Black Friday Book Magic

Susan DeFDetailed Assessment, fiction, Professional Review, Writing ConsultationLeave a Comment

When I was younger, we used to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving as “Buy Nothing Day”–a protest against the mindless consumerism of the Christmas season. These days, I do my best to practice conscious consumerism, purchasing secondhand whenever possible, and from ethical companies when it’s not–and though I don’t believe conscious consumerism will save the world (if only it were … Read More

When one door shuts…

Susan DeFfiction, ReflectionsLeave a Comment

Two painted doors face the viewer. The one on the left is red with a tree and the one on the right is blue.

We all know the saying: When one door closes, another one opens. Last month, I shared that I’d received some tough news from a colleague on my new novel–news that it wasn’t nearly as far along as I’d thought. Many of you wrote to share your appreciation for my honesty in sharing this, for the vulnerability in it. Some of … Read More

I wish I’d done this a LOT sooner…

Susan DeFcraft, fiction, ReflectionsLeave a Comment

sign that says "Endure" in yellow capital letters

In my latest post for Jane Friedman, I wrote about the writerly quality of grit, and three ways that it’s critical to getting over the finish line with publishing—which is something I’ve experienced myself recently, in a deeply personal way. Last week, I sent my novel-in-progress off to my fellow book coach and Julie Artz for a manuscript evaluation. And friends, though it … Read More

Why Complex Characters Aren’t Optional

Susan DeFcraft, fictionLeave a Comment

Image of faces carved in stone with various expressions, some of anger, happiness, sadness

There are two issues with character that I see over and over again in the course of my First 50 assessments: protagonists who are too good, and antagonists who are too bad. Protagonists who are too good have no clear internal issue. They might have gone through something hard in the past, but whatever that something is, it doesn’t seem to be … Read More