Lessons from Lemony Snicket: Narrative Voice

As I mentioned in my writing update a few weeks ago, I recently reread Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events as a part of trying to crack the secret of writing a strong, distinct narrative voice for Whitman Court. My aim with Whitman Court was to write the stories with a clever, omniscient Narrator …

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April 2022 Writing Update: Secret Project, SCBWI Conference, and More!

I’ve got a lot of ground to cover with this overdue writing update, so let’s dive right in! There’s a lot going on with my writing projects, plus I attended a regional conference with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) last weekend! Writing Updates: The Queen of Whitman Court: Back in March, …

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Rereading the Tolkien Canon (The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, & The Lord of the Rings)

It had been a while since I last read The Lord of the Rings—just about four and a half years, to be exact. Same with The Hobbit. And, to be honest, I couldn’t give a timeline on when I last read The Silmarillion; I just know it was sometime in high school. Since I’ve been …

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Happy 20 Years to Kingdom Hearts, My Favorite Video Game I’ve Never Played…

Okay, given the fact that I’m technically the one who got my brother into Kingdom Hearts because I picked up re:coded for the Nintendo DS all those years ago, the title of this post is a little misleading. However, it is true that I haven’t played all of the Kingdom Hearts games. Just re:coded, Kingdom …

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Storytelling Tips from Video Games

I love video games, though I’m not a particularly skilled player. My brother and I grew up in the Nintendo DS and Wii era and shared many moments playing together—duking it out in Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Mario Kart.I still feel nostalgic about particular games I played growing up, and during college started to …

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The End: Writing Farewells & Finales

I’ll admit, I’ve written more beginnings than endings, to the point that I’m tempted to say that writing the first chapter of a book is significantly harder than writing the last. I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement—I myself struggle most with how to best start a book—yet I do certainly think that a misstep …

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February 2022 Writing Update

Set-backs in writing are…frustrating. And discouraging. I know set-backs are common for writers. Stories not working out, characters falling flat, readers not understanding something in the book, etc. There are always scenes to revise and stories to sort out. And it takes humility to see it, to say, “It’s not ready yet,” and be willing …

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How Our Company of Fools Changed My Writing

Fueled by an explosion of inspiration and angst, I wrote Our Company of Fools at the beginning of January 2016. I’d never written a book of that length that quickly. I’d never written a more personally emotional book. I never wrestled so much with a story through the ebbs and flows of editing and revision. …

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