Revision: A Miserable Experience or A Grand Adventure?

I haven’t always been fond of rewriting. I used to approach it as the last thing to do, a quick proofread to catch errors and inconsistencies and then be done with things. What I enjoyed most was the new stories, thinking of scenarios and exploring new adventures with my characters, not going back over the … Continue reading Revision: A Miserable Experience or A Grand Adventure?

Back When We Still Cared

I just finished a recently-published historical fiction novel, set in England in the time of Jane Austen and most of Georgette Heyer’s books. It had a great premise, but the execution was…flawed. And not for glaring historical flaws. The costumes, the plot events, and the characters had a studied feel to them. I felt like … Continue reading Back When We Still Cared

Isn’t It Climactic? The Structure of Stories

We tend to look for high points in our lives, and especially in our stories: things that tell us life is moving forward, going somewhere…and that we can’t go back. Events that tell us things have changed, preferably for better—and these events are climaxes. I think writers tend to obsess over climaxes: are we building … Continue reading Isn’t It Climactic? The Structure of Stories

Five Signs Your Story Has Gone Awry

In the course of writing and rewriting my first four novels, I have encountered five signs of a plot gone wrong. It isn’t always noticeable to Beta readers—the alternate routes are sometimes enjoyable, and they do further the plot, but they do so in a way that harms the overall structure. I am sure there … Continue reading Five Signs Your Story Has Gone Awry