Getting to Grips with a Big Revision of Your Novel

by Katrin Schumann

I'm working on a major revision of a novel I wrote some years ago and put away in a drawer. I loved and still love the story, but I think it needs a more compelling central question. Right now, I'd call it a "family saga," and while there's nothing inherently wrong with that, I'd like to create a through-line in the story that makes it more compelling. I want readers to be thinking, Oh my god, what happens next?

April 4, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice

6 Tips: How to Stay Motivated for Big Creative Projects

GrubStreet Instructor and Consultant Cara Benson on what it takes to stay focused on a long-term project in our hyper-stimulated times.

 

It’s news to no one that we live in a hyped-up, hyperlinked world that operates at the speed of the scandal-driven media cycle. Our phones alert us to the latest attention-grabbing incident the instant the headline is written, often without our bidding (just how do you turn that function off?). The internet, where the majority of us receives our news, traffics in trending topics, jump-cutting GIFs, and LIVE streaming videos—all literally blinking in an effort to get us ...

March 15, 2018 | Cara Benson

The Writing Life

How to Navigate the Manuscript Mart at the Muse & the Marketplace 2018

By Katrin Schumann

As people mill about Grub's annual conference, The Muse and the Marketplace--eyeing the crowd for famous writers, catching up with old friends, and pitching themselves and their work--and attend sessions, there are a few rooms hidden away where extrememly nervous people trickle in and out, one by one, hour after hour

March 7, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Lessons on Writing, from the Sweat Lodge

By Katrin Schumann

It wasn't until I saw the tiny opening that we were supposed to crawl through that I started to panic. I was in Mexico, just about to clamber into a sweat lodge with seven strangers. I frantically scanned their faces to see if anyone else was also realizing that this plan was clearly nutso.

Everyone seemed perfectly calm. 

February 7, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice The Writing Life

News from DeadDarlings: 3 Rs of Writing Exposed

This month at the DeadDarlings offices, we looked at vulnerabilities in characters and ourselves that manifest in our fiction. Here are some common stages in crafting a novel that every writer struggles through:

Research: Finding What Drives Your Story
Jerry Whelan explains how his fascination with long-dead New England abolitionists and digging for his own ancestral roots combine in his fiction in DNA, Memory and Fiction as Magic: A True Story.

Revise: Writing Realistic Characters
Laura Roper suggests Exploring Character Through Memoir as a way to guide them to reveal themselves in direct and indirect ways, intentionally vs. unintentionally ...

January 12, 2018 | The Editors at Dead Darlings

Craft Advice The Writing Life