Working Alone Together

As I’ve mentioned before, I am very, very shy about writing, as the fact that almost all the posts on this website are about books I read, rather than books I write, can attest. I write slowly, I write things all out of order, and my drafts are full of ALL CAPS instructions to myself […]

Touchstone Books

“This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.  Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do – not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.  I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit.” Stephen King – On […]

Nanowrimo 2013

So! After an ill-fated attempt a few years ago to give it a try, I decided to take another stab at National Novel Writing Month this year. A few reasons why:  There was a first draft I very much wanted to barrel through and get going. There is a funny, talented and determined group of […]

Walking and Writing

One of my favourite moments for thinking about stories is on my walk to work.  Seven a.m, downtown in the city.  A little over four kilometres from our front door to my office.  The first half we walk together, talking or not talking, looking at the city, maybe commenting on the odd characters who share […]

Stopping and Starting

I’m of two minds when it comes to writing. Two actual minds, it feels like sometimes.  The first mind is the one racing through the story, jumping ahead to the next scene, listening at doors to what characters will say next, wondering if it will all end the way I think it will.  The second […]

National Novel Writing Month

So, in a few days it is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as the cool kids call it, which, since I am not a cool kid, used to confuse me greatly). Every year, people I know dive into the madness of the month, burning the midnight oil, burning candles at both ends, and burning […]

The Business of Writing

My agency, Anne McDermid and Associates, partnered with One Writer’s Voice to produce a series of blog posts on the business of writing. There are 4 parts up so far, alternating between the two blogs, and every one of them is worth a read. One of the most difficult aspects of writing for me has […]

Where I Write

I wish I had a room for writing. A study, the way writers in novels and magazine profiles always seem to. My study, I think, would not be dark and cavernous and booklined, but bright and sunny and quiet. At the moment, I have the elbow room I can glean from my cluttered desk, and […]

Revisions and Reworkings

After a meeting with my agent last week, I now have a firm end-of-summer deadline for my current batch of revisions, which is a good thing. I tend to prioritize practically everything else in my life ahead of writing, for reasons good (the need to pay rent), and bad (epic levels of procrastination). A deadline […]

Books about Books and Writing About Writing

I’m reading A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book at the moment, and pondering how much I love to read books about books. Byatt has a way of making the artistic world of her novels so completely tangible that it’s like getting to read two or three books in one. It’s what I loved most about Possession, […]