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

What Makes a Story Feel Like a Story?

Susan DeFcraft, fiction, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

young woman with bangs holding a red phone up to her ear

What’s the difference between a story and a narrative relating a series of events? Once upon a time, dear reader, I might have answered, “Causality.” Because it’s a basic truth I’ve discovered as a book coach and editor: if you have plot that’s basically episodic—this happens, then that, and then this thing over here—the single most effective thing you can … Read More

Maybe It’s Not Your Plot

Susan DeFcraft, fictionLeave a Comment

Recently, I presented at a virtual summit for writers entitled “Escape the Plot Forest”—a full week of talks with nearly 30 speakers, with 3,000 people registered. Which is ample evidence of what pretty much every independent editor and book coach knows: Plot is the number one thing novelists and would-be novelists tend to struggle with, and it’s what people come … Read More