Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Making Your Writing Process More Efficient: A Guest Post by Author Anna Staniszewski

Now that my second book is about to go out into the world, I’ve realized that my writing process has changed quite a bit over the years. I used to be a die-hard pantser. The idea of outlining made me shudder. I did write with an ending in mind and with an awareness of the character’s emotional journey, but planning the story out beforehand felt too restricting.

Once I sold two follow-up books to my debut, however, I entered the thrilling/terrifying world of writing on deadline. Suddenly, I had a lot less time to get a book done which meant that my process had to be much more efficient. The answer? Oh boy. I had to shed my pantser ways.

I tried outlining. I really did. But it just didn’t work for me. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t know what happens in a scene until I actually write it. But as I played around with different planning techniques, I realized that writing a synopsis allowed me to tell the story without breaking it down scene by scene. Plus, a synopsis still gave me the feeling that I was telling the story instead of planning it.   

Once I had a new and improved writing approach, I spent a lot more time during the revision stage working with the synopsis instead of the actual manuscript. That way, if I decided to make any big changes in the story, I could see how they played out in the synopsis first before rewriting any scenes. This kept me from making any major missteps in the story while still giving me a lot of freedom to experiment.

Now that I’m revising the third book in the series, I’m trying to balance creativity with time-management. Writing, of course, isn’t a scientific pursuit. Sometimes, no matter how well you plan things, you still need to wait for inspiration. But I’m glad that I’ve been forced to make my process more focused and mature. I may never be an outliner, but I guess you never know.

Thanks, Anna! Here's the adorable & funny book trailer for MY EPIC FAIRY TALE FAIL:

Author Anna Staniszewski
Anna's Bio:    
Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston, Mass. with her husband and their adopted black Labrador, Emma. When she's not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. You can visit her at

Monday, February 18, 2013

Coming Soon: Guest Post From Anna Staniszewski

Get ready for exciting happenings at Readatouille! Anna Staniszewski, author of the popular MG series My Very UnFairy Tale Life, will be stopping by this week for a guest post! 

Anna's first novel, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, was published by Sourcebooks in 2011. The sequel,  My Epic Fairy Tale Fail, will be available next month, and the third in the series, My Sort Of Fairy Tale Ending, will be out in November 2013. Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diaries, hits the shelves in 2014. Anna has also written a picture book,Dogosaurus Rex, which will be published by Henry Holt.

Click here to download Jenny's First Adventurea short e-prequel to My Very UnFairy Tale Life. And please visit Anna's wonderful blog, and take some time to explore her website, where you'll find all sorts of fun stuff, including first chapters, teacher curriculum guides, and even an Official Adventurer Contract for kids!

Here's a link to the book trailer for the soon-to-be-released UnFairy Tale book.