Total Character Makeover

After much anticipation, I finally received some valuable feedback on my first novel, three things. Of course, the optimistic compartment in my brain was hoping for only a few minor suggestions, so I could finally send my digital baby out into the world. I am so naive. What a rollercoaster. In general, the feedback was…

Validation, Motivation, Elation.

One week ago, I received some great news. The funny thing is, I was in the middle of teaching my ESL students, and the unit topic we were studying was “Good News, Bad News”. I just happened to check my email during the ten minute break, and there it was: a notification that my short…

Two Novels, Both Alike in Dignity…

Lately, I’ve been working on my second novel, and I can’t help but to be amazed at how different it is from my previous one, in so many ways. The reason I’m so staggered by this fact, is that when I first began it (maybe two months ago), my number one concern was making sure…

Start with this…

Not sure where to begin writing? Here are some random sentences to get you started… The beast lunged, straining at the chain around his neck. I can’t believe you forgot the egg… Do you know how much it’s worth? There I was, standing in front of the vault. Time was running out… I racked my…

Improv in the Classroom

I know I usually write about the fiction writing process on this blog, but last week I had an opportunity to lead a professional development session for my fellow teachers, and now I feel compelled to share my experience, as it felt like quite a success! I’ve always said that improv has helped me with…

The Real Final First Draft

I’m a couple of months late to the party, but it’s my party, so I make the rules. Which party? The “I finally finished my first draft” party! I know I’m still nowhere close to actually sending my novel out to agents, but this is definitely a milestone! It felt pretty darn amazing typing those…

Reuniting with Old Friends

It’s been a great week, in terms of writing. I know I still haven’t finished this novel, and I should probably save the bragging until I actually finished, but NaNoWriMo has been a major motivator for actually finishing this beast. I had been completely ignoring it for two years. Every time I thought about continuing…

The Benefits of Feedback

When writing something you really care about, it’s easy to want to keep it to yourself, lest someone tries to steal it. Personally, I’m wary about posting creative work online, and with good reason. After all, I know people who have had their work plagiarized, and it doesn’t exactly sound like a barrel of laughs. My…

Writing Prompts: What if…?

Need help thinking of what to write? Here are some scenarios to get you going: What if… …you woke up and found that you’d been transformed into a platypus overnight? How would you cope with your every day routine? How would you explain what happened to you to your loved ones? Which aspects of your…

In Defense of Noncommittal Planning

Many of my writer friends are extreme planners. Just the thought of starting anything without at least an inkling of where it’s will eventually lead is out of the question. On the other hand, I have other writer friends who relish the ambiguity of starting something, without knowing what will come of it. Personally, I…

Second Drafts: Twice as Drafty

Recently, I met up with an old friend from high school, whom I hadn’t seen in nine years. Chatting over crepes, we caught up on all the expected subjects, from family to mutual friends, before the topic shifted to writing. My friend, it turns out, is a monstrously productive writer. Since I last saw her,…