Tag: revising

NaNoWriMo on the Slow Track

I posted a motivational blurb on the SCBWI Canada East website today, about slogging it through the last days of November’s novel-writing challenge. I have never actually made the NaNoWriMo journey, meaning I’ve never done a start-to-finish draft in the month of November. I’ve…

Writing Spaces

My tiny home office was featured in this week’s “Writing Spaces,” a regular blog post from The New Quarterly. This is a fabulous weekly feature from TNQ that offers a peek into the working spaces of each issue’s writers, along with inspiring anecdotes and…

The Art of Story: SCBWI Canada East Conference

I always look forward to my regional SCBWI conference. This year it’s especially exciting because I’ll be giving a workshop myself. My topic: revision. I used to dread revisions. I loved drafting; I loved polishing; but I loathed the grunt work in between the…

Awesome Young Authors in Ottawa

Yes, it’s on! The Ottawa Public Library is holding its annual Awesome Authors Contest for youth aged 9-17. If you’re a young person in Ottawa with something to say, get to work on saying it well. (BTW, the 9-year-olds don’t have to compete with…

SCBWI Spring Conference in Ottawa

There are still a few spaces left for Ottawa’s SCBWI Art of Story Conference scheduled for the end of the month. For two days, guest speakers will offer workshops and presentations to everyone interested in writing or illustrating children’s books, from aspiring picture book illustrators to established YA novelists. There’s something for every…

What are you Writing Now?

I went to Laurentian Regional High School yesterday and spoke with Secondary I and II (Grade 7 and 8) students who’d been reading my novel, All Good Children, in class. The students were great audiences: attentive, informed and enthusiastic. They sent me a long list of questions…

Friday Fable: The Writer and the Word Limit

You may have heard the old story, The Crow and the Pitcher: A crow was nearly dead of thirst when he spied a pitcher of water on a picnic table just beside the dried-up river bed. He flew over and tried to take a sip…

He Said/ She Sighed Part 3 – Enough Already!

Here’s one last rant sparked by a “how to write fiction” book that advised using “said/say” as the only dialogue verb (as in, “‘I spent thirty dollars on jelly beans at Mont Tremblant this weekend,’ she said.”) (That is a true statement, sadly. They fool you with the…

He Said/She Sighed Part 2

I grabbed twenty books from the living room shelf, opened each to a random page, and checked out all the verbs used in dialogue. And here is what I learned: Almost all the authors used a simple “said” at least half the time. But…

Friday Fable: The Climax that went “meh”

You may know the old tale, “The Mountain in Labour:” A magnificent mountain began to rumble one day, and it made such a mighty noise that it was heard across the land, and people came from far and wide to witness the wonder that was…

Friday Fable: The Writer and the 138,000 word manuscript

You may know the old story, The Boy and the Nuts: A child visiting a wealthy home was pleased to find on the table a jar full of nuts and figs. (This was in the days before Skittles, keep in mind.) He plunged his…

Profread One Least Time

In submitting a manuscript to an American publisher last week, I wrote a cover letter mentioning that one of my books (All Good Children) was nominated for two YALSA awards. I read through the letter and manuscript excerpt, made a few revisions, proofread it a final time, and was just about…

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