Christa Miller

Dark Fiction & Children's Fiction

Sensitivity readers sensitize… they don’t censor

The last year has seen a rather contentious debate over whether sensitivity reading — the practice of having stories critiqued or edited by people who represent the marginalized communities from which characters might come — constitutes censorship. This actually isn’t a new issue. Nearly 20 years ago, Debbie Reese, a […]

Planner, Pantser, Plantser

I first came across those terms in 2016, when I got involved in my first (and, it turned out, last) NaNoWriMo. “Planners”: self-explanatory. They outline their plots, they work out detailed character descriptions, they worldbuild intricate settings. The idea is that, when they’re taking 30 days to write a 50,000 […]

seedling sprouting from soil

Creative ebb, practical flow

When I first started to write again a couple of years ago, it was amazing. It felt like the tap would never turn off. The ideas flowed free and plentiful, and it was bliss. That lasted throughout last year’s layoff, when I spent my summer working on a novella that […]

A second look at an unfinished story

When I first started to write Possum Kingdom, I admit that racial issues were not a big part of the story that was forming. My focus was on economic and class issues, and the allegories I was constructing, as well as honoring the different cultural and historical influences on Boston […]

Writing from the outside looking in

On Twitter not long ago, Jenna’s Truth author Nadia King tweeted a link to a wonderful short post, “The Detachment of Writers,” by Scottish YA author Abigail Shepherd, who summed up my own lifelong experience: “I often see the more intense parts of my own life as though I’m watching […]

Notes from the NaNo Sausage Factory: Week 3

I ran into a brick wall this week. Things went great Saturday, but Sunday morning, I started to feel like something wasn’t quite right. My progress toward the climax I’d envisioned had slowed, not because I’d overplanned and my plot didn’t match (which has happened before!), but because the story […]