Tag Archives: novel writing

YA Author Cindy Hogan: Balancing Writing with Real Life

Wow, I have my first guest blogger today!  Help me welcome author Cindy M. Hogan, who’s on a virtual book tour for her latest YA suspense novel, Created. With three YA novels under her belt now, plus a busy family and community commitments, I asked Cindy the ever-present question in my own life:  how do keep your life from spinning out of control?  She came up with some great advice for us, so read on: ************************* I’m so excited to be visiting Jennifer’s blog today. The topic she gave me is one that I have learned a ton about in the last year and a half and I hope to share with you what I’ve learned. How do I balance my writing life with my real life? My writing life before I published was pretty off and on. I didn’t schedule any writing time, I just wrote when it was convenient … Continue reading

Posted in Goals, Guest Blogs, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Linkfest: Children, Writing Tips and Granny’s Health Plan

I’ve been saving links to blogs I really liked, some new and some old, and it’s sharing time!  And not just blog links – there’s an ROW80 goal update at the bottom. Some heart-warming, life-affirming, thought-provoking, general feel-good stuff: Kids don’t just go to school, play, and do a few small chores – they can help in big things, too!  Leanne Sype’s son Sean has a caring heart, and a willing mind, as she writes in When Life Gives You Lemonade. Lynette Burrows shared a great post on keeping a child-like creativity.  It’s kept me thinking … a lot! Over on Bliss Habits, Dani Nelson continues that thought with all the positive things you get when you live Life with a Side of Silly.  Because what’s better than a smile?  (Ignore the giveaway at the bottom – it’s over.) Reading Pretty LIttle Liars got Emma Burkhart thinking about the friendships … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Mashups, Goals, ROW80, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Finding Balance in Life – Or At Least Not Falling Off the Beam

There are wonderful blog posts out there about finding (and keeping) balance in your life. Blogs about attending to all the different parts of you; about not spending too much time at work at the expense of your family; about fulfilling your God-given role. This isn’t one of them. Me? I need lessons from blogs like those at the best of times.  And considering the last month or two, I feel like I should be changing the header of this blog from Reading, Writing & Real Life to How Many Balls Can I Keep in the Air at One Time?  Or something about pressure-cookers.  Or steam rollers. This semester has turned out to be really hard, partly because my classes require a lot of reading, and partly because life keeps pulling in more balls to juggle.  Some of the juggling balls come with joy, like babysitting my new grandbaby or … Continue reading

Posted in Goals, ROW80 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Using NaNoWriMo Lessons – Editing by Chunks

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.  There, I’ve admitted it out loud.  I’ve decided to spend my sanity on keeping up with my homework as a “returning mature student,” developing my blog, and finishing (yes, you read that right), finishing my current Work in Progress. But my past years of doing NaNo have taught me a lot.  In a nutshell: To turn off my internal editor (still a constant effort for me, though). To give characters the freedom to take the story in a different direction. To develop the discipline of daily writing.  (Read more at Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo.) I’ve realized lately that I learned one more thing from NaNo:  how to chop big chunks of writing and rearrange other big chunks.  There’s no way anyone gets through NaNo without a big pile of crappy stuff.  We all know that going in, and we learn to go through our … Continue reading

Posted in Editing, Plot, WIP, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Make Your Writing Sleek and Smooth

Of course you know the basic rules of fiction.  Of course you don’t drag it down by telling instead of showing, or using weak verbs or passive voice.  I’ll write about each of those eventually, but Kristen Lamb just put up a great post I’d like to share. Every writing offense she mentions falls under her Deadly Sin #7 from the title:  Treating the Reader Like a Moron.  Most of our writerly goofs can fall under that heading – if we’ve done our job as writers well, readers already know that a character is angry or nervous or hurried.  They don’t need the weight of adverbs and exclamation points as well. My favorite part is Kristen’s description of editing:  “Editors are like engineers. We look at a writer’s race car (the manuscript) and look for parts that will cause drag, slow down momentum, or cause so much friction that a … Continue reading

Posted in Agents/Editors, Characterization | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments