My UnEasy Relationship with Metaphors


There’s an apocryphal story about a writer who worked hard all day. In the morning, he inserted a semi-colon; in the afternoon, he removed a semi-colon. This morning, I inserted a metaphor; this afternoon, I removed the metaphor. Metaphors continue to be a thorn in my side. I appreciate when I’m reading a story or […]

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Talking About Revision

When I teach Novel Revision Retreats, I need a variety of ways to explain this thing called “revision.” Lately, two ideas have helped. Plot: Aiming for Bull’s Eye There are two things novelists must do when writing a story. First is figure out “what story are you telling?” Second is “what is the best way […]

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Sky challenge

Craft Challenges for the Writing Life Whatever you write – novels, poetry, picture books, nonfiction – it’s important to keep your craft growing and improving. I take this seriously and find ways to challenge myself. One way has been the Friday Ideas group, which has kept me searching for viable picture book ideas. This year, […]

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An Apt Phrase

When I’m writing or revising a novel, one of the fun games I like to play is the search for an apt phrase. An Apt Phrase Lately, I’ve been listening to recorded books of Rex Stout’s classic detective series about Nero Wolfe, the overweight, orchid enthusiast. His sidekick, Archie Goodwin, tells the story and does […]

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