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

This is Your Brain on Books

Susan DeFcraft, fictionLeave a Comment

We all know that reading helps us gain skills and knowledge, and maybe even become better people (though of course, you can’t believe everything you read in the self-help aisle). Which is to say, reading helps us grow new synapses, and become brainier. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at the degree to which writing has taught me about the … 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

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