 2 of the Aven Cycle as my NaNoWriMo project (with intermittent work on two other projects at the same time). It’s also a bit unfortuitous — I’ve been so busy drafting that I haven’t had a lot of time to think about how I draft. What leaps to…

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Creative Fecundity: On the beauty of NaNoWriMo

Monday, November 13, 2017

I love NaNoWriMo. I’ve participated, in some fashion or another, nearly every year since 2002 — my senior year of high school, when I would print out each day’s composition and read it to friends during lunch. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or simply Nano, is a challenge where writers across the world, of all ages and experience levels, dedicate themselves…

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Tell Me Again How We Get to “The End?”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This week at the Deb Ball, we’re talking about drafts. And as much as I’d like to say I have a methodology, it’s really just a mess. As Deb Ball reader Anthony mentioned a few days ago in the comments, you don’t really learn to write a novel. You just learn to write the novel you’re working on now. At least that’s how it goes for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Ever…

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On Writing: Here, There, and Everywhere.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

If I were creating a dream office to write my bestseller in it would have five things: an antique wooden desk, with a great history; a ghost chair that was just uncomfortable enough to make sure I sat up straight and kept my feet on the floor, a huge window to let in light and breeze, a bookshelf full of my favorite books (color coded, of course), and an espresso…

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