Writing Process: 7 Productivity Boosters

Draft 2 of Blizzard, my novel set during the Blizzard of 1888, turned into something of a beast: it was a complete re-write that took very little material from the first draft. I worked almost exclusively on it from mid-January to mid-May. Along the way, I adapted my writing process and learned some new tricks to help myself work better and faster. It should be noted that these process tweaks are only... read more

Five Ways To Study Characters

I spent the past two weeks getting reacquainted with the characters for my second historical novel, BLIZZARD (still a working title). After writing the first draft over the summer, I took a break from the book to let things marinate. I’ve decided that much will be changed in the second draft. Most of the characters will retain vestiges of their former selves, but some will be changed drastically,... read more

Finishing Draft 1: Then Vs. Now

Last Wednesday, I reached the end of Blizzard, draft 1. (For more details about the book’s plot and characters, return to this post.) I was powerfully reminded of the way I felt when I reached the end of draft 1 of Waist on the auspicious date of 12/12/12. I was exhilarated then; I thought I had reached a finish line. Part of the blog post I wrote to celebrate that first draft’s ending said,... read more

Habits To Make, Habits To Break

My recent reading has been putting my recent writing to shame. This is completely understandable: I’m writing a first draft, and it’s a normal part of the process to “hate your work but power through” on a first draft. I’m not supposed to be crafting beautiful phrases or pulling creative descriptions out of thin air; I’m supposed to be working on the very basics of... read more

How I Create Characters

One of my blogging goals for 2016 is to “show my work.” Last week, I wrote about how to brainstorm a book idea; this week, I’d like to share how I create characters. Whether I write historical fiction, YA literary fiction, or short stories, my trademark is writing from multiple perspectives. So my first step is determining the number of perspective characters, and if there are going to... read more

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