How Novel Revision is Like Gardening

Cocoa in garden

© Devin Berglund

 You wouldn’t think it… but actually novel revision

is a WHOLE LOT like gardening!

Thought I’d peek out of the novel revision prison to post on my blog. I am so close to being done with this revision. Can’t wait.

 1. Maintain it! If you don’t pull the weeds, you’ll NEVER see the fruit

The weeds will choke out the life in your garden. It is the same with your writing – if you don’t clean the ‘cruddy’ words (being words that make your story hard to read, typos, plot holes, and more.) out, then it will make it hard for the TRUE story to come out and SHINE!

 2. Hard work pays off!


© Devin Berglund

Yesterday I spent a large chunk of my day in the garden. It was intense as I had to pick a lot of peas and beans. Thank goodness there weren’t any mosquitos or biting flies.  But, because I worked hard and picked those. Now I have some delicious veggies to eat.

This is the same for when we are writing. If you put in the hard work – you will see the results. Sitting down and working hard on your revision for a few hours will help you get some major headway on your manuscript.

 3. Say no to the biting flies.

Sit down with your schedule and figure out your plan of attack. If you need to be done with the edit by a certain time make sure you schedule your days and nights so that you get your work done. Don’t procrastinate. I decided to stay off of Facebook until I finished my edit. Which, let me tell you HAS been hard. What can you give up in order to give you more time on your manuscript?


© Devin Berglund

4. Celebrate!

Once you are done with your edit. Celebrate! Once I finish mine, I will be sending them off to my Beta Readers, but not only that… I will also do a The Mason of Hearts themed art piece. I am also thinking of some other ways to celebrate.

 Have any cool ideas on how I could celebrate?

 Write your ideas in the comments below. I would love to know what you think I should do to celebrate.

4 years, already?

IMG_60914 years ago…

It’s crazy to think about how much I’ve done in the past 4 years. 4 years ago I was a Senior majoring in English/mass communications and a certificate in Publishing at Minnesota State University of Moorhead. I was flying to Australia to spend a semester studying abroad. Actually at this very moment, 4 years ago – I had already been in Australia for about a week or a little under.

It’s crazy because, if you told me to look ahead – I’d probably not have imagined it all.

Here are some pics from the past 4 years.

Me in Brisbane

Me in Brisbane



At my desk at uni (university)

At my desk at uni (university)

My lovely friend Sonja from Germany and I! :)

My lovely friend Sonja from Germany and I! :)

[Read more...]

Book Banning? What do you think?

I’ve been hearing a lot about book banning this week. Costco removed Dinesh D’Souza’s book from their shelves. As an author, this bothers me… especially since there is no reason for his book to have been banned.

It is a pro-American book.

And… We are Americans.

We live in America.

So, really this book shouldn’t have been banned. Or maybe since it goes against Obama’s lifestyle and values – Obama’s friend (the Costco guy) decided to pull Dinesh’s books because it didn’t match his political lack of values. [Read more...]

The answer to the lack of ladylikeness in our world today.

 Back on the blog. Have been busy getting some things in line. I am so excited for what will be coming in the next few weeks on the blog. I can’t wait to share it all with you. But first, today I wanted to cover something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Ladylikeness.

I am a woman. I am proud to have rights and freedom like any other American woman, but I can not stand the attitude of some “women” today. So many women in the political field and on tv are so loud and rude. They aren’t thinking about manners, they are only thinking about arguing and fighting to make a point.

I want to share this with the women of the world. [Read more...]

Editing with Katie Cross

Photo-on-2011-02-22-at-15.31For the third, Writer’s Wednesday (which is up a bit early this week do to my busy schedule) – we have Katie Cross here answering some editing questions. Hope you enjoy a session of editing with Katie Cross. Have you seen the other two Editing Sessions with the other writers who visited the blog? If not see them here and here.

  1. What is your editing style like?

    I don’t really have a style. I take feedback from beta readers, outline/figure out a new plan, and edit through the story with that current outline/plan in mind. Then I take a break before the next edits.

  2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

    I stay on top of edits with a deadline . . . pretty much never. I’m constantly pushing back deadlines.

  3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish a day?

    I don’t aim for chapters. I just start and move forward as I’m able. I’m not all that organized about it.

  4. How long do you edit for?

    I can typically work for about 3-4 hours before my brain blitzes. I’ll take a break several hours long and return for another hour or two. Sometimes more or less.


Check out Katie’s books on her awesome blog. Also check out her new novella The Isadora Interviews that just came out.

Fairytales… I’ve always known they were REAL.

June 25th, 2014

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

I never thought this would happen to me, but I am glad it did.

On Wednesday, the 11th of June I went to Fargo with my sister for a girl’s day filled with back massages, Chinese food, manicures, and arial yoga.

10472727_10100236879055910_267441423687828009_nA pretty good day, right? It was. Later that night we needed to pick up my sister’s friend from college, at the airport. She was coming out to visit for the summer. We waited for her to get off the plane. But she never came. I was told to look for a small blonde. So, I watched for her, but all of a sudden a guy came up to me. I jumped out of my skin.


Could it be true? 

It was Johan.

I thought he was supposed to be at his parent’s house though, because he’d told me he was headed to visit them.

But, it was all to cover up his visit.

He surprised me!

[Read more...]

Editing with Steven James


Steven James

For the second, Writer’s Wednesday – we have Steven James here answering some editing questions. Hope you enjoy a session of editing with Steven James. 

1. What is your editing style like?

Old school. I print out the book I’m working on and then make changes by hand, type those in, then go at it again. I find that when I edit on the computer screen, I just don’t catch as much and my prose becomes bloviated. I do some free writing on my keyboard, but all of my editing has to be done by hand or my story suffers.

2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

Well, over the last decade I can’t think of a time when I haven’t been under a deadline, so I suppose this is an easy question to answer—I work as hard as I can and try not to sweat it. I have a sign in my office that says, “Focus on progress not deadlines.” And I suppose that’s my philosophy—keep plugging forward and don’t let stress interfere with the story.

3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish in a day?

I typically don’t go by word count or chapter length, rather, I time myself and shoot for a certain number of hours. (The goal each day varies on my other obligations and where I’m at in the project, but it’s usually 5-8 hours.) I actually have a stopwatch and when I get up to get a cup of coffee I stop the clock and only let it run when I’m actually working on my manuscript. In addition to this writing and editing, I work in my other obligations (like answering blog questions, email, interviews, etc…). I write most days

4. How long (week wise) do you edit for?

This isn’t meant to be a smart-ass answer, but until the book is done. When I can’t improve a book anymore, then it’s done, then I’m through editing. If I can improve it then I make the necessary changes. Most of my books take me between six and eighteen months writing full-time, depending on how long they are.

Check out Steven’s books on his website, follow him on FB, and read his blog.



What do you do when life moves you ugly?


He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 ©Devin Berglund

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone. – Unknown (Click to Tweet)

I wanted to get a blog post up today about something completely different, but just couldn’t get to it, because of all the hectic-ness happening lately.

The past week has been a hectic, tough week and weekend for me and my family.

Many different things took place.

And because of all these things, I wasn’t able to work on my edits, which is aggravating because I have a deadline to meet.

To start off… I was loving my summer job, but when the computer program I’d been using at work glitched so much – I had to call the programming company. Let’s just say I was stuck on the phone for a long time.

On top of that, one of my little baby cousins passed away this week. She was only 1. We haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. SO SAD.

I hope to get some editing and writing done today. It’s so tough when life hits you and you have to stand up and keep on keeping on.

What do you do, when life hits you down and moves you ugly?

My Editing Style



Throughout this month I will be having authors visiting the blog on Wednesdays, where they will be answering questions on their editing style and processes.

1. What is your editing style?

My editing process is filled with rounds of edits – 4 to 5 at least. After finishing the book, I take a few week break (3-4 weeks) from the book and then I print the manuscript and do a read through. While doing my read through, I write notes upon notes upon notes and mark up the edit. Then, I edit AGAIN. After that edit, I save it to my Ibooks on my Ipad and do my read through on there. (I try to switch the format up a bit to see it in different ways.) While doing that, I take notes again. Edit another time. Send to critique partner. Print manuscript. Read through. Make notes. Last edits. Send to Beta Readers. (Going to send the books to Beta Readers in the next week or so.)  

2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

• Work. Work on it. Work.

• Schedule your writing time.


3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish a day?

Lately, I’ve been trying to edit 2-4 chapters a day.


4. How long do edit for?

As long as it takes to finish the edits.

How to Deal With Poisonous People

Poisonous People |Poy-son-iz Peep-el|


1. A person who sucks energy from you. (like a tick, leech, mosquito, ect.)

2. A person who wears you out.

3. A person who isn’t great friend material.

I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile, but just didn’t know how to go about it. But, now, I do – maybe it’s because anytime I go into the woods, I come out with ticks all over my legs. I know that sounds gross, but it’s true. (I kill them all after, with a slow painful death of suffocation in tape. That’s what they get, you know.)

But yes, ticks make me think of poisonous people. I recently had to say goodbye to a friendship, because of this. Have you ever been controlled by a friend? Pushed? Used? If so, I hope this post helps you deal with a poisonous person. [Read more...]