More Writing Advice From the Venerable Sarah

I can’t stop quoting myself. I’m out of control. Clearly my narcissism knows no bounds!

But on a serious note…as an author, I have benefited immensely from the help and advice of others. I always aim to be helpful in return, and continuously look for ways of paying it forward.

sarahcraditquote2The point here is that everyone has a unique opinion on what they like and do not like. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series is often used by critics as an example of poor writing, however there are millions of fans who consider the series a favorite. Similarly, writers like Hemingway and Kerouac- who are generally considered great writers- have just as many detractors. There is not a single book in existence that is considered the greatest novel of all time by everyone that has read it. Kind of a sobering thought, isn’t it?

So why aim for that? Tastes vary, results vary. Write what you love, and love what you’re writing. Don’t use the work of others as measurement for your successes; use your own. Aim to improve, be better, and be the best YOU can be.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: 26 Post Recap

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9Wow, what a month! 26 posts in 30 days. Sorry, make that 30 posts because each week I also posted a quick recap. Phew!

I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. It challenged me to go beyond just those things I knew I wanted to post and to think more creatively about what I wanted to share. As a result, I wrote a series of writing advice articles, expose pieces on my book series, and a number of other things I ordinarily would not have thought of. Oh, and I met some really awesome bloggers along the way. Pretty cool.

That said, I’m not convinced I would do it again. It limited me on what I could post about, and I ended up with a ton of posts I had to push until May (I know I could do several posts per day, but that’s overkill), and it was incredibly time consuming. BUT…I definitely recommend everyone try the challenge at least once. It will challenge the way you organize your thoughts, in a good way!

Scrivener Coupon (50% off) Extended for 2012 NaNoWriMo Winners

Alternate Title: Scrivener? I Hardly Know Her!

In one of the NaNoWriMo newsletters today, I happened to catch that they put an extension on some of the partner offers…one of which being the sweet 50% off Scrivener coupon.

I was planning to purchase this after the April NaNo session when the next set of coupons became available, but since its (re)available now, I went ahead and bought it. $22.50 for a comprehensive writing suite is not too shabby at all! Continue reading

House of Crimson and Clover Series Pages Launch (Including Special Features)

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I am happy to announce the relaunch of the info pages for the House of Crimson & Clover series, here on my blog. This page and its subsequent child pages will be the official source for anything related to the series.

The links for all of the pages can also now be found at the top of my blog.

The relaunch includes:

  • An updated, cleaner landing page
  • Individual pages for each of the books in the series, including new, previously unreleased information about the upcoming books 3 and 4
  • Snapshots of the genealogical project I’ve been working on for the Deschanels and Sullivans (each book page includes relevant family trees)
  • Estimated publishing dates for books 2-4
  • Information about future projects (Books 5 and beyond)

I’ve been thinking for awhile that the pages could be better organized, and could have more consistent information. I also thought it would be neat to share more information about future books, and to also include some of the supporting information I’ve been working on, like the family trees.

In the future, I’ll be adding additional features (character bios, interviews, histories, timelines, etc), so keep checking back.

Check it out and let me know what you think!


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“The Beginning Is The Most Important Part of the Work.”- Plato

For a very low price of last night’s leftovers, Miss Kitty will endorse your novel efforts too.

Not everyone has photographic evidence of that cardinal moment of their writing career: the moment they started writing their first novel. When I took this picture, I was only trying to capture the behavior of my new cute kitten, Miss Kitty, who would jump into my lap anytime I cracked open the old laptop. It never occurred to me that I was also capturing a moment that would define my entire writing career, and in many ways, my life.

If you look closely, you can see the name of the Word document: January13.doc. Although not reflected in the title, the year was 2001. I often named my writing files after the date started, until I had a working title. Continue reading

The Next Big Thing

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One of my favorite bloggers, author Allison Forsythe, recently tagged me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I had never heard of it before, but it is a blog shuffle that gives writers the chance to talk about their work-in-progress or published/soon-to-be-published book. Everyone answers the same questions about their work, and then each writer tags five more writers (who publish their responses a week after you do).

And really…what writer would pass up an opportunity to talk about their work? Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo- April 2013- Who’s In??

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If you’ve ever been bored enough to scroll down the main page of my blog, you’ll see I am a 3-time NaNoWriMo champ. Every November, I basically shut myself off for thirty days and write a book. The other 11 months of the year, I’m thinking about what I’m going to write about in November.

So its weird to me that I’ve never tried either ScriptFrenzy or Camp NaNoWriMo, the other two activities sponsored by the Office of Letters and Light. Continue reading

Expendability (Or: Keep Killing Those Darlings)

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Well, I did something sort of awful today. It was for the best, and I’m sure future readers will thank me, but it still sort of sucked.

I didn’t kill off a character, exactly, but I might as well have because I took away her voice…downgraded her to nothing more than a mention…completely removed her POV chapter.

Normally I am a happy, remorseless editor. It actually makes me feel better because it happened for a reason, and that reason is usually cleaner, tighter prose and story.

Except…this was Adrienne! Continue reading

The Power of First Lines


I have always been a sucker for a powerful first line in a novel. In my own writing, it is something that I tend to put a lot of emphasis on, to the point of often getting “hung up” on getting it just right (to a fault). For me, the first lines (and sometimes the last) of a novel I read are usually the ones that remain with me the longest. Continue reading

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award- My Entry

This week I officially submitted St. Charles at Dusk to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest. One winner, and four runners-up, receive a publishing contract and a monetary prize. I should have submitted it last year, but I didn’t discover the contest until after it was already over (sort of how I manage to overlook curbs until I’ve fallen flat on my face). Continue reading