Category Archives: Writing

All Together Now…

Last week, I posted about what I learned at the New England chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (NESCBWI) spring conference. As I reflected further, and continued to talk with my spectacular critique group (which has a new member: welcome Annie!) I realized that one of the highlights of the conference was the absoutely giddy celebration of the successes of our members. Read the rest of this entry

Keeping It Real: What I Learned At NESCBWI 2012

This past weekend, I attended the spring conference of the NESCBWI in Springfield, MA. For those of you not in the know, NESCBWI stands for the New England chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Unwieldy acronym? Most definitely. Important organization? Most definitely.

Since the theme of this year’s conference was “Keeping It Real,” I thought I would do just that. Here is what I learned from this year’s conference: Read the rest of this entry

My Muse of the Week

People who create find their inspiration wherever they can: from life experiences, history, settings, people-watching. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he describes how Carrie was born one day while he was doing a repetitive mindless task. His thoughts wandered from a magazine article he had read linking telekinesis with puberty to a memory of cleaning the girls’ locker room while working as a janitor during high school: boom, the opening scene for his first novel came to life.

This week, I am finding my inspiration from another creator: Neil Gaiman. Read the rest of this entry

Giving in to the Mess

This is way more organized than I feel right now.

My first draft is a mess. I’ve been playing around with writing for a long time, so I know that first drafts are always a mess. I hate messes. I’m a very organized person, at least when it comes to matters of the mind. As a former attorney, I am trained to think in terms of categories and elements and factors. I like lists, and outlines, and checkboxes, and little colored tabs on notebooks to find things quickly. When something becomes too much of a mess (a project, a craft, a room) I’m likely to abandon it and start fresh rather than work through the disorganization. But I can’t do that this time, because I really care about this story and this character.

When I started this novel, I had this clean, clear picture of what the story was about, the journey the heroine would take from start to finish, how each character in the story would help her get there, and what made the narrative unique. It started out swimmingly, and I churned out something like 20,000 words in just over a week. I know. Insanity. Read the rest of this entry