What I love about the game UNO is just when you think you’ve lost, the momentum changes and things start to look up. The same could be said of writing. Just when you’re about to give up, you can’t, because you never know what’s about to happen. Take my summer. It was a weird one. After spending the spring querying and entering contests and submitting … Continue reading The Writing Life is Like a Game of UNO
I’ve been searching for representation for about a month now. Recently, one agent requested my full manuscript but then passed on it. In her comments she mentioned the first chapters were slower than she preferred for the books on her list. (I could understand that since she represented books that were grittier and faster paced than what I’d written.) And she said her comments were, … Continue reading Why I Welcome Feedback From Agents
Lately, I’ve been judging my sentences as too clunky. They get to the point but there’s no inspiration. So I thought about what books in the past inspired me to write interesting sentences. European greats like Tolstoy, Hugo, Balzac, Dickens, James. And then American writers, mostly contemporary like Richard Ford, Haruki Murakami, Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, Don DeLillo, Richard Yates, E.L. Doctorow, Jose Saramago. Why did I … Continue reading The Secret to Writing Good Sentences? Read Them.
Whether I like it or not, I’m inundated right now with work and visitors. August is always a month of visitors for us because two of my children were born in August and relatives like to come for their birthdays — which for me means cleaning and guests and cake and touring around the region. Writing is out the window (unless you count a bit of … Continue reading A Hectic Vacation
Last month I finished my to-do list of edits on my novel. The next step? Ask my husband to read it. So we do what we always do. I send the chapters in email. He reads them on screen. Then we sit together and go through them, one by one. “These paragraphs about where they’re standing, on page 1, need to be longer. It’s difficult … Continue reading Your Best First Reader May Be Sleeping Next to You