He “Said.” But What If He Scowled?

The word “said” seems like such an innocuous word. But when you’re writing a book, those “said” uses really start to stick out.  Now Novel talks about dialogue tags and mentions that other words for “said” can indicate emotion, tone, and volume. How many times do we see the word “said” in a novel? It varies,Continue reading “He “Said.” But What If He Scowled?”

Relationship status with my second draft: It’s complicated.

Why does working on the second draft of my book remind me of a relationship? And I don’t mean that in a Beyonce-Single-Ladies-carefree-dating-kind-of way. I’m talking about the awkward stage. Where you’ve been dating someone for a while, and it’s starting to feel like “work.” It wasn’t always this way. When we were in theContinue reading “Relationship status with my second draft: It’s complicated.”

Revising the First Draft—My Story

I read online about Revising the First Draft. Those online people make it seem really straight-forward. They must know what they’re talking about. They’ve got books published and writerly looking profile pics. I follow their advice. I decide to print out my draft, rather than edit it on the computer. That’s going to be a lot ofContinue reading “Revising the First Draft—My Story”

This Year Is 20Gr18, When Great Things Happen

The holidays are over, and it’s “20Gr18.” Expectations are high, and I’m already excited about what’s in store. I think that the year 2018 is going to be a year when great things will happen. I’ve noticed that years can be somewhat cyclical. One year can be more like a “prep” year, where I’m doing lots of preparing,Continue reading “This Year Is 20Gr18, When Great Things Happen”

Bird by Bird, Word by Word

The phrase “bird by bird” has been running through my mind a lot lately. If you recall—or if you don’t, or if you’re unaware—the phrase came to be 50-something years ago while a boy was overwhelmed with the task of writing a report about birds. The boy was author Anne Lamott’s younger brother. “We wereContinue reading “Bird by Bird, Word by Word”

Typing Up My Chicken Scratch #WriterProblems

The first draft of my fiction manuscript is done. Yes! But it’s handwritten, across four notebooks, totaling 378 pages. The next step of the process is typing everything up. Panic. And breathe. I had a feeling it was going to be rough, converting this draft from chicken scratch to a lustrous Times New Roman, Word document.Continue reading “Typing Up My Chicken Scratch #WriterProblems”

NaNoWriMo, “The End,” and Now What

I took a blog break. As I mentioned before, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. By the second-half of November, I was having a difficult time meeting my weekly goal for that and for this blog. As NaNoWriMo had started to become an obsession—which seems like the only way you can slog through theContinue reading “NaNoWriMo, “The End,” and Now What”

Being a Mom vs. Being a M.O.M. (Mother of Manuscripts)

There are a lot jokes out there that compare writing a book to having a baby or raising a child. I’d like to add to that fun metaphor, by introducing the term M.O.M. I am a proud M.O.M., a Mother of Manuscripts. I have two. The older manuscript turned two in October. And the younger justContinue reading “Being a Mom vs. Being a M.O.M. (Mother of Manuscripts)”

How to Spend Less Time Writing a Blog

I recently heard that, ideally, writers should spend no more than 20 minutes per day blogging, and the same goes for social media. Yeah, I was surprised to hear that, too. Let’s just say, I spend way, way too much time doing both. It’s not good when the majority of my writing time is spentContinue reading “How to Spend Less Time Writing a Blog”

Only 20 Minutes of Social Media a Day for Writers?

At the writer’s conference that I mentioned in my previous blog post, the conference guru led a session about social media and blogging. He suggested that we writers spend only 20 minutes a day on social media. I’m curious to know what your reaction is to this. Because for me, his statement triggered an eye-popping, gag-choke-laugh reflexContinue reading “Only 20 Minutes of Social Media a Day for Writers?”