There is this legendary thing I have heard tell of a writer's passion - write or die. I've felt it burn through my veins only twice in my life: last November, when NaNoWriMo saved my life, and now. But the thing that got me to finish my manuscript wasn't exactly that. And when it comes to winning, … Continue reading How I Wrote My Manuscript (Or, How NaNoWriMo Saved My Life)
After boiling my novel down to Just One Thing and identifying some crap, I need to decide what to do with it all. Here is how, exactly, I am going to murder my darlings (and whether I will in the end). This is how I’m going to go into November armed with that list of scenes … Continue reading On Revision: How, Exactly, Do I Murder My Darlings?
When my fingers were tip-tapping out words by the hundreds or thousands each day last year, I didn’t think about what needed to happen to get from that first draft to final. Between production and proofreading, there is a Schumpeterian-type (bless you) world of destruction and creation. But what do I destroy? What do I … Continue reading On Revision: A Useful Tool for Deciding What to Keep, Rework and Cut
She yelled into his ear again. He was late, she screeched, and he had parked too far away. The man held the phone away from his ear for a moment and then replied calmly. Stop being hysterical, he told her – he had arrived. He tapped the phone off and slipped it into his pocket. … Continue reading Chapter 1
He’s making me boil my novel down to One Thing. Your novel needs to be about One Thing, he tells me! I fight it. It can’t be just about One Thing! There is a complex and nuanced web of interwoven themes about human nature that… that… Okay. Fine. I can rail at his written page … Continue reading Just Keep Going: Finally Getting to My Theme
After the frantic rush of drafting a 113,000-word novel from NaNoWriMo 2013 to March 2014, it's time to stumble through editing the manuscript. Three funerals (one of which was my father's) and two weddings (one of which was mine) later, I have finally come back to pick my baby up and care for it. The next step of … Continue reading How I’m Editing My Manuscript