The structure of a novel can make or break it. If it’s well-structured—as in the pacing is good, the events happen in the most logical order (even if that’s not necessarily chronologically), and the characters do things you’d expect them to do—that’s more than half the battle. And if you’re lucky, the structure is pretty good starting with the first draft. Most of my novels/novellas are like this (now—maybe not in the beginning), but not all of them.

One of the novels I’m working on now wasn’t so lucky. The first draft was okay. It was actually pretty good until about 2/3 of the way through. And then it kind of fell flat. The ending sucked, to put it bluntly.

So on my first round of revisions, I rewrote the ending entirely. My protagonist made a better decision to start with, and then I added in a new twist after that, and then everything wrapped up more or less neatly. But I still didn’t really like it. I kept looking back at my original ending, wondering if there was something there after all. Read More Getting to a Coherent Draft

Craft

Considering this blog is “Cameron Chapman On Writing” and not “Cameron Chapman Promoting Her Books and Nothing Else”, I thought it was time to get back to writing about writing. Besides, there’s a nice, big, shiny link to where you can buy Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris in the sidebar.

So today I’d like to talk about my strategies for revising and editing my work. Some writers have very set techniques for editing their work. Others are sort of all over the place. I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle. Read More Rewriting, Revising, and Editing: My Strategies

Craft

In the traditional publishing world, reviews and interviews are generally lined up ahead of launch. That’s because it’s important for books to sell well in the first week or two after they’re released if they want to maintain shelf space in bookstores. Many bookstores only give new releases three weeks or so to prove their worth, and if they don’t sell in that time, they’re returned to the publisher.

Indie authors aren’t as affected by initial sales. We can be in it for the long haul, especially with ebooks. There are countless stories of indie authors who only sold a dozen books in their first few months, and then suddenly took off and have now sold thousands (Lexi Revellian is just one such author, and I’m proud to say I was a beta reader for the book that has now done so well—if you like mystery and/or romance novels, go check out Remix!). So lackluster initial sales are nothing to fret over. Read More Reviews and Interviews

News

Fiction Story Excerpts

Here we are at day 18 of National Novel Writing Month and I’m proud to say that I’m still on track to reach 50k words by the end of November.…

Read More NaNoWriMo Day 18!

Craft Fiction

NaNoWriMo will start in just over seven days. We’ve talked about character, and we’ve talked about plot. Let’s talk about research. ‘Cause let’s face it: if you don’t start researching…

Read More NaNoWriMo Countdown, One Week to Go!

Craft

Craft Fiction

I started on a new novel last week. I had said I wouldn’t start working on this one until after I’d finished editing my nonfiction book (which is coming along nicely), but the story crystallized for me on Wednesday morning and by Friday I just couldn’t help myself. Read More Character Development

Featured

Staying motivated over the course of any long-term project can be tough. Writing a book is no different. When you’re looking ahead at weeks or even months of writing, maintaining momentum gets tricky. My novels generally go pretty quickly, but this new nonfiction writing project is moving much slower than my previous books. With all the research involved, I’m only managing a couple thousand words a day. Read More Staying Motivated

Random

I am currently working on my first non-fiction book. While I’ve completed somewhere around a thousand blog posts and articles over the past couple of years, this is my first attempt at book-length non-fiction. It’s a bit of a daunting task, the idea of writing 250 or so pages about something that I didn’t make up. And the idea that I will not be judged just based on my words and their ability to entertain, but also on the accuracy and usefulness of those words, is kind of scary. Read More Writing A Non-Fiction Book

Non-Fiction