Here’s a quick video tip for simplifying your WIP

Here’s how you can simplify your novel. Okay, not everything you need to know. Just one tip to start you off. And that tip is…drum roll please: collapse your characters. Watch the 30 second video (okay, I was cheating it’s 35 seconds actually) to find out how: Enjoy! Yours, Hillary p.s. forgive my presidential hairdo. […]

Defining Tween Books for Girls

I write contemporary tween books for girls and I’m often asked–what is the difference between contemporary middle grade and contemporary tween books? Tween, while originally more widely used by marketers, has also come to mean literature that is aimed at kids ages, 10-12ish–in other words, the upper end of middle grade. It is considered a […]

Lies I Tell Myself and Placeholders in the First Draft

Word choice is so important but I don’t like to get too hung up about it the first time. Okay, I lie. I do obsess but I know I shouldn’t. Why? Well, chances are I’m going to cut my first few chapters anyway. My plots never really get going until chapter three. Why do I […]

How Many Hours Do You Need to Write Each Day?

How many hours ideally would you like to write each day? Two? Four? Ten? I used to have this idea that the goal was always more. And that if I had more time, I’d have more pages and better pages, which would result in more books and better books. But, recently, I’m revising this idea. […]

To write more, I’m on a no TV, no movie diet, but am I taking it too far?

You might have noticed that I haven’t written in my blog, for ahem, one month. I had pledged to be a weekly blogger and I had been fulfilling that promise. But then I went to teach at Hollins and the blogosphere seemed so far away. Hollins University is a a woman’s college in Southwest Virginia, […]