Unlocking the Secrets of a Series

The middle-grade mystery that began its life as a tiny glimmer of an idea is finally done (I’m pretty sure). You know how it goes – just one more tweak here, change a word there. But at this point, I’m hitting the ‘save’ button one last time and calling it done. Now, what do I do with those great scenes that didn’t make the cut and the ideas that are still swirling around in my head? I’m considering a series … Read More »

Changing Hats

posted in: Writing Life | 3

It was bound to happen, sooner or later. That time when the writer hat(s) comes off, and is replaced by marketing headgear of some sort. I wore lots of fun, functional hats while writing in the world of Maggie and crew:  bobble hat, baseball cap, hoodie (is that considered a hat?), crash helmet, and a deerstalker, to name a few. They were useful, fun, and I could switch them up as often as I wanted, or needed to. Now, it’s … Read More »

Hat Trick

posted in: Writing Craft | 0

It’s difficult to switch from writer to reader. I’m in the final phase of editing, and I’m reading my middle-grade mystery for the umpteenth time to see if it flows, hits the vital plot points, and becomes something the reader will have difficulty putting down. The reader in me dives in and becomes engrossed with the gothic mansion and the scary relative. It’s a good sign. Then the editor in me decides to tweak a phrase, insert a word, or enhance … Read More »

One Page at a Time

posted in: Writing Life | 6

I’ve finally reached the place where editing is an almost pleasant experience.  I seem to have evolved past the feeling of panic and hopelessness that plagued me on earlier drafts.  I’m done questioning whether or not my story has merit.  The piles of drafts on the floor under my desk will soon be shredded, along with my doubts. I feel relaxed and comfortable with this final edit. I turn the pages, one at a time, to see what suggestions my … Read More »

Dinner Rolls and Writing

posted in: Writing Craft | 4

I’m ready to create something delicious and memorable, something people will remember for a long time, and want to enjoy again, and again. I pull out my recipe (trusty plot clock template), and list all of the ingredients I need for a successful and engaging outcome:  ordinary world, binding point, low point, turning point, climax, and denouement. (You may structure your story differently, but this is the recipe I use – tried and true.)  The recipe has only six main … Read More »

Cut Me Some Slack

posted in: Writing Craft | 4

No, not you. It’s a message to me, from me, granting permission to step away from the computer screen, to let my brain rest, and mull a plot point over in my brain while I sweep the driveway. Several drafts in, and I’m again at a pivotal point in my story – the Turning Point. It’s where Maggie, my main character, finds a clue that propels her to the end of the story. I struggled with it for days, trying … Read More »

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