Replacing Textbooks With novels in First Year Writing

For the past five years, I’ve taught first year writing at community college and state universities. I assigned textbooks and/or trade books based on what other teachers used or what seemed like the kind of book college students should read. It didn’t work out so well. Now, I’m using books I get excited about. TheContinue reading “Replacing Textbooks With novels in First Year Writing”

Beta Readers & Remembering my Characters are NOT me.

Good beta readers and critique partners are essential for writers, not just because they make individual manuscripts stronger, but also because they can make writers aware of problematic patterns. My beta readers often comment that my characters don’t react or show emotion to big things – like finding out demons exits, losing a loved one,Continue reading “Beta Readers & Remembering my Characters are NOT me.”

IWSG November: I will win NaNoWriMo!

November 1 question – Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published? Because I was so into national novel writing month, I completely forgot to blog on the first of the month with the Insecure Writers Support Group Question. Half way through the month andContinue reading “IWSG November: I will win NaNoWriMo!”

Book Review: Walking on Water is a gorgeous and validating read.

Walking on Water by Matthew J. Metzger My rating: 5 of 5 stars I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up an ARC of Walking on Water. I asked to review it because I love merfolk stories as long as they are not Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and have been hungry forContinue reading “Book Review: Walking on Water is a gorgeous and validating read.”

ISWSP October Question: #ownvoices?

October 4 question – Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose? My answer: Yes, but sometimes it is more intentional than others While none of my characters are directly based off of my self, many of them share my non-binary gender identity. They struggle withContinue reading “ISWSP October Question: #ownvoices?”

Guest Post: Six Local Writing Centers and Events By Artemis Savory

My friend and critique partner, Artemis Savory, compiled a list of writing centers and events in the New England area and asked me to share it on this blog. If you are local and interested in writing, these events are definitely worth checking out!    Six Local Writing Centers and Events By Artemis Savory (WritingContinue reading “Guest Post: Six Local Writing Centers and Events By Artemis Savory”

Problems with Word Count Quotas

While writing my first two books, I didn’t pay too much attention to my word count until after I finished the first draft. My first draft of Song of the Forest came close to 200,000 words and my first draft of Power Surge was around 130,000. When I revised, I went through a cycle ofContinue reading “Problems with Word Count Quotas”

Room for Discovery in Planned Novels

When I was taking a creative writing workshop in college, my professor (Andre Dubus III) told me he never planned novels. He encouraged us to avoid outlines, claiming they would make our writing feel forced. He said if we outlined, our characters wouldn’t feel real, and they wouldn’t come to life on the page. ShortlyContinue reading “Room for Discovery in Planned Novels”