A Better Beta Read: Guest Post by Ev Maroon!

Since today is my birthday, I’m taking my Weekly Writing Workout day off. Everett Maroon has stepped up to put a post in my place. I had the pleasure of working on Ev’s book The Unintentional Time Traveler, which is set to be released at the end of this month. It’s the story of an epileptic boy who begins to travel through time via his seizures, only to find himself in a completely different body—a girl, Jacqueline, who “defies the expectations of her era.” There’s some serious trouble brewing, and when he, as Jacqueline, falls unexpectedly in love with a boy in that past, Jack/Jacqueline is caught between two lives and epochs. I really enjoyed working with Ev on his book and invited him to post in my absence. Have a great...

Recovering From the NaNover

Another year, another NaNoWriMo gone by. On the NaNo website it says that there were over 310,000 participants from all over the world (596 regions), though I’m curious as to how many crossed the finish line (if anyone can point me in that direction, please do). But even if someone wrote only 10,000 words, that’s still 10,000 more words that they didn’t have at beginning of the month. That’s something. I’m also curious as to how the process went for others and what they do once they’ve finished. Editing is certainly as personal a process as the writing part is. This year was COMPLETELY different than when I wrote my first NaNoWriMo (INTERGALACTIC) novel two years ago. In 2011, I had been mulling the story and characters over...

End-of-Year Plerk-out!

It’s funny how little down time I allow myself by before I feel the need to get something done. My husband’s the same way. We like to be productive. During the “holidays” one would most likely find us in our respective offices brain-deep in some type of creative or career project: digitizing rare audio cassettes, typing up old journal pages, writing a proposal for a conference, a class, a book. Between the productivity we take a walk to a local coffee shop and the subject of how we rarely relax comes up. “It’s because we like our work,” I say to him. “But our work is our play. We don’t work; we plerk.” (SIDENOTE: we discussed the spelling of the combination of “work” and “play” and decided against “plork” because no one would pronounce it right.) Plerking for me...

Going through SPLAT

I’m in the middle of a rewrite for Book Three of the White Forest series. Last week I wrote a whiny note to a few of my author buddies that said right now I hate book three. okay, hate is a strong word. but it sucks, it sucks, it sucks. I’m stuck in the middle of my rewrite. it’s so different from my original vision that I can’t follow my outline any longer. i’m procrastinating working on it. i want to work on anything else. bleh. My friend Sara wrote back and said You’re going through SPLAT! I laughed and had to agree. “Splat” was a term used by one of our screenwriting instructors Stewart Stern when Sara and I were in the University of Washington screenwriting program together. He actually borrowed the idea from a...

Tour Thanks and Weekend Workout

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a weekend workout. I knew that would happen, though, as I’ve come to the conclusion that writing and blogging do not get done while I’m on tour. If you wanna just scroll down to get your workout and skip all the “thank you” stuff, there’s a visual marker below that says WEEKEND WORKOUT. Before I get to the workout, I want to express my appreciation for all the people that made my tour a tour. I want to thank all the teachers, parents, principals, students, and especially the librarians at Regnart, Murdock-Portal, Blackford, Christa McAuliffe, and Gardner Bullis elementary schools, Gale Ranch Middle School, and Wingra School who all hosted me as a guest. I want to thank to Laurie,...

Weekend (Re)Writing Workout – A Change of Scenery

I’ve been a delinquent blogger and now that the crazy that was my July is over, I hope to post again on a regular basis. Instead of the usual timed writing workout I post for the weekend, I thought I’d give you something fun to try if you’re in rewrite mode and have come across an undynamic 2 person scene. Maybe it reads flat, just talking heads. (And if you’re not in rewrite mode, you can still do the exercise, just write a scene first) I used to have my screenwriting students write an exchange of dialogue between two people in conflict (the start line was “I can’t believe you just …”). No description, no action, just dialogue. Then, I’d have them rewrite the scene twice, placing the characters in two...