Category Archives: Creativity Sessions

How to Find A (New) Cover Designer (because the first one fell through)

Back in December, I wrote about my haphazard process for finding a cover designer for WoEM, and how it ended up working out. Well, the design process did not play out in the way I hoped… Continue reading How to Find A (New) Cover Designer (because the first one fell through)

3 Reasons You Have to Cut That Scene

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Imagine there’s a 500-word chunk of your story that you crafted, carefully shaping it to flow with the rest of the chapter and fit into your story’s themes. It may have taken you 15 or 20 minutes to write that section, read over it, make adjustments to wording or style, and move on to the next section.

But then something changes. Continue reading 3 Reasons You Have to Cut That Scene

Creativity Sessions: Writing Social Issues into Your Story

Throughout my revision process for The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, I have continually questioned the information I am presenting in my story. Is this detail pertinent to the scene? Does the reader care/need to know this? How does this trait affect the character’s personality?

These questions are vital for building real, lifelike characters while also maintaining a fluid and natural story arc. However, at times I have wondered if the trauma or suffering I put my characters through is necessary to tell the larger story. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Writing Social Issues into Your Story

Writing Lesson #64: World-Building Offers Many Avenues of Storytelling — Use Them

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NaNo 2016 got off to a less-than-stellar start for me. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the shock induced by the presidential election, I was not focused on writing my second novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Part of me feels like I’m jumping ahead too much, considering my first significant round of revisions looms for part one, The Warden of EVerfeld: Memento.

I tend to second-guess myself in such ways. The point is, I haven’t advanced WoEL much beyond the 5,000 words I covered over the first eight days or so. Instead of wallowing in my own thought process, I decided to change focus. Continue reading Writing Lesson #64: World-Building Offers Many Avenues of Storytelling — Use Them

NaNo Re-Hash: The Little People Still Matter!

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I published an earlier version of this article, “The Little People Matter Too!”, way back in 2014, but since it only has 15 total views, I’ve decided to revisit it and update it a bit. This was among my first “Creativity Sessions” pieces, and I think its themes still ring true as I begin exploring a new story this November. I wil post more of these re-hashes through NaNo 2016 (and likely beyond) with some new insights and thoughts to share.

As I discussed last Friday, I have entered NaNoWriMo 2016 with a much more solid foundation to begin a new novel. While WoE: Memento was largely experimental, with ideas and narrative points coming to me as I wrote, I have been much more structured in my approach to the follow-up novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Continue reading NaNo Re-Hash: The Little People Still Matter!

Creativity Sessions: Questions to Ask Your Alpha Readers

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I’ve been discussing the revision process for Manuscript: Alpha of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento since completing the first draft way back in July. (That really does feel so much longer ago than two months…)

Since my alpha readers are nearly finished with their reviews, and I am (basically) finished with my own first read-through, I thought I would share the actual questions I typed up for my alpha readers to answer. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Questions to Ask Your Alpha Readers

Creativity Sessions: Let Your Characters Write the Story

I forget sometimes that others can help pull you out of creative ruts. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to finish Manuscript: Alpha of “Jaed and Aston” this week, mostly by telling my alpha readers that I was almost done.

Then, I hit a narrative point that felt messy and too drawn out. I fussed over wording, I tried to find a shortcut (which I do not like admitting), I brainstormed a whole bunch. And then I happened upon an interview that gave me the jolt I needed. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Let Your Characters Write the Story

Creativity Sessions: Cliffhangers as a Narrative Device

I enjoy cliffhangers in novels. As someone in the marketing profession, I also understand why they are often used at the ends of novels. I’ll be just finishing up the story when the author throws a curveball, making me go Oh shit, how can you leave me hanging like that?! And then Book 2 comes out and I buy it immediately, because obviously I have to see what happens. It’s good business.

But as a narrative device? I’m becoming more and more skeptical of the end-of-book cliffhanger. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Cliffhangers as a Narrative Device

Creativity Sessions: Not Seeing the Trees for the Forest

River in the forestLooking at that picture, most people would hear the water chiming over stones and logs, or imagine the animals that may be hidden behind that line of trees. I look at this picture and imagine the mountain spring that flows down into this river, or the wide expanse of the forest. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Not Seeing the Trees for the Forest