Category > Process

What’s Your Work Count?

There’s a lot of attention paid these days to personal metrics. I’m talking about the practice of recording the numbers of our daily lives and measuring progress towards our goals by examining those numbers. Diet and exercise are probably the most common metrics people measure: maybe we’re counting calories towards a desired weight loss. We […]

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Templates for Drafting & Revision: a guest post by Laurel Amberdine

We’re so excited to welcome Laurel Amberdine to the blog today! I’ve had the wonderful fun of working with Laurel at Lightspeed and the special Women Destroy issues, and let me tell you: she’s awesome. Here’s some great advice to get you ready to kick some serious word count butt. • • •  Today, I […]

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Periodization for Writers

Periodization is a principle used in may sports and I’ve discovered it also applies to writing. In the sports world, it involves planning your workout year into smaller segments to avoid overtraining while consistently making improvements. The goal is to use the principle of periodization in order to make continuous forward improvement while avoiding burn […]

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Character Generators

While listening to a Writing Excuses episode called Engaging Characters, their guest Nancy Fulda, mentioned character generators. (Season 9 Episode 10 http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/03/09/writing-excuses-9-10-engaging-characters/ ) I’d never heard of such a thing! Since I’m working on a new novel outline, I was curious enough to check it out. I do already use a name generator to help […]

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Lessons from Camp Revision: Split Screen

Late last year, I finished the first draft of my first novel. I celebrated. I printed it out. I re-read it and scribbled across its pages in glorious red ink. And then I ignored it for a couple months. I sat down to start revising, earlier this year, and I felt my soul wrench. I […]

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(Not) Writing My Way Through Stressful Times

The last two months have not been easy. Long hours at the day job, unexpected travel, a major death in the family, stressful Christmas, several close friends in distress, and almost six full weeks of both of us being sick on top of that. But I’m not here to whine, not really. Everyone has days/weeks/months/years […]

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On Sticky Notes, Character Wheels, and Russian Folklore, Or…Planning a Novel

I first met bestselling author Jodi McIsaac when she joined our local speculative fiction writing group (IFWA), shortly after she moved from Vancouver to Calgary. Then I had the pleasure of attending one of her panels at When Words Collide, entitled “Plotters, Pantsers, and Quilters.” She was firmly in the “plotters” camp. And when I […]

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How to Scare People

The great thing about having guests of honour like Dan Wells at your local convention, is you get to hear words of wisdom from the best in the industry right in your backyard, so to speak. At VCon this year, Dan did a work shop called How To Scare People, something he does often in […]

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After Finishing the Novel Draft

A happy side effect of my un- and under-employed summer is that I had plenty of time to finally wrap up the 0th draft of my novel. I’ve been steadily working on it since last October (longer, if you count a different version of the book I began in 2010), and as much as I […]

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Writers Need Readers: Lessons from my Book Club

When my mom attends a book signing, book fair or convention with me, people will often ask her if she’s a writer too. She smiles and says, “Oh no. I’m just a reader. But you need us.” It always gets a big laugh and the other person, usually a writer, enthusiastically agrees.  Sometimes I hang […]

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