Category Archives: Critiques

Brainstorming Plot Points

Brainstorming is a blast! My middle grade WIP is a time travel story.  The protagonist is a 12-year-old boy who’s into rockets and robotics and such, but gets zapped back to the 1830s.  There are thefts for which he gets blamed, a ghost who needs to be laid to rest, and the girl helping him gets pulled back to modern times with him. The manuscript is basically done except for one thing:  I would really like to tie his rocket hobby more integrally into the time travel happenings.  There’s an item that could easily still be in his pocket when he goes back again, but I couldn’t come up with a good idea of what to do with it. So I gathered a few writer friends, gave them a run-down on the plot (new for some, refresher for others), and put my dilemma to them.  We questioned what the device … Continue reading

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Free Manuscript Edit by Harcourt Editor

Is your novel finished and ready to go out?  Is it 80,000 words or less?  If so, check out the DearEditor.com website run by Deborah Halverson, a former Harcourt Brace Jovanovich editor and the author of the forthcoming Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies.  (I met her an at SCBWI workshop a few years ago, before she went out on her own – she’s great!)  Anyway, you enter by email and she’ll pull a winner at random and then do a substantive edit for you – structure, voice, characters, plot development, pacing, etc. (not line-editing). I’ve entered for my middle-grade time travel novel, Through the Shimmer of Time, and I got extra entries for subscribing to her blog and using my blog to spread the word.  And even though letting all of you know may be lessening my own chances, it’s too good to pass up.  So if you’re ready, … Continue reading

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