Discover more from The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
✨ Wendy Holden on what she’s learned upon publishing her twentieth book; the lowdown on embracing critique; and why that literary agent passed on your project✨
✨ Plus, three simple ways to find more time to write! ✨
☺️ Hello friends! And welcome to The Shit No One Tells You About Writing’s latest issue! ☺️
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❤️ The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Team
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SHELF LIFE with Bestselling Author Wendy Holden
SHELF LIFE caught up with the bestselling British novelist, Wendy Holden, whose new book, The Princess (coming on August 1, 2023), explores the astonishing backstory and young adulthood of the ultimate royal celebrity, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Wendy Holden is a UK-based author who worked as a journalist for fourteen years, writing for publications such as The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and The Sunday Times. She held editorial roles at Tatler, The Mail on Sunday, as well as at The Sunday Times’ Style section, where she was ghostwriter of socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s column. This inspired Holden’s debut, Simply Divine, in which a struggling young writer for a popular women’s magazine is given the nightmarish assignment of becoming the personal ghostwriter for Champagne D'Vyne, a vivacious socialite. Holden has written over twenty books, the latest of which is The Princess.
SHELF LIFE: What is something you’ve learned about yourself later in your writing career that would have surprised your younger self?
WENDY HOLDEN: What really surprised me was my ability to shift gears with the support of my wonderful editors and agents. The trilogy I have just completed [of which, The Princess, is the third installment] is really not something I would have imagined doing when I first started out as a writer. But when the time came it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.
SL: Do you have any regrets about your writing journey so far? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
WH: It’s a job I love so I’ve no regrets! This is my twentieth book and I feel very privileged to have been published around the world. When you write nearly a book a year, it is a non-stop process, and I only really paused to produce my two greatest works—my children, who are always much more work that bashing out a book! I am not sure I would recommend writing as a career to anyone unless they are prepared to put the hours in. Writing shifts are hard brainwork, and there is always the irresistible urge to go and make a cup of tea or pop on an errand, to get away from the computer.
SL: Do you have a mantra or go-to pep talk for days when the writing feels hard?
WH: Yes—I always think about Woody Allen’s line “eighty percent of success is showing up.” For me I have to show up at my desk in my writing hut at the bottom of my English garden and get on with the job. It can be hard, but I really don’t expect any sympathy whatsoever; I am very lucky to do what I do and get paid for it. So I give myself a good kick up my Yorkshire backside and “get on wit’ job”, as my late father would have said. His voice is often there telling me to get my head down and get working. He worked nights as a taxi driver, and later as a printer. He knew what hard work was.
You can purchase The Princess on our Bookshop.org affiliate page here. Buying books through this link supports a local indie as well as The Shit No One Tells You About Writing 📚❤️
SHELF LIFE is produced by Bronwen Keyes-Bevan, a Toronto-based writer and editor. Bronwen is newsletter editor at The Shit No One Tells You About Writing and is at work on her debut novel. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their son. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at her website.
Let’s Talk About… The C Word
In this monthly advice column, Bianca Marais shares actionable tips to elevate your writing craft and career. This month, Bianca, discusses that tricky C word—critique—and how sprinkling it on your work will help your writing grow and thrive.
Let’s talk about that awful c-word: critique.
Listen, I totally get it. Receiving feedback on your work is incredibly tough. When you’re writing, you’re not just making shit up. Even if what you’re writing is fiction as opposed to memoir, you’re still taking everything you know about the world—every glorious and terrible thing that you’ve ever experienced, everything that has shaped you into the person who’s sitting down in that chair to write—and you’re putting it all on display on the page while simultaneously cranking your rib cage wide open so the world can read the fine print of your soul.
Your work is you. You stand about as much chance of removing yourself from it as you do of slipping out of your skin into something more comfortable. Which is why critique feels so very personal, as though you’re what’s being judged and found wanting instead of the work.
And while that’s deeply uncomfortable to experience, the truth is that you should be nervous ahead of getting critique because it means you put yourself out there. You made yourself vulnerable and you took risks. Anyone who doesn’t care about getting critique clearly wasn’t all that invested in their work in the first place, so why even bother writing?
I’d like to let you in on a little secret though. What makes you a writer isn’t whether you’ve been published or not; it’s whether you’ve had your work critiqued or not. And, even more than that, whether you’ve revised your work, and elevated it, based on that feedback.
Something that I keep coming back to every time I put myself through the critique wringer, wondering if it’s worth all the anguish, is the memory of a writer I met a few years ago. He was incredibly prolific, cranking out three books a year, self publishing all of them. Which would be absolutely great if that’s what his goal was and if that made him happy.
But it wasn’t and it didn’t.
He didn’t want to be a self-published author. He desperately wanted to land an agent and get published traditionally, which is why he built up a network of authors as friends to ensure that he could get introduced to all the right people so that his work never had to languish in slush piles.
But, here’s the thing, despite all of those connections—important ones who were more than willing to help—he never used any of the feedback that he was so generously given.
I’d review manuscript after manuscript of his as a favour, offering tons of notes in terms of character development, plausibility issues, historical inaccuracies, etc. He’d smile and thank me profusely. And then, when his next book was published, I’d see he didn’t use one of my suggestions for improvement. And it wasn’t just me he ignored. There were agents who agreed to look at his work whose feedback he ignored. He’d hire copy editors and developmental editors, and then ignore ninety-eight percent of their critique.
And yet, he believed that each new manuscript—with its wilder-than-the-last-book premise and its crazier-than-the-last-plot hook—would be the one to garner him the success he so desperately wanted. Isn’t that the definition of madness? Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results?
Over the years, I’ve been called upon to critique a lot of work, first in my capacity as a student in various writing classes, and then by other emerging writers who were also trying to get published. And then later, as a writing instructor and an author who does manuscript evaluations. And I’ve also had thousands of my own pages critiqued in return.
I’ve seen every kind of reaction to critique that you can imagine, from seething hostility, to screaming and shouting, to having someone write me a ten-page manifesto about why I’m an idiot who has no business critiquing their, or anyone’s, work. I like to think I’ve handled getting my own feedback with a bit more grace, but there have been times that I shook my fist at the skies, muttering darkly about having to be subjected to such f*ckwittage. There has been frustration. And despair. And rage.
You’re going to have a strong reaction to critique, is what I’m saying. And that’s okay.
My advice is to step away from it until whatever feelings are attached to it have either dissipated or lessened. Only once you’re able to objectively view the content of the feedback without having an emotional reaction to it, are you able to truly receive the feedback in a way that will be helpful to you.
Here are some other things I’ve learned in terms of receiving critique which might be helpful to you:
Not everything is going to resonate. There are some themes or story lines that others will suggest you remove completely, and you’ll one hundred percent know they’re wrong about it. It’s your work and you know your vision better than anyone. But if it’s not working for some readers, figure out how you can do it better so that it will work for them in future reads.
Just because you’ve had one or two bad dates doesn’t mean you give up on love, right? In the same way, just because you’ve had one or two bad experiences with critique doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek it out in the future. If you’ve had people give you bad feedback (or worse, feedback that’s racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or insensitive), it just means you’re still on the lookout for the right critique partners. You may have to kiss a few frogs to find your critique prince, and that’s okay. Nothing good comes easy.
You are way too close to your own work to see it objectively. You’ve spent months, or perhaps years, with your characters and so they feel real to you in terms of how you can picture them and how they move through your fictional world. Sometimes that’s the problem, you can see them so clearly that you forget to make them come as vividly alive for your readers. If they’re not imagining what you’re imagining, there’s a disconnect. Rather find that out in the drafting stages so you can fix it.
Look for consistency in terms of critique. You can’t please everyone all the time and you’re always going to have outliers, people who dislike something for reasons that have got more to do with themselves than with you or your writing. But if three readers come back to say they didn’t understand something, or weren’t able to connect with the character, then there’s likely a problem that needs to be addressed.
Everyone’s process is different. Some people like to get critique after each chapter, revising as they go along, whereas others like to write in a bubble and only get feedback once they’re done. Find a way of doing it that enhances your writing rather than detracts from it. If you find getting critique early on to be debilitating, only seek it out once you’re ready.
If you’re writing fiction, don’t get stuck in the rut of ‘this is just how it is’ because that’s how you first imagined it. Too often, I’ll see writers tweaking the same scene over and over when they should be burning it to the ground and starting anew with totally fresh eyes. Just because this feels real and true to us doesn’t mean that it is. My biggest aha! moments during editing have happened when I’ve realized that I could come at the story from a totally different perspective. Does that mean it’s a much bigger rewrite than I wanted? Yes. But, will it make the work that much better? Also, yes!
Don’t shoot the messenger, but also don’t shoot yourself. Your critique partners (ninety-five percent of the time) are really just trying to help you, so don’t take out your frustrations on them. But also don’t use negative speak on yourself. Perhaps the draft needs work. That’s why they’re called drafts. The magic happens in the rewrites, but only if you aren’t constantly telling yourself that you suck. That’s what the critics are for!
You’ll look at your work today and think it’s pretty good and then send it off to your agent. After five months of major rewrites, you’ll look at that work again and think it’s pretty great in ways you couldn’t have imagined five months before. Trust the process and trust that each time you sit down, you’ll be a better writer than you were last time, one who will produce better work.
And here’s something that doesn’t get said nearly enough: you will become a much better writer by giving others critique than by just receiving it. So, reciprocate whenever possible, and take the job seriously. It’s always an honour to be a part of another writer’s journey.
As always, you’ve got this!
Bianca Marais is the author of the bestselling The Witches of Moonshyne Manor, as well as the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh, and the Audible Original, The Prynne Viper. She taught at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021. She is the co-host of the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.
✨ Level up your craft this summer ✨
Summer break is a great time to catch up on some craft webinars and Bianca Marais has a wide range of online courses. Whether you’d like to know how to avoid the 10 biggest mistakes that good writers make that stop them from getting published or you’d like to take your writing to the next level, Bianca has got you covered. Check them out here!
“Why did an agent reject my project when it was a perfect fit for their #MSWL?”: a Literary Agent Answers
CeCe Lyra answers this perennial question and gives intriguing insight into a day in the life of a literary agent working through her slush pile.
Here’s a sentiment I frequently see on social media:
“Agents put out calls for specific projects on social media, but then when I query them with a project that fits that exact description, the agent does not reach out to see more!”
The emotion behind these messages is one of frustration. And with good reason! For querying writers, it can be confusing—not to mention exasperating—to watch this happen. Why would an agent share their #MSWL on a specific topic, receive a query that fits that project to a T, and then not ask to see more? For this month’s newsletter piece, I am going to attempt to answer this question using my own experience as a literary agent.
But before I do that, I wonder if you’ll indulge me in a story.
Picture this: you’re inside an atelier, a spacious room filled with golden light and rows of racks carrying garments in various shapes and styles. It’s time to shop. Your eyes take in the visual appeal of each unique design. Your fingers sample texture. You flag the items that look promising so you can circle back to them later. You mentally discard the ones that are not for you. You have a system that is both familiar and exhilarating, a combination which you have come to believe holds the secret to joy.
And that’s when you see it: a red dress.
You’ve been looking for a red dress. This one floor-length, cinched at the waist, the lightweight fabric promising flow, movement. A dress on a hanger could mean anything—you of all people know this. But this one has promise. Enough to skip the line, you decide. Your skin tickles with excitement as you make your way to the back to try it on. The zipper tugs as you pull it down, but that doesn’t bother you. You’ve worked with enough designers to know that a zipper can be fixed. You shimmy your way into it, surprised by the resistance around your hips but pleased by the coolness of the soft material against your skin. You will only look in the mirror once it’s fully on, once you’ve made this dress your skin. This, too, is a part of your system: stretching out the gulf between anticipation and realization.
You turn around and… the dress is not a good fit.
As you have probably guessed, this is a (wordy) analogy. The racks of clothes refer to an agent’s query inbox. The red dress is an item on the agent’s wish-list—one that’s high up on their #MSWL at that. Trying on the dress represents reading the pages that came with the letter. And realizing that the dress isn’t a good fit for you is just that—realizing that the story’s execution didn’t work for you. In other words, when an agent puts out a call that reads, I am looking for thrillers set in boarding schools they are saying, I want a red dress.
An agent’s #MSWL is meant to indicate general desire. Thanks to the boundless creativity of the human spirit, the execution of that desire can take on infinite forms. You might be a fan of dresses, you might adore the color red—it doesn’t mean that all (or even most) red dresses will be for you. This is doubly true if, as a professional buyer, your job is to find pieces that will later be sold to the masses. And that is at the heart of an agent’s job: finding a project that we love and that we feel confident others will love, too. After all, we want our clients’ books to become bestsellers.
If the red dress analogy didn’t resonate with you, consider the myriad ways in which cravings that live in our imagination can be satisfied—or even surpassed—by its execution. Now consider how the inverse can occur, meaning that we can be disappointed by a delivery. Have you ever watched a trailer for an upcoming feature that seemed to be just OK only to be wowed by the film itself? Or have you ever ordered a dish based on how good it looked only to be underwhelmed by its taste? Or to use a scenario that’s very close to home: have you ever read the pitch copy at the back of a book only to be dissatisfied by the story itself? The difference between craving and fulfillment can be microscopic or infinite—even to the creator itself. Chances are your story looked one way when it existed only in your mind, and the minute you put pen to paper it became something different. This is the inescapable nature of creation.
It’s not just creation that’s at play in this analogy. It’s taste, too. And taste is—prepare yourself for publishing’s favorite word—subjective. I might not fall in love with a specific red dress, but I could later realize that it’s perfect for a colleague. I might not appreciate unique elements of a design because I tend to prefer other qualities. I might choose to forgo acquiring a red dress because I know I don’t have the vision on how to accessorize it, and without accessories I don’t think it will work. It’s not personal to the creator. It is personal to the taster. Once again, look to your own life to understand this. I will never be able to wrap my head around the fact that one of my best friends doesn’t like chocolate (seriously) or that my husband doesn’t read novels (seriously). That my loved ones don’t always share my taste confounds me. But it also delights me. Plurality is a good thing, and nothing that is truly interesting is universally appealing. Besides, it means more chocolate for me, and the truth is that I’m possessive about my books.
At this point you might be wondering, If it’s so subjective, then why post #MSWLs at all? I posit that it’s because some direction is better than no direction as long as both parties—agents and writers—respect the limitations of these posts. If you’ve designed a red dress, it could be helpful to know that I’m in the market for one. Conversely, it behoves me to be open to gowns in other hues, including ones that challenge my preconceived notions of what fits my style. It is a special kind of joy, falling for something unexpected. Once upon a time, I wouldn’t touch wide-leg trousers with a ten-foot pole and now I have eight different pairs in my wardrobe. Which is why, when I receive a submission, I review it with great thought and care. Most of the time it’s not for me (falling in love is rare), but I am still honoured and grateful to have the chance to consider.
Cecilia (CeCe) Lyra is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency and the co-host of the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing. Find out more at her website.
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3 Ways to Find More Writing Time
If you wish you had more time to write, these strategies from Bronwen Keyes-Bevan can help you claim back some time and spend it on what matters most to you.
Does this sound familiar?
“I can never seem to find enough time to write.”
“I have such limited writing time but somehow I keep spending it doing the million other things that need doing.”
There are a small handful of writers who would never say this. They say they’re gonna get up at 4am to write and lo, they get up at 4am and write efficiently and uninterrupted for two hours before setting off to smash the rest of their To Do list. Let us wish them well. For the rest of us, the question remains: is there a better way to do this?
Is there a way to keep all the plates in my life spinning (the bills paid, the kids dropped off, the inbox zeroed) long enough for me to consistently and reliably sit down at my desk and finish writing the damn book?
Well, let me tell you, the answer is…
No, you’re never going to be on top of everything all the time. But YES, you can almost certainly spend more time doing the things you want to do (such as, for example, finishing the damn book). You can spend more time each day on the things you value, on the small tasks that—when strung together—eventually make up the big goals you want to achieve. Barring the big emergencies that find all of us at some point in our lives, you can go to bed each day feeling like you spent your time well, that you achieved something important to you, and that you can do the same again tomorrow.
Well, below are a few strategies to get you going. But first, let me pause briefly to say a couple of things. One: and I’m repeating myself but you are never going to do everything you’re supposed—or even want—to do. You can reach inbox zero, you can have a perfectly tidy house, you can finish your novel (and another one after that), you can be the parent that always makes homemade treats for the bake sale, you can exercise every day, you can excel in your day job, you can get your ten thousand steps, you can make from-scratch meals every night. But you can’t do all of these things. No one can: there is simply not enough hours in the day or weeks in your life. And that’s okay! Learning to get comfortable with the discomfort this may cause you will serve you well.
Two: Life really has a pesky habit of getting in the way sometimes. This is true for everyone but is more true for some people. The frazzled stay-at-home-mom who dreams of writing a novel is not on a level playing field with the single mom working three low-paid jobs who also dreams of writing a novel. The unfortunate truth is that some people own less of their time than others. The strategies below can help anyone but I think it’s important to acknowledge that for those among us living with a disability, or on a low income, or with mental health challenges, or held back by myriad systemic barriers, there’s only so far a little creative scheduling can go.
But if you’re dissatisfied with how much (or I should say, how little) writing time you have in your life then, no matter your lot in life, there are almost always ways to claim back some time and spend it on what matters most to you.
So, let’s get down to business:
1. Perform a time audit on your life
This is definitely one of the most helpful but low-key annoying things you can do if you want to spend more time doing something (writing your book, improving your craft, growing your author platform) but can’t imagine how you could possibly find the time amidst all of this… life.
I get it: I have a small child and not a huge amount of childcare, I have a Boomer who needs me to keep her meds up to date and remember her Netflix password every three to six weeks, I have deadlines, I have three inboxes, I have a dishwasher that needs filling, and an Elder Millenial body that needs regular stretching lest it punish me with a crick neck. But regularly auditing my time has allowed me to see, in black and white, the million little ways I waste my time—my life, essentially—every week. Doing an audit sounds complicated but it’s not.
You simply sit down and tot up how much time per week you spend on each activity. (Yes, sometimes they overlap, such as when you’re on a thirty minute work call while exercising. Just add the time to whichever category crops up first). You’ll discover that, for example, you spend twelve hours a week on social media. If you suspect I’m about to go off about how we’re all wasting our one wild and precious life staring at screens and doomscrolling, then you’d be right… but only kinda. Auditing your time allows you to view how you spend every minute in a week but it can’t tell you whether that’s the right or wrong way to spend your time. One week, I might spend two hours in front of a screen eating candy and feel unproductive, wired, and frustrated because I meant to, but was too burnt out to, do something else. But the next week I could spend two hours in front of a screen eating candy and feel refreshed, relaxed, and inspired by some cool show I watched. To figure out whether the ways in which you’re already spending your time are the ways you want to continue spending your time, you need to tap into your values.
2. Imagine yourself on your death bed
Whoa, you might think, that took a weird turn… I’m just trying to hit my word count, Bronwen! But bear with me. A couple of months ago, my mother (the aforementioned Boomer 😊 And if you’re reading this, hi mom!) suffered an injury which spiraled into an emergency, life-or-death situation. As you can tell from her continued newsletter support, she’s fully recovered now but there were some long and tough months that were hard on everyone in the family. The following is not the most important part of that story but it is the most pertinent for our purposes:
There was a period where everything else in my life fell away—my husband took over all childcare, I outsourced work, extended deadlines, ate only ready-made food, showered far less than anyone would ever care to. As she slowly recovered, I did a bit more work, a bit more childcare, a bit more showering. Anyone who has ever cared for a family member—new baby, aging parent, a puppy who’s not yet house trained—can tell you that some days are all slog. You act out of love but that doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes feel exhausted and frustrated that none of your time is your own. It was not a good time. I was not happy. But I can guarantee you that on my dead bed I’ll be grateful that I dropped everything (that I was able to drop everything) to be with my mom. It’s obvious why but I’ll point it out anyway: because I spent my time on what I valued most.
Luckily, not every day is a life-or-death kind of day. But on my death bed I already know that I will have spent my time on the things that matter most to me: my loved ones, my writing, being kind (to others, our planet, myself). Am I a saint? Heck no! Do I spend every second of the day “wisely” or “productively”? Nope! But picturing myself on my death bed has clarified how I want to spend this moment, and the next, and the one after that.
3. Make a plan, weekly, and stick to it as best you can
That’s lovely, Bronwen, but I’ve got laundry up the wazoo, my kid needs another juice box NOW or, by the sounds of it, they may collapse, I have fifty-seven unanswered emails, six WhatsApp notifications, my hips are aching, and somehow my family is once again asking me what’s for dinner. Where am I squeezing in the writing, the reading, the author platform building, let alone this notion of “being kind to others and the planet and myself”?
A fair question! So, let me say again: you are not going to get everything done. You will not be able to do everything you want to do and you will not be able to do many of the things you think you have to do. This is not a character flaw. This is a basic fact that applies to all of us. There are only so many hours in a day.
By choosing to spend your time doing something you love (like, say, writing a novel), you are choosing to not spend that time doing many other things you might love (like, say, learning how to draw or brushing up on your high school French). By choosing to introduce your child, once again, to the refrigerator and to the concept of quenching one’s own thirst, you are choosing not to spend that time replying to your WhatsApps or folding the laundry. And then eventually it’s bedtime, and very, very, very eventually, you will die. And there will be many things you just never did.
This is anxiety inducing for many people. But it’s very possible to get comfortable with the discomfort caused by consciously choosing to let go of, say, keeping a tidy home, or always blow-drying your hair so it looks nice and shiny, or replying to every text immediately, or the million other things you may want to do. Now, I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t do anything—only that you may need to let go of some things that are lower down on the priority list. And I’m definitely NOT saying you should start letting people down left, right, and centre. Only that you can’t do everything for everyone because nobody on earth can.
So! How to do more of the things you want to do? You make a plan: set aside a few minutes once a week to think about the things that matter most to you, what goals grow from that, and what tasks you can do that week to achieve those goals.
For example, I might think: on my death bed, I want to know I tried my best to write the book of my heart and get it published. So I might replace the thirty minutes a day I’d been spending on Twitter with a standing appointment to work on my draft. I might decide to not answer emails or texts as they come in but batch reply later and suddenly find I’ve an extra twenty minutes a day which I can set aside for researching agents. I might think: on my death bed, I want to know I tried to make my community nicer for others. So I can schedule thirty minutes on a Sunday to pick up litter in my local park. (Please note, this is an example, I have never done that!). I might also (warning: less fun alert) think: there’s a couple of things that I really must do. I must bring the car into the shop. I must get groceries. I must sort out my taxes. So I’ll schedule them too. Once you have these big and important things in place, you show up for yourself by doing what you said you’d do. Then by the time you go to bed, you may not have taken the recycling out like you meant to, and you might still have twenty unanswered emails, and you might not have gone for a run but you’ll have spent (at least part of) your day on things you value, working towards your big goals, nurturing the people and places that are important to you. And you’ll have even filed your taxes!
As far as I can tell, there’s no scheduling method or productivity tool that will allow you to organize every area of your life, achieve everything you ever wanted, and maintain a complete sense of calm but these strategies will help you spend your time more meaningfully. (If you have found that productivity hack, gimme a call, I have some questions for you!)
Bronwen Keyes-Bevan is a Toronto-based writer and editor. Bronwen is newsletter editor at The Shit No One Tells You About Writing and is at work on her debut novel. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their son. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at her website.
🎙️On The Podcast This Week🎙️
Check out this week’s podcast episode below!
How to Elevate Writing Descriptions
In today’s episode, author and agent Jennifer Herrera joins Bianca, Carly, and CeCe to critique Books with Hooks submissions, and to discuss Jennifer’s debut novel, The Hunter. In the episode, they discuss the challenges of starting your pages with a character waking up and being alone; the struggle of holding yourself back when sharing information about your plot or characters; how to plant curiosity seeds successfully; the difference between describing something so you can picture it and describing something in a way that reveals character and sets a tone; the trend towards shorter pieces of writing; and how Jennifer’s debut novel became a series.
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Thank you so much for reading. If you enjoyed, please share this with a writer friend! Until next month, happy scribbling ✨
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