• Novel Writing,  Revision

    The Art of the Draft

    Because writing is writing is writing is writing! When you first make that enormously huge decision that you are going to write a novel, you’re not really just writing a novel. You’re committing to drafts, edits, multiple revisions and eventually, a finished novel.

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    Why this Story?

    Anonymous asked: “So I have a story I’ve been developing, but I’ve only really developed the main characters and the world. There’s no villain or conflict I can dream up, but I love my characters and their world!” This is not an unfamiliar problem to me. When I feel this way, I realize, I’m write because I love to write but still, that’s not the point. All stories have direction. There’s a conflict to be dealt with, there’s an end to meet.  I can go on writing for as long as I want to but if there’s no end point, no destination I’m trying to reach, it’s not going to be…

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    On Writing & Inspiration

    Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard! I’ve been thinking of a story plots for ages, but I can’t seem to get any inspiration to help my writing.” I don’t know how this is for everyone – and that’s always going to be something with writing, different things work for different people – but I cannot be inspired if I am not writing. Until it’s words on the page, it’s not quite real yet. I might have plans and ideas, but they aren’t actual until they’ve happened.  I sit down to write with a premise in mind – the idea, the general plot, and I begin to write. I don’t wait for a muse…

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    A Conversation with Katelynn Kazemzadeh

    It was a quiet September Saturday when I connected with Canadian author, Katelynn Kazemzadeh, over Skype to discuss writing process. It was early still and we both grabbed respectively mugs of Earl Gray. Kate is currently on her way to finishing her first novel, I’ll Keep Your Secret Safe and I was eager to learn more about it. Kate and I first met months ago through the online writing group, Writeblr Connects, while we all get to know each other and chat often about the act of writing and our processes, often what we’re writing remains pretty mysterious. So when we sat down to talk, I had to ask, “What…

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    A Conversation with Tara of @DancingDarklingWrites

    Today, as part of a new series, I’m going to be doing something a little different. I’m conducting an interview – or really a series of interviews – with writers in the thick of their novels, asking what inspires them, how do they choose the topic they are going to write about, and what makes writing so important.  Today, we’re catching up with Tara of @dancingdarklingwrites. Tara and I first connected through the writing group, WriteblrConnects, and I’ve come to know her as a great writer and friend.  Q: What led you to decide to start writing? I’ve honestly always written.  I remember being 6 or 7 years old and…

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    Juggling Life and Writing

    Anonymous asked: “I am infatuated with a story that I’ve explored for years, so I’ve managed to write some snippets. Each time leaves me feeling silly, like I’m not “Really Writing”. Years ago, I would write for at least 2hrs/1000 words a day. Nowadays my living/working conditions don’t leave me with much time/space/energy for serious projects. I think my problem is not having that structure that I used to, which convinces me to wait until my circumstances are better. I later change my mind. The cycle renews. What should I do?” I think having structure for it really helps. Sometimes though, you have to make your own structure to allow for…

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    Overcoming the Writing Slump

    Lately, I’ve gotten a number of similar questions all kind of centered around “The Writing Slump.” The Writing Slump is not exactly the same of writer’s block. Writer’s block means you can’t write and aren’t writing.  Writer’s block in my experience is more of an excuse to avoid writing than anything else. The writing slump is not an excuse. The writing slump suggests you are trying, you are writing, but it either is not coming easily or you just don’t enjoy as much as you should. It means you’re writing as much as you can, struggling to put down the next sentence. You still do. But it’s hard. How do…

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    Can’ts of Improving Your Craft

    Anonymous asked: “A common theme I see online is ‘Seek outside resources. Get other peoples opinions.’ I don’t have that option. I don’t know a lot of people and certainly no one who can give their opinion or critique or any sort of constructive criticism.”  I don’t really accept that answer – and if you’re reaching out to me – you probably don’t either. In the age of the internet, anyone can meet other writers and can find a way to receive constructive criticism. Anyone. And there’s safe ways to do it.  I’ve actually written a few posts on places where you can find feedback, like “On Meeting Other Writers” and “On Finding Feedback”…