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

3 Critical Tactics for Diversifying Your Cast

Susan DeFcraft, fiction, Story MedicineLeave a Comment

A picture of a graffiti-ed wall with the words "Unity in Diversity" in red

I recently sat down (virtually) with my good friend Vinnie Kinsella for a lively and far-ranging conversation. This was the first event of a monthly series hosted by the Story Medicine Community that will address different facets of the topics we cover in my online course, Story Medicine. We covered so much ground–from such important topics as Star Trek: Discovery, … Read More

If the Problem’s Not Your Plot, What Is It?

Susan DeFclasses, craft, fictionLeave a Comment

two panel image with a cat on the left with a caption "What it looks like" and a tarsier on the right with a caption "What it is:"

There are a few major reasons people come to me as an editor and a book coach, and this is something I’ve been reflecting on as I prepare for the class I’m teaching for Jane Friedman this Thursday, Maybe It’s Not Your Plot. Generally speaking, people come to me because: They have an overwritten novel (sometimes hugely so; I’ve worked … Read More