The Difference Between YA and MG Novels

Recently, Robin and I had a conversation about how there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between YA novels and MG novels. Most people know the basics, such as MG books are shorter than YA books, and MG protagonists are younger, under 14 as opposed to YA protagonists who are 15-18 …
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How to Write an Epistolary Novel

Epistolary novels use fictional letters, tweets, emails and other types of communication to create a story with a unique narrative style. This is not a new form, epistolary novels have been around since the 18th century, but after a downturn in popularity they are enjoying a renaissance and the trend shows no sign of slowing. …
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How to Tell if Your Writing is Good

Writers agonize over this (and we should) but it’s difficult to know when to stop. How do you know if your writing is good enough? Is there a litmus test you can give your novel? Kind of, though it’s not one-size-fits-all, so I’m going to supply you with a template to make a test of …
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3 Tips for Research Management

As Heather pointed out in her last post, the second half of 2017 got a bit overwhelming for us. Heather took on a huge workload, five jobs to be exact. And I balance a lot of stuff even in a normal year: work, community volunteering, political activism, one husband, two kids, three cats (one with …
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Decluttering Your Writing Process

It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to make resolutions, set goals and implement changes in our lives. If you pay attention to trends, you’ll know that the current craze is “decluttering.” This really took off with Marie Kondo’s book The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and this month there’s a new …
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5 Tips to Turn Slow Writers into Fast Drafters

Can writers train themselves to write faster? This question is much debated. Many people say that yes, writers can learn to write fast, but (at least in my opinion) those people are short on actionable ways to make that happen. The common advice seems to be: 1) time yourself, 2) create self-imposed deadlines, and 3) …
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Writer Struggles: 6 Steps to Get Unstuck

Last June, I started a ghost story for Camp NaNoWriMo. I really liked this idea. I’d set it in a historical period (the Gilded Age) which I know well. I’d selected a location I loved working with (Newport, RI) but for some reason the story wouldn’t gel. I had a beatsheet and an expanded outline …
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