Let’s Talk Agency

Every first draft I’ve ever written has had agency problems. Which sounds like a bunch of guys in suits with dark glasses should be pulling up in a black van and hustling my draft into the back, but it’s nowhere near that exciting. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite of exciting. Agency is, basically,Continue reading “Let’s Talk Agency”

Isolating Plot Arcs for the Win

People often ask if I’m a plotter or a pantser, and the truth is I plot like crazy in advance, but also am always rethinking and editing my outline as I go. As I’m working on Book 3 there are a couple of tricks I’ve found really useful for refining my outline in mid-draft, andContinue reading “Isolating Plot Arcs for the Win”

Don’t Drop That Line

You know what I wish I’d figured out earlier in my writing journey? The importance of through lines. Take right now. I’m working on a revision of THE DEFIANT HEIR (Book 2 of Swords & Fire). I got about two-thirds done with a first draft, then realized I needed to go back and revise beforeContinue reading “Don’t Drop That Line”

Outlining Process

I fall firmly into the “plotter” category, preferring to plan things in advance when I write a book. I generally have dozens of pages of notes and an outline before I start writing page one. I wasn’t always that way—in high school, I wrote a (really terrible) novel (on notepads, in pen) with the ruleContinue reading “Outlining Process”

Justifiable Murder

One thing that bugs me as a reader (and I do realize this is a pet peeve that probably doesn’t bother lots of people) is when an author kills off a character and I get the feeling they did it solely to make things seem EXTRA DRAMATIC. As if they might get some kind ofContinue reading “Justifiable Murder”

Breaking a Scene List into Arcs

In a previous post, I talked about color coding my scene list by stakes. That’s only one of the ways I use my scene list, which is really a super handy all purpose tool to look at a book’s structure in all sorts of ways. (To review, it’s just a list of all scenes inContinue reading “Breaking a Scene List into Arcs”

Creating a Multi-POV Outline

I recently finished a rough outline for my new multi-POV YA novel, and it was tons of fun! I’ve never written a truly multi-POV book before, and I was new to the challenges of outlining one. I had to consider not only what order events should unfold in, and how they should lead into eachContinue reading “Creating a Multi-POV Outline”