Rags & Tigger & Elizabeth

Yesterday, I haltered Rags and put him through some groundwork exercises, including walking between poles, then over poles, then turning 360 degrees inside a square, and so on.  Tigger was a bit intrusive, walking right behind Rags sniffing his butt or walking behind/ beside where he could bump Rags with his nose in the flank.  Read More…

Another Note on Research

Having just explained that I do not outline books…you may wonder how I can research backgrounds, both physical and social.  As of today, I can offer a new example. Usually, when I start a book, especially in a series, I have in mind a setting of some sort…my characters have shown me where they are, Read More…

Revision, Revision, Where Art Thou, O Revision?

Made it through the first 30 days of this book (book-days, not our days) and straightened out the more obvious problems.  Then came a floating scene…one I’d labeled “move to where it belongs”…that dragged behind it a big important Event connected–alas–to a particular timing that no longer had space to fit it in.  Logical space.  Read More…

The Agent Calls

My writing for publication goes first to my agent, then to an editor, then (if accepted) to a copy editor and production.   So the agent’s call or email to give me his reaction to whatever (book, shorter work) is usually my first *professional* assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.   The eyes on the work are Read More…

Fast Tips for Tightening Your Writing

Whether it’s a letter, essay, short story, or longer pieces, here are some easy ways to make it tighter, snappier, and (if you’re up against a word limit) shorter.  Go active:  change passive voice (“He was hit by a truck”) to active voice  (“A truck hit him.”)   Watch for sneaky forms of passive by scanning Read More…

First Draft in Revision (Writer Stuff)

Revising a first draft gives the writer a chance to re-think and re-vision the project.   Almost everything is up for grabs–grabs to keep, and grabs to toss in the garbage.  If the book in question is part of a larger work, and if it is under contract to a particular publisher and editor, some things Read More…