May 7, 2018

What is Young Adult Fantasy? As I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult fiction lately. And I’ve been doing so primarily because I didn’t know the answer to that question. I mean, honestly, what is young adult fantasy? It’s the kind of question that sounds like it should have an…

February 19, 2018

No one passes through life unscathed. We are all wounded along the road, in countless large and small ways. Realistic characters have hidden wounds (or not-so hidden wounds) from the moment they appear on the page. Giving your characters a few painful memories does a lot of things for your story: it makes the characters seem…

February 12, 2018

Last week I was working on a difficult scene in which my protagonist is thrown into a new situation full of new characters. This is always challenging to execute, because I don’t want to overwhelm the reader with a slew of new names all at once. I have to decide which characters I will name…

January 29, 2018

About a year ago, I blogged about my pre-writing exercises (I recommend checking out that post for more details on my process. I’m going to be brief here). This step in my writing process was a big break-through for my productivity. It still is, however I’ve recently tweaked and improved my method, and so I thought…

October 31, 2017

As a writer, I’m ever searching for the word. You know the one—that perfectly specific verb, that spot-on, lyrical adjective, that evocative noun—that peculiar word (or phrase) that will infuse an entire sentence with magic. The word is often an elusive creature. Sasquatch-esque. And like the noble sasquatch, it’s out there—waiting. I often come to…

October 9, 2017

As I’ve been working on the last book in my Marked series, I’ve also begun looking ahead to future projects (hurray!). I’ve been thinking a lot about my creative process—specifically all of the things that I did poorly early in the development of this series. I made a pretty spectacular number of dummy mistakes when…

July 26, 2017

Music is a big part of my creative process. There’s a lot of power in playing just the right song, at just the right moment. The fight scene in the second chapter of Elevation, for example, would simply not exist as it does without Woodkid. I was stumped, and then those drums woke me up….

March 13, 2017

As I dive into my second draft for Lamentation this week, I wanted to take a quick moment to share my little scene-by-scene checklist. Second drafts are my favorite. It’s the part of the process where I take my mess of a first draft and turn it into a functioning novel. During the second draft,…