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Welcome to DonnaLevin.com

I'm a San Francisco author and writing teacher here to provide resources for writers of any level of experience. I am the author of the novels Extraordinary Means (William Morrow) and California Street (Simon & Schuster), as well as two books on writing: Get that Novel Started and Get that Novel Written, both published by Writer's Digest Books. Visit often for updates about newly released books and trends in publishing. Send me a message--and be sure to read and add your comments on my new blog, below.

Hell on Wings

Posted by Donna Levin on January 27, 2016 | Read More & Add Comments >>

            I don’t travel very often, so when I do I usually have the luxury of saying to myself, “Self,” (sez I) “you don’t need to write for these few days.”

            But not always.  And just occasionally, believe it or not, I wantto do some writing when I’m out of town.

            So I take my laptop and set it up in the hotel room or the nearest Starbucks, which is usually no more than five feet away.

            There was also a time when I could work on a plane.

How The Tudors Announced my Doom

Posted by Donna Levin on December 18, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

          I have descended into a laziness so profound that I feel as though I am encased in butter.  Thick, sweet butter congealed to the stiffness of iron.

          See, I finished a draft of a novel last week.  At one time I would have said that I finished a novel, not a draft, but in my experience, the adjective “finished,” when applied to a novel, is a synonym for “at least two more drafts to do,” and that’s best-case scenario.

Nickeled and Crimed

Posted by Donna Levin on December 07, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>
          You’ve noticed, I’m sure, how many retail chains now have “check-out charities.”  You swipe your card, debit or credit, and a box pops up on the pin pad asking if you’d like to make a donation to St. Jude’s or the American National Liver Foundation.

Why You Should Pay an Editor (but not Me)

Posted by Donna Levin on November 05, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

            A former student once asked me to read her novel.  She didn’t just want me to read it, of course:  She wanted me to critique it. 

            This is tantamount to asking your dentist to clean your teeth after work for free, but often writers don’t see it that way.

The Movie Can Be Better than the Book--Really!

Posted by Donna Levin on September 01, 2015 | Read More & Add Comments >>

        I had a conversation with a sort-of friend ( malheursement,  I have a number of “sort of friends”—people who I like well enough, but…) a few years ago.

        That it was a few years ago, and that the conversation still gnaws at me will tell you something.

        I was looking forward to seeing a forthcoming movie adaptation of a recent popular novel that I’d read.  She was interested as well, but she asserted, “The book is always better than the movie.”

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