Teflon, some people. Not me.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I imagine the easygoing among us don’t remember their first time receiving constructive criticism; teflon, some people, or indifferent. Not me. In primary school the report card system was E for excellent, S for satisfactory, and U for unsatisfactory. I swam in a pool of excellence until the day I received an S in handwriting. By the time my father returned from work I’d been crying so hard for so long I…


A Sea of Red: Being Edited

Book Editing
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A few years ago, I had an essay accepted at a literary journal. I was over the moon that they wanted my work, and when they informed me I’d be receiving edits, I figured it was no big deal; plenty of journals had tweaked my work, fixing grammatical errors or asking me to clarify a sentence or two. When this literary journal sent me back my work with edits, they…


On Being Edited for the First Time

Monday, January 4, 2016

After the thrill of selling your novel has died down, the next big step on your publishing path is receiving your editorial letter and manuscript notes. Here is what that experience was like for me. My letter and edited manuscript arrived via email when I was traveling, and they fedexed me a hardcopy overnight. We arranged a telephone meeting for early the following week, after I had time to digest all…


My “First” Line: 5 Years, Countless Drafts & Thousands of Lines in the Making

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

First lines of books are a lot like debut novels. Just because they come first in a narrative doesn’t mean they were the first written. There are many authors whose “first novels” are actually the second, third, or tenth they ever wrote. And I won’t bother trying to think of how many lines of Chasing the Sun I actually wrote before scribbling what would eventually become the first line. Suffice…


5 Quick & Painless Revision Tips for People Who Hate Revising

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cue the eye rolls and the chorus of “ugh”… I know there are plenty of you out there who hate revision. Writing a first draft feels freeing and exhilarating, but revising is daunting and overwhelming. If this sounds like you, you’ll hate me for saying this: I LOVE revision. For me, the first draft is the part that’s daunting and overwhelming; it’s through revision that I start to feel confident…


Deb Kerry’s Thoughts on Revision, with an Outtake from BETWEEN

Revision and I have a love hate relationship. I love the parts where I get to deepen characters, add details, and smooth words. I hate it when I have to cut. Sometimes the cutting is not so very bad – a piece of gratuitous writing, a bit of unnecessary drivel, even a deadbeat scene that is slowing down the action. But sometimes cutting feels more like severing a limb. BETWEEN…

Monday, February 18, 2013