Kim Foster
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writer’s craft

How To Find The Time To Write

This weekend I was a presenter at my favorite writing conference EVER…the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. It was a magical weekend, as it always is. I’ve been going to SiWC for well over a decade now. One of the workshops I gave was on the topic of finding the time to write. It seems to be a pretty universal concern for writers, and the people in the room with me this weekend were clamoring for any pieces of advice I could give them on this problem.… Read the rest

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New Book Deal Announcement! (and how a story goes from idea to signed book contract)

So this happened: That’s right, I have a new book deal! This book will be my YA debut, and the hardcover will be hitting shelves in Fall 2017. Here’s how this story happened: While I was on contract with Kensington and busily writing my three AB&T books, a germ of an idea occurred to me. First, you have to understand that I’m a big lover of all things Great Britain.… Read the rest

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“Show, Don’t Tell”

It’s one of the most commonly cited pieces of advice for writers: show, don’t tell. But…what the heck does it mean? And how do you go about accomplishing it? Today, I’m going to dig into “show, don’t tell” and see if I can offer some clarity. Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.… Read the rest

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6 Ways To Cultivate Your Writer’s Voice

Voice: so important for writers, yet so damn difficult to define. Agents and editors frequently say things like “I’m looking for a distinctive voice”, but they tend not to elaborate on what they mean, exactly. If you’re a novice writer, how do you begin to work on such an elusive quality if you don’t even know what it is? Some industry insiders have tried to define voice.… Read the rest

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7 Secrets To Writing Your First Draft

Just in time for NaNoWriMo I thought I’d do a post about how to write a first draft. Because let’s face it, first drafts are hard. It’s no secret, it’s not my favorite part of the process. I love the outlining/dreaming/planning stages, and I love the revising/shaping/polishing stages. The first draft stage? Not so much. But it’s okay. It has to get done.… Read the rest

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How To Create Compelling Characters

  When you’re creating a character from scratch it’s a good idea to know her name, her hair color, and how she takes her coffee…but those elements are just the start. If you want to create truly compelling characters—the kind that leap off the page, the kind that really get into your readers’ bones—you’ll need to go beyond the superficial stuff and dig deep into your character’s internal landscape.… Read the rest

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How To Revise In Layers

Some writers can fire off a beautiful first draft. It seems to spring forth from their brains, and fingers, fully formed and gorgeous. Me? Not so much. My first drafts are a mess. They’re chaos. They’re borderline illiterate in places. Half the time I’m making little notes and comments to myself, about stuff I want to remember for a given scene, or emotions I want to express at a particular spot.… Read the rest

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How To Tackle Revisions

A little while ago I sent the most recent round of revisions to my editor. Last week he sent me an email to say that everything was great, and he loved the changes I made. Yesssss. This is a great relief. It means we’re on track for the release of my next novel, A Magnificent Crime, in 2014. Although some writers don’t enjoy doing revisions, I actually love them.… Read the rest

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The Magic Of The Surrey International Writers’ Conference

Last weekend I attended my all-time favorite writing conference, the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. I’ve been going to this conference almost every year since 2004, and it’s always a slice of heaven for me. Here’s my attempt to sum up all the reasons I love SIWC. Before SIWC, I was a closet writer (this is literally true—in my first condo I converted a closet into a writing “office”).… Read the rest

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Reading About Writing

I love books about writing. I know that some writers deride books about craft, but frankly, I don’t understand that viewpoint. Yes, of course, you have to write a lot in order to learn to write. Also, you have to read a lot in order to learn to write. You really can’t avoid either of these two basic things. (Not to mention if you are skipping these things…um, why do you want to be a writer in the first place?) But, in my opinion, you can also learn about craft.… Read the rest

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