Recent Reads: “Barsk”

Maybe I entered the world of Barsk with poorly calibrated expectations. Lavish critical praise described a unique, thoughtful science fiction tale. I typically view such panegyric with skepticism, but the book's premise sounded legitimately intriguing: in a galaxy of advanced sapient mammals, a planet inhabited by an ostracized elephantine race produces a unique drug that... Continue Reading →

How to Write a Novel, Part 7: Revision and Editing

So you completed the first draft of your story. Congratulations—it’s a milestone in the novel-writing process. But your work is far from done. If you think revision means typing “The End” and running spellcheck, think again. Drafting just generates raw material. Through revision, we sculpt that narrative clay into a novel. That’s where creativity and... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters Most Like Me

I thought this T5W topic would be easy. I've always identified strongly with fictional characters, and over the years I've allied myself with almost every gutsy heroine whoever butt-kicked her way through a novel. But upon considering the subtleties of this week's challenge, I realized that few of those characters are comprehensively similar to me. Katniss... Continue Reading →

How to Write a Novel, Part 2: Crafting Characters

Last year, a friend told me she had an idea for a story. “That’s awesome!” I said. “Tell me about your characters.” “The heroine is kind of a rebel who sees things differently,” she explained. “Then there’s another girl who represents the establishment.” I stopped her and threw down some emergency novelist knowledge:  characters are... Continue Reading →

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