Welcome to our channel surf, where we highlight our favorite writing, publishing, and/or book-related posts of the week by middle grade authors! Hit the pause button for a sec and check this out…

Channel surfing (credit Jesse757)Four Ways to Pre-Write Your Scenes

by Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars

I think the reason I love Janice’s posts so much is that her methods are so organized, but so doable. In the past, my outlines have been kind of a mess (although I’ve improved a lot). Sometimes I know what’s going to happen in a scene, sometimes I just don’t. Next time I run into a problem where I’m just not sure where a scene is going, I’m going to try one of these four suggestions.

The Beauty, and Agony, of Revision

by Matthew Macnish, MG author

Funnily enough, right before I read this post I was talking to Lady A about the agony of revisions. She’s a rip-through-the-first-draft-in-a-fit-of-passion kind of writer who gets to revisions and suddenly shifts down to first gear. I enjoy revising, but I agree with Matthew – the toughest part of revisions, and maybe of the whole writing process, is fixing those things that just aren’t working.

What Writers Can Learn From Downton Abbey

by Nathan Bransford, author of Jacob Wonderbar

Oh, Downton Abbey. My love for you is so hard that until Nathan pointed it out, I never even realized that your characters are all black or white with no shades of gray. A character is good or bad and that is that. This shouldn’t work, not at all. And yet somehow, this show is still amazing. So how does this apply to writing? Nathan has some interesting thoughts…although my personal opinion is that all books simply need Maggie Smith.

Top 10 Deep (And Stolen) Thoughts About Writing

by T.P. Jagger, MG author

I could read writer-quotes all day, honestly. And T.P. somehow managed to find several I’d never read before! Number 5 is my favorite – wise words.

Illustration Friday: Ocean

by Jeanie Wogaman, MG author and illustrator

Our own Jeanie W. shares this awesome illustration that is apparently her first attempt at using the real watercolor brushes in Painter. Sheesh…wish my own first attempts at ANYTHING came out that great!

What’d we miss? Let us know in the comments and we’ll tweet your links high and low! Hang on, that sounds weird…

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