Revision, Writin’ and Crime Bake: What More Could We Want?

Summer may be vacation time, but writers know that there’s really no such thing as a vacation when there are words that must be put on paper.

Pen, Ink & Crimes was no exception this past month, thanks greatly to Beth Kanell, whose blogs about the Young Adult genre always manage to contain lots of advice and wisdom for all writers.

Beth began the month with the reminder to all of us that Revision IS Writing. Her subhead that it makes YA mysteries much better can be expanded: it makes all mysteries much better. And all books. Beth gives a point-by-point blueprint on what types of things to look for while revising, including character development, making sure things are “real,” examining all the threads, and focusing on heavy decisions.

The heavy decisions part is examined more thoroughly in her post of last week, Suddenly She Knew Her Next Move. While confronting evil, even death, is tougher to finesse in a Young Adult novel, all writers can benefit from a deeper examination of how to approach these issues.

Beth’s revision is writing post not only prodded me to get cracking on the zillionth revision (next time, I’ll write about overuse of hyperbole) of my mystery novel, but also prodded a blog post of my own. Revision IS Writing II takes a look at how, once again, when we think we’re done we’re not. And yes, it’s as big a part of writing as sitting down in front of blank page with a new idea. We’re never too experienced for that reminder.

And speaking of reminders, Judy Copek reminded us why she keeps going back to Crime Bake. It’s her twelfth year and the anticipation is still strong. And why wouldn’t it be? Not only is the New England Crime Bake the premier place to hear the best conferences and meet the best agents, but it’s also where the coolest mystery writers hang out. We know that’s true, because WE’RE all going. That last part is mine, not Judy’s. But Judy makes the classier observation that it’s a great place to have fun at the banquet, connect with old friends, make new ones and learn, laugh and live it up!

Haven’t signed up yet? What are you waiting for?

And speaking of cool mystery writers, if you’d like to do a guest post or be a regular blogger on Pen, Ink & Crimes, just respond in the comment section. We take all members of Sisters in Crime and the topic possibilities are endless.


About Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at @mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at She hosts the podcast Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.
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