Posted in First drafts, kidlit, middle grade, Writing, Writing for Kids

How do you write?

finish-what-you-start-1 I’ve got more unfinished manuscripts than I care to admit to.

Some were hard to part with and others are in a temporary holding pattern until I’m ready to dust them off and regroup.

For the unfinished manuscripts, one thing has become quite clear: failure to outline was my downfall. I need a map of what happens in the beginning, during the middle and at the end. From the heap of incomplete writing projects in my Dropbox, I’ve recognized that I’ll never make it to the finish line unless I’ve got a clear map of where I’m going.

By all means, I’m no pantser either.

Up to this point, I’ve had a hybrid approach: write a little, outline a little. And up to a certain point I would say that it worked…well sort of. I had a tendency to write myself into a corner with no escape route, which led to major rewrites. This is why I’m in the position I’m in now.

Re-reading an 180+ page manuscript so I can outline my way to the end.

Big respect to all those who go with the flow and fill the pages but if I’m ever going to have a solid first draft, imma need that outline 🙂

I’m not saying that I need to know every character or every single move they make before I start writing but with an outline I’ve got a much better chance of crossing that finish line.

So how do you write?

Tell me what works for you in the comments.



Posted in First drafts, Writing, Writing for Kids

Weekly Catch Up


So for the past week I’ve been reviewing the first draft of my children’s adventure novel. Admitedly the progress has been slow but with a newborn to take care of I’m still happy with what I’ve achieved so far.

So a bit of background:  I got the idea for this novel while taking a course on writing for children at New York University back in 2014. Over the last two years the plot has changed significantly thanks to valuable input from my writing group (which I had to drop out of due to terrible pregancy sickness).  Right now I have 51,200 words (197 pages) and I would say the novel is 70% complete, which is why I spent the week re-reading what I have so far, so that I can hopefully continue with renewed determination (while changing diapers and dealing with a fussy, gassy baby).

Don’t be fooled by 51,200 words.  It sounds like alot but I’ve still got to work out if the ending that I’ve outlined still works.  I hardly wrote anything while pregnant so it will be interesting to see how I feel about my current draft.  I suppose I’ll either continue as outlined or tweak the outline which may send the novel off the rails in a good way.

Either way – I’ll keep you posted 🙂

What have you guys been working on?  Are you sticking to an outline or are you a pantser?

I’d love to hear from you.