Plotter or Pantser? Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I think we all have a romantic notion of the author springing from his bed, crying “Eureka!” and scribbling furiously some wonderful new idea that has just been beamed into his head like an alien. I like this idea. I like to exploit this idea. I carry around a Moleksine notebook. Who doesn’t, these days?… Read more »

New Spin: “Danse Macabre” and How to Make History Come Alive

When you combine 19th century Parisian history, classical music and dancing skeletons, what do you get? Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, a spooky children’s picture book about how French composer Camille Saint-Saëns became inspired to create the orchestral piece “Danse Macabre,” or “dance of death,” after a visit to an underground cemetery. Published in August 2013, Saint-Saëns’s… Read more »

Finding the Editor Who’s Right for You

Over the past few weeks, we’ve established that in order to give your manuscript the best shot at standing out in a crowded marketplace, you need to hire a freelance editor. We’ve also talked about the basic services you can expect your editor to provide. Now let’s talk about how you find your editor. Because… Read more »

Ask Becca: Writing through Loss and Fear

“My family just suffered a tragic loss. Some days I can barely get out of bed, let alone convince myself to write something worthwhile.” – Stuck in Sorrow Ruh-roh. Becca’s taking a turn for the serious this week. Just a month ago, I lost my best furry buddy. Couple that with several seriously ill family… Read more »

What Makes a Good Setting for a Story?

The end of May, the tenth book in my AGAINST series, AGAINST THE WILD, is being released.  This is the first of three books about the rugged Brodie brothers of Alaska. Being plot-oriented, I usually work through the story from start to finish, then figure out where the best place is going to be for… Read more »

DIY MFA Weekend Writing Sprint — May 2014

Have you been talking about finishing that draft but never seem to find the time to do it? Is there a story you’ve been dying to write but somehow life always gets in the way? Don’t worry, we’ve been there and we totally get how you feel. This is why DIY MFA is hosting another Writing… Read more »

So You’ve Decided to Hire a Freelance Editor

Ok, so we’ve established that you really need to hire a freelance editor before you throw your manuscript out to the proverbial wolves of public opinion. But how in the heck do you know what kind of editing you need? And who in the world do you find to help you? What can your editor… Read more »

Ask Becca: The Give and Take of Critique: Part 2

“I just read a friend’s story, and I don’t really like it. She’s pressuring me for feedback. What should I say?” –Backed Into a Corner Remember how two weeks ago, I compared receiving critique to helping your child enter a beauty pageant? Now imagine you’re a random onlooker, who knows nothing about pageants or kids, and… Read more »