New Interview at Little Novelist

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Today I’m over at Little Novelist, talking about blogging, novel-writing, and general inspiration for my projects. I also share one of my favorite pieces of writing advice, and confess as to why I don’t have a truly specific “blogging niche.” (*blushes*)

Click here to read my interview at Little Novelist. Make sure you check out Rhianne’s other content there, too. She has a lovely variety of posts on reading, writing, and “the writer’s life”; and also offers a story idea generation workbook and an online shop with various e-book resources.

Feel free to comment on the interview, by the way! I’ll be checking the post periodically to respond to anything there.

Chronicling The Craft: How to Identify and Cut Down on Lengthy Descriptions

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Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today’s post is the tips-oriented post to celebrate 20% completion of Draft #3.

Going into the WIP’s third draft, I was aware that one of its lingering weaknesses was overdescription. I tend to overwrite in general, but it’s most noticeable when I’m describing character appearances, setting, and action. So, one of the major questions has been, “How do I use fewer words to convey the same meaning or paint the same picture?”

Today’s Chronicle will focus on answering that question. I’ll share strategies that can help you identify overly descriptive areas in your manuscript, as well as tips for shortening descriptions as you edit. I’ll also explain it’s more important to make your own decisions as to how much description is enough, rather than following specific word- or sentence-length recommendations.
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 Begins!

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A Quick Update, Plus Upcoming Changes to Future Chronicles

Chronicling The Craft is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today’s installment marks the beginning of Draft #3 (edits and minor revisions).

As the great and wise Rafiki once said during The Lion King

Rafiki It is time animated

If the subtitles are tough to read… “IT IS TIME!”

Yup! About 4 weeks after finishing Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse, I decided that I’d spent enough time away from the story. I wouldn’t say I’ve been impatient about starting Draft #3. (Welll… maybe a teensy bit.) Instead, now feels like the right time, rather than a week or two from now. The plan is in place, all of the necessary documents have been printed – so, why not?

Since a new draft is beginning, I’ll recap my approach and goals for Draft #3, then reveal how this next round of Chronicles will run. Plus, I’ll let you in on a Tweet-y way you can follow my progress. Ready?

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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Is DONE!

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What’s Next for The Keeper’s Curse, Plus a Final Excerpt for Your Feedback

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates finishing Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Well, the title gave it away – but guess what happened this past weekend?!?! 😀

I’m still stunned. When I sat down to work on revisions last Friday, I was convinced it would take two more weekends, bringing me to Saturday, March 12th / Sunday, March 13th. But that was before the “end-of-WIP” adrenaline rush kicked in… and on the last day of Draft #2, I plowed through the entire final chapter. My initial reaction? “Uh… Did I really just do all that in one day?!”

But hey, I’m not complaining. This story is another step closer to where it needs to be. That calls for a celebration!

Hogwarts Hats

So, what’s the final word count for Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse? What are my plans for Draft #3? And, how can YOU help shape the next round of Chronicling The Craft? Plus, I’ll share one more set of excerpts for your comparison and feedback. Let’s start with…

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New at DIY MFA: #5onFri – Five Reasons Why Writers Should Give Coloring Books a Try

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Some of you might remember that I’ve fallen in love with adult coloring books. Yesterday I declared that love again at DIY MFA, as part of their weekly #5onFri series. But I’m not simply gushing about the adult coloring book trend. Instead, I offer five reasons why writers should try this hobby for themselves, from using it as a means to de-stress or meditate, to making it a creative solution for breaking through writer’s block.

Click here to read “#5onFri: Five Reasons Why Writers Should Give Coloring Books a Try.”

Are you also a fan of coloring? What are some of your favorite adult coloring books? Do you engage in other forms of art like painting, dancing, composing / playing music, etc.?

Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Revisions – 80% Complete

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Revising for Deep Point of View, Plus Another Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 80% completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Well, this Chronicle is a bit overdue. XD I had hoped to post this when I reached the 70% percent mark for Draft #2. But between the December holidays, my 2-week blogging hiatus, and delays in drafting this post, we’re celebrating not 70% or 75%, but 80%. That’s not such a bad thing, though… because you know what it means, right?

Yes... I think I see it, too, Jack... :D

Yes… I think I see it, too, Jack… 😀

Yes. I’m on the home stretch. I’ve reached the point where I can safely say, “I’M ALMOST DONE – AGAIN!!” (*fistpumps*) Honestly, the thought of closing in on the finish sends thrills up and down my spine… Yet it’s also overwhelming, because it means I’ll need to start thinking about Draft #3 soon.

Wow. I think I just deflated my own balloon of happiness. Anyways…

Considering how close I am to the end, I think this will be the second-to-last Chronicle for this go-round. So, the next time you see a Chronicling The Craft post, Draft #2 will be FINISHED. 😀  In the meantime, let’s get to the 80% progress report, followed by Today’s Tip and a new excerpt for your feedback.
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Revisions – 50% Complete

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Tips on Killing Off Reducing Your Cast of Supporting Characters, Plus a New Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 50% completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

First things first: Draft #2 is halfway done!!!!

Wall-E Fire Extinguisher

I still can’t believe with how quickly the revision process is moving. That doesn’t mean it’s had its challenges – and it certainly has – but let’s compare it to the drafting process. I started Draft #2 about 6 months ago, just after Easter. At my current rate, I could finish it in April 2016, for a total of 1 year – half as long as it took me to write Draft #1 (about 25 months, or just over 2 years).

Of course, one never knows what can happen in 6 months time. But the point is, things are moving along, and I’m pleased with how much closer Draft #2 is getting to where this story deserves to be. That’s what counts most. 🙂

(Just a reminder that my thank-you giveaways end at midnight EST on October 31st! Click here to find out how you can win free tea, a free book, or a critique of your WIP’s first chapter.)

Let’s start with a progress report, then get to today’s tip and a new excerpt of TKC for your feedback.
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Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Revisions – 30% Complete

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Six Steps to Saving Your Self-Edits for Later – Plus, a New Worksheet and Another Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 30-percent completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Huh? It’s been 2 months since the last Chronicle?? *blinks* I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. Summer tends to be my slowest writing season, since I’m more motivated to get out and enjoy the nice weather. But that’s OK. It prevents me from becoming a hermit, right? 🙂

Originally I was going to post updates for every 20-percent milestone (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%). However, since gaps between those updates might be lengthy, I’m changing the frequency to every 10-percent milestone. Here’s what I’ve done since mid-June:
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July 2015’s Featured Novel Lady at She’s Novel

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Kristen A. Kieffer has kindly invited me to be the July 2015 Featured Novel Lady at She’s Novel! Every month she interviews a fellow writer about their project(s), writing journey, and favorite bits of advice about their craft. So, how did I get started writing? What do I plan to focus on as a fantasy writer? And, what book series would I read for the rest of my life if I had to choose? Check out the interview to find out! 😉

Click here to read “Learning to Love Your Writing Process with Sara Letourneau, Blogger & Fantasy Author.”

Chronicling The Craft: Revisions 20% Complete

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Practicing Patience with the Revising Process – Plus, an Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse!

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 20-percent completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

I’ve missed this series! It’s been 2 months since the last Chronicle, when I began revising The Keeper’s Curse (TKC). But since May was insanely busy, this gap between postings meant one less thing on my plate last month. Now I’ve reached the 20-percent milestone in Draft #2, and I’m thrilled to have an update for you. 😀

This new round of Chronicles will feature a similar format as the Draft #1 round. I’ll start with a Progress Report, covering what I’ve worked on since the previous Chronicle. Next will be Today’s Tip, where I offer craft-related advice on novel revisions. Finally, the new third section… well, I’d say it’s a surprise, but the subheading sort of gives it away. 😉  Continue reading