• Character Development,  Creativity

    12 Mistakes You Could Be Making When Creating Narrative Voice

    Every novel, especially those written in the first person, tells the story from a specific point of view. If you've chosen a point of view for your story that is specific, you may find that it is complicated and difficult to keep the story only to their viewpoint. If done well, your narrative voice draws the reader into the story. The details of the thoughts and dialogue work together to make the narrator a sympathetic or likable character.

  • Marketing,  Publishing

    What To Do If You Think Your Manuscript is Stolen

    While this is a rare event, our staff, as well as our members, were wondering the best way to handle such a problem. Unfortunately, every time we hire someone to help us with our work, we take a risk. And while events like this are rare, it helps to know what to do in case you are in a similar situation.

  • Organization,  Time Management

    Working On Multiple Projects

    Once you’ve finished your manuscript what do you do next? Becoming serious about writing leads to having multiple projects on the go in different stages of production at once. Maybe a new story you’re writing, one you’re editing, another that is with beta readers or editors, one you’re preparing to launch or get representation for, and one in the early idea stages. How do you organise yourself to keep momentum on all of those?  Well, there are two main ways of doing this: you either work on one project at a time, until that aspect of it is finished, and then switch to a different project, or you schedule your…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Before Your Next Writing Session

    While some writers are able to naturally jump in and focus on their writing projects, most of us take a little more prep time. I find that if I make some decisions before I sit down to write, my writing time is more enjoyable and I have a clearer sense of my progress. For today’s Take 5, I thought I would share a few of the things that I decide in advance of my writing sessions. Note: Sometimes, I make these decisions in the moments before the computer goes on. Ideally, though, I would make these decisions in advance of a planned writing session. 1) What will you work on?…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity

    How To Enhance Your Prose With Poetry

    The first priority of writing is clarity, yet poetry often muddies clarity for the sake of nuance, or metaphor, or an emotional journey. I believe that in novels you can use poetic elements —not necessarily formal poems — to enhance your writing and give your readers a more beautiful experience. I think that by using the vast palette of poetic elements, your prose becomes more distinct and gives you a voice that is unique among writers.

  • Community,  Craft

    12 Reasons You Should Go To a Writers’ Conference

    Now, I'm not a writers' conference junkie, but I'd like to be. I know enough about them to understand that if you are in a climate-controlled hotel ballroom, surrounded by writers from all over the world, with speakers and experts in front of you, then you're in a great place to grow.

  • Inspiration,  Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Hopeful Strategies For When You Don’t Have Time For Your Dream

    My dream is just out of reach. I realize this. But I also realize that each day that I do something toward it, it feels more real. Each time I give my dreams ten minutes, that big fluffy cloud of hope seems more like a reality. Every time I squeeze in a blog post there, or a few words there, that dream feels less like a mirage and more like something solid.

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5: Five Fun Friday Prompts

    Writing is serious business, of course, but it’s perfectly okay to have fun while you are doing it! This week’s Take 5 is filled with fun prompts so you can play around with your words. Maybe they will help you with your work-in-progress or maybe they will be an enjoyable diversion. Either way, any writing that you do will build your skills and help you become a better writer. Have fun! Write on! 1) Stir up some emotion Choose a video/scene from TV show where someone is clearly angry or joyful. 1) How can you tell their emotions just by looking at them?2) How do their actions reveal their emotions?3)…

  • Craft,  Inspiration

    Writing What You Know (And You Know A Lot!)

    But I don't believe that “writing what you know” necessarily means that, or at least it does not mean only that. Sure, if you've lived on a farm your whole life, it will be easier for you to tell the story of a farming family. If you've been a businessperson for the last thirty years, you will be able to write an office-place drama more easily than most other authors. However, you know a lot more than that. So do your readers. This is where you need to “write what you know”. And what do you know? Plenty.