Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

So the retreat to the Mojave Desert paid off, and I've now officially completed the first draft of my novel-in-progress. I started outlining the story this summer, and it has evolved significantly from first doodles to 110,000-word draft. As a published author and professional writer, I know the most important step is yet to come: …

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What is Your Writing Process? First Drafts

A non-writer may ask you, "How is your book coming?" A fellow writer may ask you, "What draft are you on?" To the first question I usually reply, "It's going well, thanks," and then quickly change the subject. To the second, my typical response is, "It depends." Many creative writers plow through their WIP in …

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Three

Welcome to my final post on crafting an extended metaphor that runs the length of your creative writing. These lessons apply for fiction as well as nonfiction, but for the purposes of this series I've focused on examples from my recently published memoir, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. In Part One of this series …

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One

One element of creative writing that I struggled with in my MFA program was the use of metaphor, particularly ones extended across long passages. I bemoaned my struggle from one of my Vermont College of Fine Arts residencies. But as I progressed in my studies I came to realize I was too hard on myself, …

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Guest Post: Traveling the Publication Road

Enough about my journey to book publication. Let's hear from another author, novelist Sheila R. Lamb. I first encountered Sheila on Twitter in 2010. We were on the same road, creative writers looking to grow. Since connecting, we both researched, enrolled in, and graduated from low-residency MFA programs. We also both became published authors (well, …

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Road to Publication: Hurry Up and Wait

After weeks of frantic effort, I returned my revised manuscript for Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road to the publisher a day before its July 1st deadline. And now I wait. I'm learning that in publishing there are deadlines and there are dead times. I met the deadline of providing the publisher a revised …

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Road to Publication: Killing Your Babies Part One

"Your reader will never miss what she doesn't know was once there." I frequently told this to reporters in my news-editing career when I would trim their stories for length. Often what I was cutting was their favorite part--their baby, if you will--but it didn't sufficiently inform the reader on the main point of the …

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