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I've been working on my primary series for nineteen years (as of July. 2014). I've written draft after draft as I matured - never reaching the end before starting over.

I even finished the first book at some point but decided it was really only halfway to where it needed to be. Besides I still had a lot of work to do to fix what had become part one

In it's present incarnation you can see threads that tie back to the genesis but little else, the characters have grown up with me, the plot is entirely different, the circumstances changed, and the science evolved.

To say it's been slow is an understatement.

It could be argued it would have been faster to get a creative writing degree. But apart from writing I have spent years just figuring out how I learn. And when I did it was clear classrooms could not help me. I needed to teach myself - with a good amount of guidance from my mother.

A published playwright my mother has been working on her own novel for a very long time. Family upheavals, moves, everything seemed to conspire against her. But she held on and learned a great deal. What she picked up she taught me.

I benefited greatly.

Eventually I gathered enough to start to pass on the things she explained along with what I had discovered for myself. I started a website with a few articles and got some positive feedback. So I wrote a few more, blending my mathematical mind and my creative world to present what I saw as fundamental blocks.

My slow start seemed to be exactly what was needed to express the stepping-stones I encountered. There had to be some benefit in taking a long time to mature as an artist.

I stumbled into helping others with their work. Editing, mentoring, guiding the creative process in other fields as I continued to explore every element of an artists life, including research on selling your work. Mostly because I just wanted to know. I gathered those up in a bundle too.

I firmly believed, and still do, that no one can teach you how to write. No one. Not a degree, least of all myself. We each must learn in our own way, and the only way to learn is to start, don't stop, and keep growing.

Books give you paintbrushes, classes give you examples of technique, teachers give you guidance. But in the end, you are the artist; you have to figure out how you want to put it all together.

This website has some of the tools, building blocks and advice. You can learn technique through reading but you might not need it. Guidance is extremely helpful. But not every writer has that luxury and you need to be the one to make up your own mind if you need it or not.

In short, the philosophy of this site is to give you what you need to teach yourself.

I don't go into hero archetypes. I don't analyze works to find the millions of meanings you can interpret. I stay away from jargon you don't need and no writer I know uses. I don't explain what subject and predicate are. I leave it to you to learn how to write a sentence. Your grammar is your own affair. Most of the articles are purely about the creative process and concepts of storytelling to take what you already do one step further.

What isn't about the art is about the business. I do my best to explain the fundamentals you need in order to know what to research more. This site isn't the only resource out there. My guidance on those aspects is built upon research and opinion. Take it as such.

Other then that, have fun, explore, and check back. I'm going to continue to offer my perspective as I evolve as an artist, and I get feedback on what is needed most. If I currently don't list a subject you would like me to address, let me know. I'll see what I can do for you.

As always, the way to find me is email:

Good luck.

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Copyright Melissa Devlin 2009-2014
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