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How to Build a “Frankenstein” Revision

Revising can be messy. As someone who thrives on order and checklists and clean documents, unmarked documents, I’ve never liked how messy the revision process can feel. You’ve got tracked changes turning your pages into Jackson Pollack painting, comments cluttering up the margins, unfinished subplots dangling about, and torn-apart scenes strewn through your manuscript like  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery



What Every First Page Must Have

Your novel’s first page is like the first 5 minutes of a blind date. Be honest, you can usually tell within the first five minutes whether or not there’s going to be a second date. Just like readers can tell by the end of the first page whether or not they’re going to stick around  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery


NaNoWriMo Starter Beat Sheet

It’s officially NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where writers across the globe challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.  To help you smash through that 50k word mark, I’m sharing with you my NaNoWriMo Starter Beat Sheet. What’s a “starter beat sheet?” Well, think of it as a foundation  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery


Make Your Dialogue Work For You

Dialogue can make or break a story. Strong dialogue can lift your story to new heights, while weak dialogue can turn a reader off. The key to writing strong dialogue is to think of it as another extension of your character development. Your dialogue is just another way you reveal your characters to the reader.  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery

How to Make Your Readers Feel Smart

  “Show, don’t tell” is one of those pieces of writing advice you hear over and over again without a lot of concrete guidance on what it is and how to implement it. Which is why, for this month’s writing tip, I thought I’d present a fun writing challenge that will not only help you understand what “show, don’t tell”  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery

How to Fix Info Dumping With Exposition Characters and Window Characters

  Writers are accused of a lot of unforgivable “crimes”: head-hopping, adverb overkill, predictable endings, cliched characters. Eek! I’m getting cold sweats just writing them all in one sentence!  But in the post, I want to talk about the common and far-too-often detrimental crime of “info-dumping” (also known as “too much exposition.”) Info-dumping is when  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery


Instantly Improve Your Novel’s Pacing

  If your novel or story is suffering from slow pacing, dragging chapters, saggy prose, or just needs an overall pacing BOOST, then this revision hack might be just the thing you need. I picked up this trick while revising my young adult, sci-fi novel, SKY WITHOUT STARS, which is a retelling of Victor Hugo’s Les  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery




Supercharge Your Pacing Instantly

More than fifteen novels under my belt and I’m STILL learning how to write and revise. Case in point: when working on the fourth and final draft of SKY WITHOUT STARS, the epic young adult space opera based on Les Mis that I co-wrote with Joanne Rendell, I was forced to solve a problem I’d never  … Read more


Tips for Writers Writing Mastery


Revisions and Cruises and Holidays!

Hey all! Sorry for the LONG gap between blog posts. Things have been quite busy over here. I FINALLY finished the second draft of UNREMEMBERED, the first book in my upcoming sci-fi trilogy! I’m really excited about how the revision came out and now my fingers are TIGHTLY crossed that my editor is just as  … Read more


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